Saturday, February 25, 2017

YAGO Youth Activism Generates Opportunity Youth Exchange - INTERVIEW WITH THE GROUP

Name of the project: YAGO - Youth Activism Generates Opportunity
Date: 10th Jan-18th Jan 2017
Country/City: Greece, Thessaloniki

What was the main topic of the event?

Jane Meriloo: Youth Activism. How to be a youth activist, how to stand for Your rights and what kind of opportunities are there in that field.

Ethel Ütsmüts: The main topic was youth activism, social activism and volunteerism.Pavel Belõhh: Human Rights

Merilin Jõesaar: Youth activism

What was the biggest learning moments on the event for you?

Jane Meriloo: That together You can make a big impact in other people lives. You have several ways how to stand for Your rights and You can use them all (social media, social experiment etc). I got to be a part of a social experiment and because of that I got to see for the first time ever through my own experience what it's like to be an activist. It felt great.

Pavel Belõhh: I understood on the project, the power of company. When you are alone you will make less, than if you are with a big company. Every game we were playing in project was in company, and we made a lot of useful things.

Ethel Ütsmüts: The other people really inspired me. There were a lot of people who had taken part in all kinds of different projects and to see so many young people already with such experiences, I really admired that.

Merilin Jõesaar: We gained more knowledge about the human rights, which was a topic I'd oddly never had had discussions about.
                  Do you have any plans to continue active in the field? If yes, what?

Jane Meriloo: Yes, now I know that we (youth) have the power to make a change and it doesn't take a lot to make an impact on the society. So I can do it myself if I feel like have to.

Pavel Belõhh: Yes, I want to participate in another youth exchange projects, and be an EVS volunteer in short programs.

Ethel Ütsmüts: I would partake in volunteering programmes or find another projects work/study abroad for an amount of time.

Merilin Jõesaar: I have some plans for the future, but if I say them out loud they might not truly happen ;)Would you recommend it to your friends? I yes, why? If not, why not?

Jane Meriloo: Yes, it was a well organized project, great people, and I got some new knowledge, too.

Pavel Belõhh: Yes I already recommended to my friends. Because it is very interesting moment in life, in one week you may get so much feelings, which you won’t get in years of routine life.

Ethel Ütsmüts: I would recommend youth programmes to my friends - the experience never goes to waste. There are so many interesting people in the world to meet, who will influence and inspire in so many ways and the topics in youth programmes are there for a reason - they matter and the world needs active young people to take any kind of action in terms of a better place for us to live in.

Merilin Jõesaar: For sure! It is always great to gain more experience and look outside of your own small little world :)

More comments or anything else you would like to share? You can add here in your own language, if you want!

Pavel Belõhh: Всё было замечательно, организация на высшем уровне, я рад что молодёжь имеет такую возможность, участвовать в такого рода проектах.

Ethel Ütsmüts: What I learned the most is not actually anything that has to do with the topic of the programme. It was actually working together with others, people from other nations and cultures. Living in Estonia and being surrounded by different Estonians is much more different than being surrounded by different cultures The difference is really there and I loved to listen to others sharing their opinions about the world and more.
Merilin Jõesaar: Take part of these projects and be happy and active in general :))
This Project was financed by European Commission's Erasmus + Programme

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


 Name of the project: Games 4 US
Date: 07th – 15th February 2017
Country/City: Turkey/Usak

What was the main topic of the event?

Priit Amer - The main topic was games – theory of games, variety of games and game styles, what is gamification and what does it take to create games.

Raido Väinsar - The main topic of the event was how games are developed, how to make life fun through gamification and how gamification can be implemented into teaching and learning.

What was the biggest learning moments on the event for you?

Priit Amer - The biggest learning moment without any doubt was definitely when we created our own games within groups and the next day went to test ‘em with students in the local highschool. It of course was a challenge for our games and showed us what to change for improvement, but most of all gave us a rear opportunity to see the school-life in Turkey and to talk with local youngsters  - something I’ll remember for a long time.

Raido Väinsar - The biggest learning moment for me was that it takes a lot of research and testing to develop a game that will appeal both to the creators and for the target groups. Because what might seem like a great idea for the game-maker might not have the same effect on the player. So you need a lot of trial and error to make progress. Also that gamifying is a great way to get people to actively participate in everyday, otherwise inconvenient, unexciting or repetitive activities.

Do you have any plans to continue active in the field? If yes, what?

Priit Amer - Yes of course I plan to continue attending on those kind of activities, since they’ve gave me so much and taught me priceless life lessons that formal education just can’t give you, where as in non-formal education only the sky seems to be the limit.

Raido Väinsar - I will surely continue to be active in the field. These kinds of non-formal learning activities are hugely rewarding, insightful and very educational. Not only do you learn specific topics, you also experience first-hand how they work and what’s it like to collaborate with people from completely different backgrounds for a common cause. Making this a very personal and precious memory.

Would you recommend it to your friends? If yes, why? If not, why not?

Priit Amer - For sure I’d recommend it to my friends, in fact I attended this activity with my friend and I know he liked it a lot. I think the biggest benefit of those sort of activities is the concept of non-formal education, which just changes your world regarding education as such, since it is the quite opposite of school based learning and it is done in a playful, fun and enjoyable way, but at the same time you do learn a lot.

Raido Väinsar - I will definitely recommend it to my friends. Everyone should have the chance to take a journey to get educated and to broaden one’s mind but most of all because it’s fun and an experience of a lifetime.

More comments or anything else you would like to share? You can add here in your own language, if you want!

