Active Solidarity Youth Project brought together 36 young people from 6 European countries, to explore the topic of activism and LGBT+ spectrum within non-formal and informal learning activities. The program took place in Nea Makri, Greece between the 27th of September and the 6th of October 2019.
Read below what the Latvian team of participants is sharing about their experience:
“This project was the best decision of my life. I learned things about myself I didn’t realize and felt emotions to the extent I didn’t think I can. Now I know that I’m able to feel things deeper than I thought. I’m able to love in so many different ways which don’t include the romantic side. During video making activity I felt so inspired as I have never felt before. And most importantly, I have never felt so accepted and free in my own expression as I did in the project. I recommend to every person of the LGBT+ spectrum to at least once in their life experience project like this. It will be worth it.” – Dan
“The most important thing I got out of the Active Solidarity project was inspiration – I met so many new people and heard their stories about life, relationships, heartaches, loves, and adventures. This project has helped me to start looking at situations from other perspectives and have fun in the meantime. Days spent in Nea Makri were truly an adventure into the depths of myself, realizing things that are holding me back from living the best possible life and having the support to accept it and make a plan for growth and change. I am so thankful for having had this amazing opportunity and be a part of the crew. – Elīna
“To be completely honest, this project gave me life – i found a reason to live within this project. I met so many great people from all around the world, who showed me kindness and love. For someone who loves hugs and doesn’t have the most accepting family, so there is a draught of hugs this was the best…because everyone wanted hugs! I learned a lot in this project and feel like I’ve got a better sense of who I am as a person.” – Kristians
“I heard about this exchange in another exchange I was participating in. I fell in love with the first exchange so much, that I didn’t think twice and applied to this one. I thought I knew what to expect, but “Active Solidarity” surprised me in many wonderful ways. I realized, that the moment you drop your expectations is the moment when wonderful things start to happen. I couldn’t even imagine that making lifelong friends in such a small amount of time is possible. I’m still in contact with the wonderful people I met there and now we’re celebrating Christmas together as one big queer family. Exchanges break all kinds of boundaries. You become a citizen of the world and start to see things from more different perspectives. It builds you into a wiser, more open person.” – Rain
“It’s actually not easy to even put it into words what this whole experience meant to me. Going into this, I never expected the outcome that I got out of it. I had no full vision of what a project like this could mean or how much it could give me in this very short time. This was my first time participating in any project at all and the outcome is amazing.
I went into it with a completely open mind – open to something new, new experiences, friends, knowledge. However, I never thought that it would be anything close to what it was. At some points it almost got exhausting (in a good way though), just the amount of SOMETHING NEW every day was unreal. Day after day was full of activism (I have not made my brain work that much in a long time) – working in teams, working with ourselves, meeting creative minds and amazing individuals, and when the evening came – creating connections, making friendships, trying to use every second of this short time we have been given with each other. Sleep was becoming irrelevant and we were just pumping up energy from each other and our experiences. It was emotionally draining and crazy how close we got to one another in just a few days’ time.
Fast enough 40 strange faces became oddly familiar. I guess you could say that we each saw ourselves in the eyes of the other person. All of a sudden it felt like my troubles now became other troubles as well, and the other way around. I went into the project hoping that I will maybe connect with one person, make at least 1 friend, but now I feel like I have 40 new friends.
And that’s not even it, it was also a lot of self-awareness, I really recognized myself as an individual. Doing all these activities and having people there for you – that made me understand more the power of MY WORK and MY WORDS. I have realized how every action matter and how each and one of us can make a difference. It all starts with each one of us and I believe that as long as we believe it we can also make it. I hope to continue with my work in the field of Photography and also learn some Filming skills, the one day we needed to create a short movie really made me more aware of how I am interested in not only still film but also movement. I would like to put these two in use in my own activism. I have also learned how to express myself more and how to be more vulnerable. It has truly been a journey and it’s for sure not over yet.” – Tina
The project was funded by the Erasmus+ Programme, through the Youth and Lifelong Learning Foundation (INEDIVIM) of Greece.