“Everyday is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor, we’ve got 24 hours each.”
― Christopher Rice
The Youth Exchange
The project “We are all Timebankers” took place in the city of Pontevedra, in Galicia (Spain) between 8th to 16 of May 2019. The youth exchange involved youngsters from five countries (Spain, Greece, Slovenia, Portugal and Spain) who had been selected for their motivation.
The methods used in the Youth Exchange were those of non-formal education and experiential learning, including creative sessions, debates and active inter-cultural learning processes that encouraged young people to become active citizens and to share their gained understanding and knowledge with others. In doing so, we also pursued to help the participants to improve their social skills and employment skills and their access to the working market.
The concept of Timebanking
Timebanking is a time-based currency. You give one hour of service to another, and you receive one-time credit. You can use the credits in turn to receive services — or you can donate them to others.
The focus of Timebanking is on our value as human beings. It seeks to connect us through the relationships we create through giving and receiving. It operates in this way as a complement to the money-dominated world we inhabit.
Designed to increase our individual and community well-being, Timebanking takes place through exchanges by members as they give and receive services to each other, or through group and community activities and projects. Members can include individuals, groups and organizations.
The Five Core Values of Timebanking
In his book No More Throw-Away People, Edgar Cahn listed four values that stand at the heart of successful timebanking and have stood the test of time. Later, he added a fifth.
Asset: Every one of us has something of value to share with someone else.
Redefining Work: There are some forms of work that money will not easily pay for, like building strong families, revitalizing neighbourhoods, making democracy work, advancing social justice. Time credits were designed to reward, recognize and honour that work.
Reciprocity: The question: “How can I help you?” needs to change so we ask: “Will you help someone too?” Paying it forward ensures that, together, we help each other build the world we all will live in.
Community/Social Networks: Helping each other, we reweave communities of support, strength & trust. Community is built by sinking roots, building trust, creating networks.
Respect: The heart and soul of democracy lie in respect for others. We strive to respect where people are in the moment, not where we hope they will be at some future point.
Here is what the Greek team has to say about their experience.
It has been my first time taking part in a Youth Exchange program and at the beginning, I didn’t know what exactly to expect, BUT it has been better than any expectations I might have had. Firstly, I had the opportunity to explore another part of Europe and share my journey with passionate young people. Secondly, through interactive workshops and creative group activities, I got to engage more in the concept of the program other than just learning theoretically about it. As a conclusion, I feel more equipped and I got to understand a concept that will help me not only in a collaborative space but in my life in general. Thank you to all the organisations and individuals that made this happen!
― Dorothea Kritikou
I have learned how many different ways of helping each other exist and how interesting it is to learn about them. “Timebanking” is a form of contributing to your community in equal terms and getting skills or services in return. I found the whole experience very enlightening and the people I got to know are definitely one of the best aspects of this project.
― Eugenia Tsori
Life changing memories, food for thought, friends like family, motivation and inspiration! Throughout these incredible and unforgettable eight days in Pontevedra, I experienced so many feelings and gained knowledge that changed my way of thinking. I realised that Non-formal education could give you lessons that neither a university nor school can and I feel so lucky for being part of this project! I will never forget that “sharing is caring” and indeed, each one of us individually can “be the change you want to see in the world”!
― Vasiliki Lagou
It was an amazing experience better than I could have ever imagined regarding both the project itself and the people I met. I learned a lot of things that have changed me as a person. I am really grateful that I participated in the project, and I definitely recommend it to everyone who has the chance to go on a youth exchange to do it.
― Emmanouil Kasotakis
I surely learned all about “Timebanking” and how it can work in a community. By helping each other and exchanging skills we reweave communities of support, strength and trust. The most important thing though was meeting passionate people with many interests and knowledge to share. Even though we had different personalities and various ideas respect was one of the main values of the project.
― Aspa Papazisi
I learnt to collaborate with people all over the world, I learnt the concept and the practical applications of “Timebanking” and I got truly inspired to work and create a project in Greece with the same values. Also, I feel that I gained a lot of knowledge regarding other countries and different points of views. Last but not the least I came back to Greece more emotionally and empathically aware thanks to the project which had a lot to do with inequalities, prejudices and respect.
― Aliki Lavda
Source: To learn more about Timebanking visit https://timebanks.org/timebankingabout/
- Posted by Solidarity Mission
- On June 5, 2019