OUR EXPERIENCE IN YOUTH ACTIVISM CAMP
YOUth ACTivist Camp was a unique experience in lots of aspects. To begin with, I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge regarding non-formal learning in an amazing location in the Netherlands and experience firsthand different types of activism such as street actions, community building, art, performances, and others. Moreover, I got to develop a more proactive attitude and a sense of initiative towards achieving one’s personal goals and practise mastering one’s own emotions as well as be reminded of the true meaning of respect, understanding, empathy, self-awareness, and self–expression. Finally, I am glad I had the chance to live and work in an intercultural environment for 12 days and interact with people from various countries who have different ethnic backgrounds. All things considered; I loved that I stepped out of the box and how much I enjoyed the beauty of nature, the new relationships which were formed, and how participants got to truly embrace one another and our intersectionality.
YOUth ACTivist Camp was my first ever Erasmus+ project, a fact that made me feel quite scared as soon as I stepped foot on Olde Vechte though all my fears went away. Everyone was extremely welcoming and made me feel safe. I managed to bond with many of the other participants, sharing experiences and learning about different cultures. Also, I gained experience with non-formal learning, something I had never gotten in contact with, and teamwork. Moreover, I became more familiar with concepts such as activism, street actions, community building etc., knowledge which can certainly prove useful for local actions.
Youth Activist Camp was exactly what I expected it to be the boost I needed to finally step up and use my voice as much as possible. Thanks to this project I’m now confident to call myself an activist and say that I’m somehow contributing to achieving this “equality” activists have been talking about for decades. Carrying out the street action was the farthest-away-from-my-comfort-zone-thing that we did and yet, it was also one of the moments that remains the most meaningful to me
One can’t predict what kind of people will be at the exact same place and time as us and there’s no way to know their beliefs. We can only humbly imagine, and carry on with our actions, hoping to convince them about our aim- if they aren’t on board with us already. The endless uncertainty of this situation is a new feeling for me, I vividly remember feeling stripped of all labels and just being <<a person>>, a random person on the street, asking for seemingly the most basic thing in the world, to be treated as a person, should that be so hard?
On August 7th I arrived in picturesque Ommen, ready to start my adventure in Youth Activist Camp, without knowing what to expect. From day one everyone was so friendly, accepting and created a space where everyone felt safe and comfortable. Starting with a positive attitude and willingness to learn and make new friends I began my journey. The adventures and workshops were amazing. We were given the chance to explore the city and ourselves. I made beautiful friendships, met amazing people, but more than just the fun this project was impactful. It allowed us to express ourselves fully through the lense of activism and truly feel like we can be the change. Through street actions, digital activism, art and teamwork we created amazing things that we will be bringing back to our countries and apply in our lives so we can bring actual change. I fully suggest this experience and would go back any day.