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AddictEDucation Youth Exchange Ended

Yesterday we ended in Cehețel village, Romania an 8 day long Erasmus+ Youth Exchange "AddictEDucation" which aimed to support 42 youth and their leaders from Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey with new knowledge related to drug, alcohol, cigarette, internet and relationship addiction and promoting the fight against it through digital storytelling. The first day was dedicated to getting to know each other, team building and the intercultural food night.

 

Day two dwelled deeply into how the youth view addiction regarding youth, with a world cafe and silent floor activity. After that the realities of each country was discussed in the forest regarding alcohol addiction and the youth had solo time in nature. In the afternoon short power point presentations were made about drug addiction and many activities done to further understand the topic. The day ended with Spanish cultural afternoon.

Day three continued to explore the addictions youth are faced with. In the morning we did non formal activities connected to cigarette addiction, including a body awareness workshop and in the afternoon we continued with relationship addiction through a "moving debate" and a "dilemma cafe" The day ended with a very dynamic Italian cultural afternoon.

Day four ended our tour through addictions with internet and gadget addiction being the last topic tackled. After this we dis 3 different workshops to better understand how to listen to one another, to understand how our culture and society divides and also unites us and lastly how to understand our feelings and emotions. In the afternoon we heard the testimony of an ex-drug addict which was highly educational and touching. The day ended with the trivia, history and folk dance driven Hungarian cultural afternoon.

Day dive started with a well-deserved rest from the topic of addictions with soaking in the breathtaking views and history of the fortress of Sighisoara. In the afternoon the youth had a briefing on what digital storytelling is and how they will make the movies in the next days. The day ended with the Turkish cultural afternoon, where next to the competitions and dances, a Turkish "wedding" was also held.

Day six continued the digital storytelling process with a story-circle through which 10 groups were made to create the 10 stories. Then each group thought up the story they wish to share, wrote it down and recorded it to be later on edited. In the afternoon we heard the success story of an alcohol addict who now works in the rehab center that saved his life. Then the Belgian cultural afternoon surprised the participants with many water related activities. The day ended with a brief visit to the local church, where the priest of the village welcomed us, shared the history of the Unitarian church and of the village.

Day seven was entirely dedicated for editing the 10 digital stories. All teams worked hard until late in the afternoon, when they could finally rest from the movie editor in the Polish cultural afternoon, where various traditional games were played within a Polish wedding.

The last day started with finalizing and rendering the 10 digital stories. Following which all national groups had time to reflect on their learning in the whole youth exchange and write their learning achievements down. In the afternoon we moved on to closing the youth exchange: first we watched the 10 finalized digital stories, then did closing circle with everyone's feelings about the exchange and their plans for the future, then we handed out the Youthpass certificates and lastly we managed a train of farewell messages to be passed among the youth and their leaders.

It was a meaningful experience for all participants, full of learning, sharing experiences, tranquility and new friendship forming.