A moment from the Youth Project, May 2022


This year, Erasmus+ Youth exchange: Come out and Play, was my first time being a national group leader, even more so – first time being a support person for a team of people, who actually chose me, instead of being obligated to. The Stargazers ✨ ️ taught me how to share and be vulnerable in an authentic way, showed me the care and comfort we can give each other while not completely exhausting our own reserves, communicate in healthy and healing ways.

I cherish every support group meeting we had as a magical moment, as we dove into our depths to bring back “material for our therapists” and actually grow as people. I realized, I’m not in a such good place as I pretend to be. I learned that healing isn’t linear or permanent – trauma I’ve let go ages ago came spiraling back with a fresh, sharp pain. I learned that I’m the champion of self deprecating jokes and deflection via humor. My coping mechanisms of old no longer serve me, or feel like the way to move forward. And through my support circle and group of friends, I feel PEOPLE and CONNECTION is what gives me meaning, shared baggage is easier to carry, and it’s healthy to love your fellow humans as you learn to love yourself. Thank you, Stargazers ✨️, thank you Active Rainbow, for re-starting this journey of self-discovery and reflection (which I tend to fall off every now and then). I will keep on learning, remembering and figuring out what it means TO BE.

– Alec

During the project I learned to be more aware of my feelings. It had seemed that I had forgotten how to tune into not only my surroundings but also myself and notice how certain situations and how other people affect me.The project also helped me not to feel selfish for needing time for myself and feel sad at any moment.The whole project was a magical experience, like coming back to myself and relearn to start listening to myself and my own needs. 

There for sure was the chance to step out of my comfort zone and experience a different aspect of life.I believe that the experiences that I had during Come out and play helped me to start to reinvent and explore who I am right there and then and it’s something I try to continue doing even after the project.