From November 10 to 21, a second-year student of the major "International relations, public communications and regional studios" of Mariupol State University Sofiia Pidtynna took part in the youth exchange "Be confident". The project was implemented within the framework of the Erasmus + credit mobility program.
The international exchange brought together young people from Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia, Lithuania, Turkey and Ukraine in Comănești (county Bacău, Romania).
The project was dedicated to inclusion in society. The participants studied the peculiarities of tolerant attitude towards children with disabilities, discussed how to behave with such children and what can be done to make their lives better. During the program, active youth studied the statistics of the number of people with diagnoses in Ukraine and tried to find out how the state helps them. In her spare time, the student had the opportunity to get acquainted with Romania.
On the first day, the organizers arranged for us an interesting acquaintance with the city – divided the participants into groups and gave the task for a photo-flashmob. We were to take pictures with the Romanian flag, on the river, near the city hall building and with a horse in harness. It was very original, we combined the useful with the pleasing. Also one day we went to Iași to hold a dance flash mob right on the street, in the city center! With the help of this flashmob, we meant to show that all people are equal, and that there should be no discrimination: neither racial, nor age, nor gender.
Every evening within the framework of the project, intercultural evenings were held, where young people had the opportunity to present the culture, traditions and customs of their country. The team of Ukraine prepared a traditional snack canape of black bread with a piece of salo, top decorated with pickles. The students also played a game "Broken phone", the purpose of which was to teach representatives of other countries melodious and, sometimes, complex Ukrainian words, for example, "реготати", "хмарочос", "кохання". Thus, an intercultural dialogue was formed between the participants.
According to Sofiia, she adopted some habits from the representatives of the European States participating in the project, changed her views and became closer to European values.
I decided to take part in the project because I was interested in the topic. I did not have a broad knowledge of what we do in Ukraine for people with disabilities. My first thought: I'm interested, I want to know more. Second thought: I want to help, I want to change something and make it better. I went to Romania for experience, knowledge and new emotions. Thanks to the project, I became more aware of the issue of inclusion. Now I know how to be tolerant with children with disabilities, what kind of attitude they require to themselves. Besides, I was able to recharge with positive emotions, get inspiration, find like-minded people and expand the boundaries of consciousness. The project "Be confident" has certainly changed me for the better.
As a result of the program, participants received certificates "Youthpass", which contain information about participation in the project from Erasmus+, the results and competencies.