This is a program I believe in and I'm happy that I was able to be part of it. Yes, I'm a sucker for Youth Programs, let's make it happen before we get too old!
"Youth in Action is the Programme the European Union has set up for young people. It aims to inspire a sense of active European citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans and to involve them in shaping the Union's future." You can read more in Youth in Action Website or Facebook Group
It was 2011 and I was about to start to work as a Social Worker in a Association in Algoz (Portugal) when I read about going to Turkey one week with Youth in Action Portugal, right before starting to work. The project was named "Energy for Life" and it cost 200€ with EVERYTHING included: accomodation, food, both flights, bus to Lisbon and activities. I thought it was a brilliant way to visit a bit of Turkey (by that time the eastern I been was Czeck Republic), meet people from 5 different european countries and learn more about the Planet we are living in.
They made 5 groups of 5 different countries: Lithuania, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Iberic Peninsula (Portugal and Spain). During the morning we were discussing in Environment Workshops, during the afternoon outdoor activities like rafting or paintball and the night was the cultural night where each country made an indroduction about their country, incluing food and drinks. Guess what was the Iberic drink? Sangria!! *smiles*
A week full of emotions, I'd say. We didn't stop a minute, even with hangover we had to wake up early for breakfast together and start the workshop of the day :) I think it's pretty obvious how much fun was that week by the pictures, thanks to all the participants who became friends.
We also had the chance to know more about turkish culture: we smoked chicha, we made the Alla pray, we ate kebab, we talked with locals of Duzce (town where we where hosted). There's a funny story: I was smoking outside the hotel, when a old man with a stick come to me and started to yell in turkish, I couldn't understand a thing but he was very mad at me. I asked Celil what he was saying and he was pissed because it's not nice for a woman to smoke and even worst if it's outside... Pufff I said sorry, this was an example of culture shocks. In the end we made friends with this old man.
Check out on this program! If you need to escape somewhere for a week, learn something new and meet people from different countries don't hesitate!!