Meet the participants in the Youth Exchange In Your Shoes

Group photo with all participants from the youth exchange In Your Shoes

In October, Association FOR YOU hosted the youth exchange In Your Shoes, which brought together 24 participants from 4 European countries. The main objective of the project was to support the social inclusion of young people with different opportunities, to get acquainted with other cultures and to feel themselves as part of a larger community – European and international, to develop tolerance and solidarity among young people through methods of art and non-formal education. Today we will introduce you to Mike from the Dutch group, Mario from the Romanian group and Vasko from Bulgaria.

Work session

Hello! Please introduce yourself with a few words?

Mike: Hi, I’m Mike Smit, 28 years old and I have a mixed background Dutch and American.

Mario: My name is Tihon Mario Paul, I am 19 years old, I come from Romania.

Vasko: Hi! My name is Vasil Stoyanov, I’m 29 years old from Varna. For the moment I don’t do anything special in particular.

Is this the first youth exchange you participate in?

Mike: It was my first you exchange.

Mario: I have been in the Erasmus + program in Spain, Granada.

Vasko: The exchange in which I took part in Varna wasn’t my first one. I’ve been taking part in such projects for three years now – last year I participated in another youth project of Association FOR YOU. I think that they are important for the young people in Bulgaria.

What did you learn in the youth exchange “In your shoes”?

Mike: There was a lot to learn about the different cultures and there ins and outs

Mario: I learned about each country that participated in something and I had a wonderful experience.

Vasko: Theсе exchanges give you a lot. They allow you to look at the thing from different points of view.

What did you like the most in the youth exchange “In your shoes” and of the Bulgarian way of living?

Mike: In the youth exchange the most I like was the positive vibe that was there even though at the start people were acting very compartmentalised and to their own, the positivity was something you could not go around since the start of the exchange. What I liked the most about the Bulgarian way of living is the openness to strangers I noticed this on the day’s I explored the city on my own and the 1 night we went to the bar. It’s not something that would happen as easily in the Netherlands.

Mario: Most of all I liked the outdoor activities.

Vasko: Meeting youngsters from different countries and communicating with them allows you to synchronise your watch with the others and see how you are moving in time. Also, you can learn something about them, you can rediscover yourself and after the project, you can change something new in yourself.

Did you learn something new about yourself? What?

Mike: I wouldn’t say anything new however it was a week that did a lot of good for me I really needed a week of just positivity to break my circle of a negative environment.

Mario: I learned that you can handle a new country without knowing the language.

Vasko: The exchange confirmed to me that I have become more independent. This gives me a push to welcome and deal with the challenges to come from now on.

What are your future plans?

Mike: Hopefully, I am able to join more projects like this and meet even more wonderful people in the meantime I will continue my cooking and think of the wonderful experience the project gave me.

Mario: To take international lifesaving courses and to go to a country where something like that is needed.

Vasko: My plans for the future are to travel the world. Only the time will show where and when this plan will come true.

We thank all those who were with us and wish them good luck! If you want to know how to get involved in an international project, you can read more information about the different types of youth programs on this link.