Attempt to encourage young people to social activities and to increase awareness about opportunities through the implementation of their initiatives are ambitious objectives faced by the coordinators of the 10-day youth exchange “Be active!”, realized in the framework of the Erasmus + in a village called Ranca in Romanian Carpathians.
On 22-31 August 2015 more than thirty people aged 18-30 took part in workshops dedicated to creating a vibrant civil society, getting to know the living conditions of the local community, exchanging their own experiences brought from their countries, and thus, inspiring each other to new, perhaps joint actions. Meeting of young people from Poland (Stowarzyszenie Zmiana Tematu), Romania (Asociatia Tineret pentru Dezvoltare Durabila), Bulgaria (Bulgarian Youth Forum), Italy (Associazione Culturale Beyond Borders Corato) and Turkey (the International Humanist and Ethical Union) gave the opportunity to confront views on a number issues, both current and universal, such as the sense of working for the community, self-realization at various levels, to help others, understanding what different and not always seemingly simple. Working in ethnically mixed groups, we put the problems related to the language barrier, different experiences that have shaped our current views and also learned to open up to new, previously unknown perspective. For over a week we participated in activities such as community interview about the town in which we found ourselves, a public cafe, where we exchanged our opinion on current affairs in the world, shock advertisement, forcing us to be creative in coming up with their own, sensational ideas for social campaigns, simulation debate on immigration, which the structure imposed on us from above roles and positions are not always consistent with our real views. Finally, at the end of the exchange tried, in groups, write your own projects (follow-up). An important task in the early days of the exchange was team building, getting to know the entire group and build mutual trust and confidence, so that each of us was in a comfort zone during class. The time spent on integration will not go to waste – thanks to a better understanding of each other had the chance to establish contacts both useful in the future, and purely friendly. Ten seemingly short days spent in the company of intercultural had a huge potential to attract young people from different parts of Europe theme of civic engagement and show that they can have a real impact on what is happening in their communities – if they so wish.