A moment during the youth project, July 2023


”My experience of the Erasmus+ exchange program with the Active Rainbow association deeply impacted my journey of international and intersectional activism within the LGBT+ community. In a historical moment where the fight for equality and inclusion is more crucial than ever, I had the privilege to join a community of young activists from various parts of Europe, united by our shared passion to promote values of diversity and respect.

From the moment I arrived at the picturesque and nature-immersed hosting site in Burtnjeki, Latvia, I felt a warm welcome from the organizers of Active Rainbow and my fellow exchange participants. The atmosphere of openness and respect created a fertile environment for learning and dialogue, crucial elements of non-formal education, the foundational approach of this exchange.

The workshops and diverse activities offered and organized by Active Rainbow covered a wide range of topics: inclusive sexual education, gender identity awareness, intersectionality, exploring different forms of activism (both digital and through on-site street actions), and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. The strength of these moments lay in their interactive and participatory nature, allowing us to learn not only from more formal educational sessions but also from the exchange of personal experiences among participants. This peer-to-peer learning had a profound impact, helping us understand diverse perspectives and strengthening our collective commitment to equality.

A particularly stimulating aspect of this exchange was the opportunity to engage with the local reality in Latvia. We built and participated in a local street action in the nearby city of Valmiera and had the chance to interact with Latvian activists and local individuals. This intercultural exchange broadened my perspective, enabling me to grasp the specific challenges faced by the LGBT+ community in this region. It was a valuable experience that highlighted the importance of tailoring activism strategies to local contexts.

Furthermore, non-formal and peer-to-peer education proved to be a powerful tool for getting to know one another and forging horizontal bonds between participants and organizers, as essential and valuable individuals rich in knowledge and experiences to share.

In conclusion, the Erasmus+ experience with Active Rainbow has shaped my commitment to LGBT+ activism in ways I could never have imagined. Connecting with european young activists, sharing ideas and experiences, and deepening my understanding of LGBT+ issues made this exchange a precious chapter in my life. I am grateful to the association for providing me the opportunity to connect with individuals from across the globe, learning together and growing as dedicated individuals working towards a fairer and more inclusive future.


”My time in Burtnjeki, Latvia was something entirely different from anything I’ve experienced before. Thanks to Activists Assemble, an Erasmus+ project that revolves around LGBTQIA+ activism I managed to find an enthusiastic queer community that focuses both on learning and caring (about yourself and others). I’m really grateful for this project because I’m taking back home new tools that will help my community grow and become every day more active. I’m grateful for the people I met and that will keep working with me after this project. I’m grateful because I discovered something new about myself and I could do that while also taking care of my needs and not feel pressured to do anything I didn’t feel like doing.”


”I am really excited to have participated again in an Active Rainbow reality as already in previous exchanges, I found myself in the freedom to express myself, to be able to dialogue with people of different backgrounds and knowledge of queer issues and to purely embrace all the diversity that may make us queer.

If queer spaces are still too few and very limiting, Youth Exchanges, Camps, Training Courses are precisely those realities in which young people can discuss, talk, confront each other and grow a lot together, taking care and accompanying each other on the path of self-discovery.

It’s not the first time that people who were hiding and limiting their self-expression felt so safe and surrounded by support, that during an Exchange they came out, tried out names that were more akin to their expression, and experimented with pronouns… For me, this is the real magic because it’s not just about coming out, but knowing that you can be totally yourself without judgement, but rather, by welcoming and celebrating each other.

Finally, I am always amazed (although I shouldn’t even be anymore) at the beauty of giving young people space to express themselves, as innovative, new and fresh ideas can always be born. The various activities, proposed both by the facilitator and by the young people, led to experimenting with very different forms of activism (Graphic Activism, Performances, Local Interaction, Digital Activism, Street Action…), allowing each member to find the ones most akin to their own style and the ones least easy to use. 

In terms of content, the Camp gave me a lot of material to work on, both on a personal and professional level, putting some order in my international activism career. Now I would like to be active on a wider level, combining local realities with new ones abroad.


”For me, Activists Assemble was all about community and care: these are the keywords of my Erasmus+ experience in Latvia. In Burtnieki I had to step out of my comfort zone in terms of sharing my routine and constantly being in close contact with other people for about two weeks, and I was able to manage it only because of the queer community that I was deeply immersed in that truly showed care about my needs, mentally, emotionally and also physically. This was fundamental throughout all the learning process, which developed not only during peer-to-peer activities but also during socialization and free time. Together with personal development about my needs and boundaries, I’m indeed bringing back home strategies and good practices to take care of my community during our stressful processes, which often make out activist journeys harder than they have to be.

I am also very satisfied with the facilitation tools that I discovered during our activities, for which I am truly grateful to the organization team. During the day dedicated to the workshops proposed by the participants, I also had the opportunity to challenge myself and to share knowledge about languages and gender representation horizontally, with people of very different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. I was also very content to be able to talk about sex education with an actual sex educator (specifically in a queer prospective), a subject I never experienced during my school years and very important for our activist goals.”


”My experience with the Erasmus+ project “Activist Assemble” changed me. I already did some activism in the LGBTQIA+ field, but in Burtnjeki (Latvia) was the first time that I felt the support and care of the queer community: we started like a group of strangers and we finished as a queer family from all Europe.
In the two weeks of the experience I understand a lot of myself and how I interact in a group through the non-formal and peer-to-peer education, but I also learnt useful tools for community building that I’m definitely going to implement in my LGBTQIA+ youth group, in Bologna (Italy).
I also discovered so many forms of activism that I didn’t consider before, like the street actions we did in Valmiera (Latvia).
I’m so grateful for this experience because it allowed me to be vulnerable and create a real connection with wonderful people that I’m going to preserve in my heart forever.”