Youth Exchange 2017
17. July – 31. July
Palermo • Sferracavallo
Tutti uguali – Tutti differenti
Under the theme “Tutti uguali – tutti differenti: Young Europeans came together to learn how to embrace human rights” this European Youth Exchange brought together 60 young people from 7 countries (Spain, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, UK & Italy) for a 2 weeks in Palermo and Sferracavallo, Sicily in Italy.
The context for our theme is that following our very successful International Youth Exchange in Hamburg in 2016, where a third of participants had a refugee or migrant background, we learned to understand the so called refugee “crisis”, as an opportunity for solidarity and we were happy for the invitation to Sicily – to got to know another Sicily with civil society initiatives, defending Human Rights and developing Palermo as a multicultural city.
The objectives of our International Youth Exchange in Sicilia were: to work with young people to develop awareness for equal rights – and respecting diversity; to encourage the participants to become pro-active, create a welcoming climate, increase their social and intercultural skills, key competences in non-formal education and citizenship, enhancing integration and becoming active participants in their communities.
The Participants were young people aged between 16 and 25 years, coming from Los Asperones comunidad gitana – a Roma Community in Málaga; Câmara de Lobos in Madeira; Chelas in Lisbon; Maribor in Slovenia; from Page Moss/Walton/Speke in Liverpool, and from St. Pauli in Hamburg, hosted by “Uguali-Differenti” – an enthusiastic informal group of young people from Tavola Tonda in Palermo/Sicily.
The participants are facing enormous political, economic and social challenges in their different countries, but above all, they have an amazing potential for their empowerment, undiscovered creativity, social awareness, empathy and a willingness to open their minds and arms to “embrace human rights” and each other. Four of the groups included young people, who arrived as refugees in Europe.
The Methodology followed the principles of non-formal learning, ensured a high quality of non-formal and informal learning processes and offered space for playful interaction between the participants and encouraged their exchange of experiences and insights.
The Programme focused around the participants, who represented their cities/projects and during the 2 weeks, presented each a self-designed, self-organized, youth-led workshop on our agreed theme about Human Rights. The Palermo group invited us to get to know the anti-racist forum with its network of different groups and initiatives cultivating their “Sicilianità” – being Sicilian by practising hospitality, defending human rights and celebrating intercultural understanding.
During the 2 weeks all participants had the opportunity to understand both: that Human Rights are universal and inalienable and that there is a need to challenge racism and xenophobia. Regarding the feedback of the young people this exchange encouraged each other to get involved as active citizens, developing a Europe, where all people can live in dignity and peace.
This project is funded by
the European Union
network partners in this Youth Exchange