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"In the beginning it was just an idea, in the end it was the best experience ever!", Training Course in Austria

usbngo 26 Sep 2017

In the beginning it was just an idea, in the end it was the best experience ever.

Sitting on my PC as every day, doing nothing important and then the post of United Societies of Balkans came in front of my eyes. Call for participants for a project about extremism and xenophobia in Vienna. First thought: Hmm maybe. Second: Why not? Third: Do the application NOW. And I did it, and I was selected and I went there and YES it was the best experience of my life.

Greece, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria. We were all there (in beautiful Vienna) to discuss about extremism in Europe, to change ideas about our cultures, to talk about the reasons of increasing rates of hate speech and xenophobia towards refugees or any kind of minorities in European continent, to find any possible solution to tackle extremism.

But not only that. We actually became a family so quickly. We ate all together, we drunk beers, we had tours in Vienna, we spoke with local people about many social problems, we danced with them, we played a lot of games in the super green parks in the centre of the city, we visited museums and the university, we visited NGO’s and saw how they work and the last day we did a huge group hug of 28 people in total and we promised each other that we will never forget one another.

In the beginning the idea of visiting a foreign country with people you do not know in order to discuss and have activities (in non formal education way) about a serious topic made me feel anxious and even frightened. After this experience, I have to say that for the young people this is more than just the best way to travel. You do not only get to know new people, you get to know new sides of yourself through the eyes of others. You become more self-confident, when you realize that you actually can communicate pretty well, you can offer significant things in a conversation and it is also in your hands to change a little bit more this world.

Thanks to United Societies of Balkans, I woke up today at my home in Thessaloniki full of memories and beautiful moments I will never forget. And I would never do that without the help of the people of U.S.B, who sent us emails about everything, even arranged appointments to solve any kind of problem that we could possibly have and were there every time we needed them in terms of the project.

Thank you.

Video available here! 

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Το παραπάνω άρθρο ανοίκει στον Γιάννη Κούρτη, μέλος της ομάδας που ταξίδεψε στην Αυστρία για το σχέδιο κατάρτισης "Youth workers against extremism and xenophobia", που έλαβε χώρα στις 11-18/09/2017. Το σχέδιο κατάρτισης χρηματοδοτήθηκε από το Ευρωπαικό πρόγραμμα Erasmus+.

"In the beginning it was just an idea, in the end it was the best experience ever!", Training Course in Austria
"In the beginning it was just an idea, in the end it was the best experience ever!", Training Course in Austria
"In the beginning it was just an idea, in the end it was the best experience ever!", Training Course in Austria

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