From 5 February to 15 February the team of the NGO "Cultural and Educational Platform "Sense" consisting of students and graduates of Mariupol State University participated in the youth exchange ("Sharing different history, Shaping Common Future"). The project is implemented under the Erasmus + credit mobility program.
The international exchange brought together young people from Greece, Cyprus, Armenia, Turkey, Moldova, Bulgaria, Belarus and Ukraine in Paralimni (Republic of Cyprus). Svitlana Arabadzhi, an associate professor of the History Studies Department, Oleksandra Vorotilova, a master’s degree student of the major "History and Archeology", Alina Tanasova, a student of the major "History and Archeology", and Serhiy Rashevsky, a student of major "Translation (Italian)" took part in the project.
Every day the participants told each other about significant events in the history of their countries. Young people prepared interesting presentations about primitive society, the ancient world, the Middle Ages, modern times. Among other things, the participants shared stories about the current changes that their countries have undergone and their own thoughts on the future.
When I talked about the occupation of Crimea, the foreigners were most surprised by the fact that Crimean Tatars were imprisoned for supporting the Ukrainian movement. I was stunned by the story of a participant from Cyprus who shared her personal tragedy. In 1974, the Turkish military invaded northern Cyprus and the girl's family was forced to flee her home. There was a guy from Turkey in our group who said that he did not approve of the government's decision at the time to forcibly "maintain peace in Cyprus",
– Olexandra Vorotilova.
I was most impressed by the story of the Greek team about the uprising of Athens Polytechnic students against the ruling military dictatorship. Young people have embarked on the path of the struggle for democracy, which they have paid at the cost of their own lives. Foreigners were most shocked by how long the Ukrainian language has been banned and how many Ukrainians have been victims of repression,
– Alina Tanasova.
Foreign participants of the project were interested in the fact that our ancestors in the late Paleolithic period used animal bones as musical instruments. For example, the musical instrument of a mammoth's shoulder blade and deer's horn was used by the ancients for a drum. What surprised me the most was that there was no the Paleolithic age in Cyprus at all,
– Serhiy Rashevsky.
During the trips, the project participants were able to travel through different eras and see with their own eyes the main historical monuments of Cyprus: the Neolithic settlement of Hirokitia, the ancient theater and the ruins of Kourion, the medieval Ottoman fortress of Larnaca. Young people spent their free time in the city of Limassol, which impressed them with its multiculturalism.
In addition, the participants repeatedly acquainted each other with the culture and customs of their countries. Students from Ukraine introduced foreigners to traditional dishes, dances and the beauty of nature of their motherland.
During the last two days of their stay in Cyprus, the participants created videos, memes, presentations and infographics about youth exchange, as well as prepared various activities for pupils, such as: games, dances, energizers.
At the end of the program, the participants received Youthpass certificates, which contain the information about participation in the Erasmus + project, the results obtained and competencies.