The Youth Exchange ‘Just Arrange It’ gathered together 48 young people from 8 European countries in February 2019. From 14 till 25 February in Ommen, the Netherlands, the participants had to work on the topic of social entrepreneurship and what the youth can do to take more initiative in life. Through this exchange, they explored what the possibilities are for them to become more entrepreneurial in their life and increase their chances on the labour market.
Keep reading to find out what the Greek team has to say about their experience.
“Social Entrepreneurship. That sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? Well, it was intimidating for me, up until I got the chance to travel to a small village in The Netherlands and learn all about it. The world is changing and along with it our business models. With “Just Arrange It”I understood that entrepreneurs are not the ones that sit behind a table and give commands to other people. An entrepreneur is someone who acts, someone who does. It does not matter if he is 16 or 66, a boy or a girl, has finished business school or is someone that just has a dream that wants to make come true. An entrepreneur is brave enough to take a leap of faith in the unknown and does what needs to be done to achieve their goal. At the beginιng of the program, we had a shared dream, to buy a forest. In 8 days young adults from all around Europe were going to be able to buy a forest. From chaotic brainstorming to calling businesses for sponsorships, booking appointments with them, to pitching our ideas in the streets, creating promotional videos and doing all sort of different fundraising activities. We, a team of intimidated young adults, became entrepreneurs. Learning that in the world in which we live we have to create opportunities for ourselves.”
“‘Just arrange it’ was one of the most unique projects I have ever participated. The location was not only helpful for the implementation of various activities, it was also magical. You could walk into the woods, hear the birds chirping and make the most of the peaceful landscape. The facilitators were really aware of this privilege and made sure to use the space wisely and in accordance with our topic, social entrepreneurship. Through different and oftentimes challenging tasks, we got a clear insight into this multifarious topic which we quickly realised is all about doing and actually taking action. So this is exactly what we were propelled to do. Take action and go out of our comfort zones. We managed to take control of our decisions, to work as a team and use a goal-orientated approach to every problem that would arise. I cannot even describe how different, kind, helpful, willing and just beautiful all the participants were. Always open-minded and outgoing, we opened up to each other and we came closer with our own selves, all at the same time. I feel so greatful for having the chance to meet, dance, cooperate, clean, cook and create meaningful relationships with all those extraordinary people in this extraordinary part of the world. This was a quick reminder for me to never be afraid and Just arrange it! May we meet again soon!”
“I have learnt how to set goals, to control our achievement and manage crises. i developed my team spirit and sense of initiative, I improved my critical spirit and developed my ability to self- express, discuss and debate. Furthermore, i improved a range of social skills such as dispute resolution, communication skills in different environments as well as practice in commonly accepted ways of behavior were part of the learning objectives of the project.”
When i first applied for this exchange I really didn’t know what to expect under the title “social entrepreneurship”. So I travelled to the Netherlands , with 60 people I have never seen before, to live,cook,clean together for 12 days. After the second day when it was announced to us that the plan is to buy a forest (!), every day was a surprise and a challenge. We had to call companies, arrange meetings, travel to villages around Ommen and live the experience, communicate through body language and many more activities that gave me a lot to remember and a “push” to become better and evolve. After being back home for a week I can say that this exchange is an experience I will not forget and I will do my best to go back there.
Anna Eva Beese
“From this experience i learned how much effort it needs to make people interested in talking to you and hear your ideas. I finally did a lot of teamwork and this teamwork brought great results. I believe many people in this project found out what kind of abilities they have, how to use them right so they can create something great out of it. We took initiatives, we insisted, we gave our best, we became each day more and more creative. Also the connection between the people was amazing. We suddenly stoped being people from different countries and we became just people that there was a lot of “give and take” between us. At the brainstorming process i was really amazed by the ideas and the effort to combine them. Our trainers were perfect at their job and they personally helped me to open up to the hole group and not holding back by being shy. Im really greatful for this experience and the people i met and no words are enough to decribe what i did and felt there.”
On May 22nd 2019, Niki Veggou (19) and Κωνσταντίνα Λίτσα (19) organised and implemented a workshop on the topic of communication with the support and promotion of Solidarity Mission. Through none-formal education methods and techniques, that they have learnt during their participation in the Youth Exchange ‘Just Arrange It’ earlier this year, both undergraduate students proved to be excellent facilitators.
You can read the article about their initiative here.
The project happened thanks to our dear friends and partners at Cherry International Foundation and was funded by Erasmus+.
- Posted by Yuli Zhelyazkov
- On June 28, 2019