Let’s open windows para novas esperanças

Youth Exchange 2023

19. July – 02. August

Let’s open windows para novas esperanças

Serra de Estrela • Lisboa


Let’s open windows para novas esperanças

young people climb the star mountains to explore ways out of fears for our future


Facing the latest developments in the world – wars, pandemic, climate change, economic crisis, the rise of populism and neo-fascist movements – a growing number of young people, especially young refugees, feel pushed to live in doubts, anxiety, insecurity and even desperation. Intercultural youth work can offer some time for experiences to discover cracks in this environment, – where the light comes in.

This International Youth Exchange under the theme “Let’s open windows para novas esperanças – young people from 7+ countries climb the star mountains to explore ways out of fears for our future” brought together 57 young people from disadvantaged communities in Portugal, Bulgaria, Finland, Slovakia and from Germany, together with young refugees from Ukraine for two weeks in a safe environment in Serra de Estrela and Oeiras-Lisbon, Portugal.

In a welcoming climate and a spirit of “all different – all equal”, this exchange offered the participants opportunities to work and play with and learn from each other. Raising awareness about their inalienable universal Human Rights, they were encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings, ways to cope with angst and fears and discover new hopes. Fostering a sense of empowerment, this experience supported their potential for actively taking steps towards future’s hopes.

The programme proposed by the young people and the host group, created the conditions for the active involvement of all participants during all stages of projects, especially the workshops, which they have prepared with their groups, sharing their perception of the theme, unpacking some of the contents of their heavy personal rucksacks.

During an array of joint activities: for environmental protection in the mountains and social intercultural celebrations in the hosts’ community in Marvila in Lisbon, the participants also shared good practice as European active citizens, disseminating their insights and outlooks during receptions with politicians via their own Radio Zip and social media.

Two visits at the mayor of Celorico de Bera and the mayor of Marvila were organised. The first week we have the historical village of Seia and Celorico de Beira and the second week we visited our hosting organisation Eco-Estilistas at Marvila neighbourhood in Lisbon and we got a reception of the mayors. Our young people presented their ideas, thoughts, experiences, fears, challenges and the situation of the young people in their communities.

This project is funded by

the European Union

28. August 2023

Visit at Mayor Seia

International Youth Exchange Serra de Estrela • Lisboa 2023

network partners in this Youth Exchange