One witness to the youth exchange “We know the importance of voting in the EU”
During approximately one week I joined a youth exchange in the beautiful city of Oradea, not to participate, but to take photos of the daily activities. I was an observant and a witness to their ideas, discussions, presentations and interactive games. The exchange was done mainly to promote voting for the EU by highlighting its importance, but many other topics were discussed such as problems and issues that young people face nowadays, as well as possible solutions; information and news spread by the media; the structure and functioning of the European Parliament, among many others.
From morning until evening different activities were carried out, and after dinner an intercultural evening would take place, one night organized by each nationality, and so we had the Polish night, the Slovak and Czech night, and the Romanian night, which included a brief presentation about their home countries, funny videos, traditional food and dances, music, quiz games, and of course palinca! I felt motivated by listening and understanding the participants’ points of view during the debates and the discussions, but also to witness their creative approaches and original materials designed for the assignments. The non-formal education does bring people together and facilitates the learning process, as everybody is invited to share their views and beliefs, and here all opinions matter, every voice is heard and it can make a difference.
During this time we also filmed short videos of the participants answering two questions for our promotional video under the same topic - promoting EU elections. It was interesting to listen to their opinions once again, especially about the issues and problems that they identify in their communities and countries, and how it affects them. My role was essentially to take photos and to plan the promotional video for the EU elections, as well as helping my coordinator who was also present, shooting the videos, and although I really enjoyed the technical task of photographing a different environment, the initiatives and the creative games and workshops going on during the day, helped me to become more engaged and committed to this important role that was to capture the moments and record them for the participants to have special memories from this exchange. They gave me topics to reflect on; I hope I got them some nice photos.