In early august, while most of Latvia was out to enjoy the august holidays, six Latvian youths spiced up the vacations and went to gain new skills, knowledge & experiences in the CulturART youth exchange, that took place in Toruń, one of the oldest and the most beautiful Polish cities.
It all started with about 15 hours in three different buses going to the yet undiscovered city Toruń to meet other young people from Italy, Spain, Slovakia and Poland. We all came together with a common aim to find new ways on how to fight poverty & exclusion and to deconstruct stereotypes and stigmas attached to that topic with the help of art.
Throughout the week we took part in a huge variety of activities: we worked in teams to discuss challenges that socially excluded people are facing & how we can help them, visited a school that has opened a “feeling room” which made for helping kids with difficulties. We participated in music, painting and dance workshops which concluded with final happening in the city to bring our message to a broader audience. Additional to our main activities, we also enjoyed the guided excursion in Torun, we visited the gingerbread museum and made our own gingerbreads, played city orientation competetion in groups, participated in art workshops where we were drawing and painting trees on glass and making little sculptures of clay, and w had a boat trip on Vistula River. We also loved national evenings where we learned about polish, slovakian, italian, spanish culture and enjoyed national dances, songs and kitchen.
These ten days in CulturART youth exchange were one of the best spent days in our summer time: we got new friends with whom we are still connecting via Internet, learned about other cultures and presented ours and shared passion about helping people who are suffering from poverty and social exclusion. Each of us learnt something & grew. If you have such a chance in future, use it, it’s worth it!
- Sandra Jēkabsone, 28 years old
Photos: Sandra Jēkabsone