We are intercultural! International youth exchange from April 13 to 19

We are intercultural! was the motto of the international youth exchange between Finland, France and Germany.

They dealt with the topic of interculturality. Especially after the events in Chemnitz in summer 2018 it was important to show the young people how profitable it is to have friends in other countries. “I think it’s great that I speak English all the time during the meeting,” said Liska Rulff, a participant from Chemnitz. “Maybe I haven’t learned a lot of new vocabulary, but I’m not afraid to speak,” she said happily.

The participants reencountered in Chemnitz after their first meeting in Finland. For one week the participants, who are between 13 and 19 years old, lived together while taking part in different activities such as a graffiti workshop or geocatching… they even went for climbing!

In the evenings they had the chance to learn about the countries of their mates and taste some of their traditional food! Apart of course from the mandatory campfire with marshmallows and stick bread.

During their trip to Weimar they visited the concentration camp Buchenwald, they were all moved but glad for having learned more about history.

The youngsters themselves created a street campaign about Europe, they prepared some Easter games, a quiz about Europe, a mind-map and different stands where they invited people from the street to have fun and learn a little bit about Europe.

Janina Rüther, one of the group leaders from Chemnitz, told us why the youngsters have chosen this topic: “They thought about the incidents in Chemnitz last summer, about #wirsindmehr and wanted to actively participate in the public debate. That’s why they did a street campaign, they wanted to show the people from Chemnitz that they shouldn´t be afraid of people from other countries, rather on the contrary!“ The participants from France and Finland found the visit to Weimar and Buchenwald particularly important, because they were interested in the history of Germany and these are two of the things that come to your mind first when you talk about Germany”.

Fast feet, slow food – international youth exchange from April 22 to 27

Three groups from Greece, Poland and Germany met here in Leipzig after their first encounter in Thessaloniki, Greece. Thanks to the project wir weit weg the German youngsters themselves helped organising the program. The participants, from 13 to 17 years old, spent a week full of workshops, activities and much fun. The theme of this project is Fast feet- Slow food. That is why this week had many sport activities, such as a parkour workshop, furthermore most of the days the food was completely vegetarian, super healthy!

The exchange took mostly place in Kulturwerkstatt KAOS, such a lovely house! Among the activities there were language animation, billard evening, city ralley, and also different workshops. There was a photography workshop, where the youngsters had the opportunity to make light painting. In addition, we had a video workshop, where the youngsters themselves recorded and edited a video about healthy exercises, and finally a writing workshop, where the participants became journalists and made interviews and finally a survey about healthy lifestyle.

After one week, the last day was hard for the whole group. Very beautiful things were said between the participants like „thanks for all the good jokes“, „thank you for being such a good friend“ or simply “thanks for everything“. We ended the youth meeting with the loveliest evening: private concert, disco party and campfire!

Saying goodbye was heartbreaking and all the participants hope to meet again in a new project in Poland, although we don´t know if it will be possible.