From 19 to 27 October, the “Empowering” youth exchange took place in Hungary. It took place in a small village called Pàkozd, a 45-minute bus ride from Budapest. The project involved about 40 participants from six countries: Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic and Greece. In addition to the participants, volunteers from Estonia, Germany and Spain took part in the project. The company was also provided by 4 dogs.

The theme of the project was human rights and, as such, many of the workshops focused on human rights, their importance and the current situation in the world and in Europe. The most memorable of these was the collage making session, where four groups had to create a collage according to instructions, but unbeknownst to the participants, one group received a completely illegible and incomprehensible set of instructions. Later we discussed how the others had not noticed that one group was different from the others and the feelings this evoked in all of us. In several workshops, we were able to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and imagine what our lives would have been like. In addition, we hiked a local forest trail, meditated in nature, went canoeing and visited the town of Szèkesfehèrvár. In the town we did a flash mob to promote Erasmus+ opportunities, dancing and giving free hugs.

Some evenings we had the chance to talk about Czechia and learn about the culture of other countries. On a Hungarian evening, a local folk music ensemble came to sing, play music and teach us dances.
Another great thing about the project was that everyone got to put a cello with one of their favourite songs in a separate box and at the beginning of each workshop we listened to the song of someone’s choice. There were also a few secret friends.

It was a very memorable project for all of us, with lots of new contacts, knowledge and interesting experiences. It was really nice to spend some time in a little isolated village to get away from the big city noise and enjoy the sounds of nature.
Everybody should go on an Erasmus+ project at least once. They change you and give you a different perspective (empathy, acceptance, knowledge of the world), especially for those who have only lived in one place all their lives and have only seen one side of the world.