Priit Amer - Though the survival mode was on from the beginning already, due to some unexpected difficulties, it turned out to be one of the best projects I’ve been in. Many thanks to the organizers who we’re very helpful, competent and managed to create very nice atmosphere, but most of all to the other participants without whom it wouldn’t’ve been possible. And also many thanks to Noored Ühiskonna Heaks, who made our journey there possible and supported us a lot before the project.

Raido Väinsar - Thank you Noored Ühiskonna Heaks for the support and giving me the opportunity to go on this unforgettable journey! Thank you organisers of Games 4 US! for all that you taught us, your guidance, you kind help and your unbelievable hospitality! And last but definitely not least, Thank you all the lovely people I had the chance to meet on the way. Without you this trip wouldn’t have been nearly as magical. But as you all said - This is just the beginning.

This Project was financed by European Commission's Erasmus + Programme

Monday, February 13, 2017


Name of the project: Eco Building for Future
Date: 17th to 23rd January 2017
Country/City: Spain/ Málaga

What was the main topic of the event?

Hanna Reilson - Eco
building and environmental awareness. During the week we discussed and developed our knowledge about the topic. Also we had a practical goal to build a prototype of a dry ecotoilet, which will use the capacity of compost to create organic fertilizer. Also we used recycled materials. It was funny to think that young people from different countries are coming together to build an eco-toilet. Later I had to admit that it was great way to promote teamwork and to bring the whole group together.

Kristiin Sulg - The main topic of the event was to get a real experience of building a prototype of a dry eco-toilet. Even though, the majority of our time was spent to actually build it, we had an opportunity to study some new theoretical knowledge of ecobuildings. 
The idea of this training was also to let young people to be creative and to learn new building techniques that might be useful in the future.

What was the biggest learning moments on the event for you?

Hanna Reilson - Well, for me it was the very first time to build a dry eco-toilet. So the whole thing was like a big learning-process which gave me a lot of new experiences and developed my skills.

Kristiin Sulg - I found myself thinking about the importance of a team-work. I have worked in different teams before, but every new experience is useful. If there is a certain work allocation in a project, every participant has to be open-minded to every opinion and idea.
This training asserted me that every member of the team must be cooperative to feel the unity and power in a team.

Do you have any plans to continue active in the field? If yes, what?

Hanna Reilson - For sure I’m trying to live and act more ecofriendly. And who knows, maybe someday I’m really going to use my new building skills as well.

Kristiin Sulg - In truth, I am not telling you that I am going to be active in building eco-toilets. But I am very thankful because I had experience like this. This training was important to me as I understand now the importance of environment even more.
Every person in the world has a power to be more environmentally friendly. We have to start with small steps.

Would you recommend it to your friends? If yes, why? If not, why not?

Hanna Reilson - Yes, of course! It’s such a great opportunity to learn and develop yourself!

Kristiin Sulg - Yes, I will recommend it to my friends! This was my first experience in training like this as well. I am really glad I decided to participate in it, even though I was a bit afraid of it at first. But there’s nothing to worry about!
In my opinion, young people have so many opportunities to explore the world, different cultures and people. Why not to join in? Taking part in diverse projects will broaden your mind in different ways.
To sum it up, I’d like to share with you this quote: “Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show”.

More comments or anything else you would like to share? You can add here in your own language, if you want!

Kristiin Sulg - I would like to thank the organizers of this project. They worked so hard to make it happen. And our trainers were amazing. It was a wonderful time with all the organizers, trainers and our team. 

This Project was financed by European Commission's Erasmus + Programme

Thursday, February 9, 2017

EVS: joint venture for fostering social inclusion, active participation and solidarity - KAAREL LUGUS - 6 MONTHS EVS IN SICILY - English Article!

Sicily, sweet Sicily.

My idea to go to EVS came out of nowhere, i just were sitting on my bed one day and started to think about my life. After few hours of hard brain activity i found out that i need some changes in my life and the idea was to go to other country to see other culture and lifestyle.

So i started to search the almighty internet for different organisations that are sending people to EVS projects. After a while i found a MTÜ Noored Ühiskonna heaks. 
I was super happy because i had a change to be in there training course one year before and i knew the people in that organisation. I contacted the organisation and we had a meeting where they said that there is a possibility to go to Sicily for a half year EVS project. After that i had a skype conversation with the hosting organisation from Sicily and everything went good. I were finally accepted to EVS project!

Few weeks later i had all my stuff packed, got my plane tickets and all the information that i needed thanks to sending organisation.

The day my life changed...

I got on the plane in Estonia and had all the good wishes and hugs and kisses with me to go see the world! 
So few hours later i land in Sicily, Palermo airport, got my luggage and started to go to my hostel where i had to stay one night, but it was not so easy that i was expecting. It was already 20.00 when i came off the airplane so the bus line from airport to city center did not work anymore, so i took a taxi and got off in front of my hostel what was already closed. After a hour thanks to the hosting organisation i got to my room and went for the first walk in Sicily, Palermo. It was so nice awesome and at the same time little bit scary. 
Next day i found my bus station and took a bus to the city that i had to meet my hosting organisation - Mussomeli!

First impression...

I came off the bus in Mussomeli and the first person i saw where the president of the organisation, Jose, who was just the perfect personality and from that day on i knew we well get along just perfect. They showed me my room and all the house where we should live and work. It was just perfect! The city was small but at the same time it was just perfect and calm and friendly place that i imagined to be!

Few weeks later..

When i was feeling that everything is perfect and all the people i was surrounded where good i started to feel distance from my family and from my friends but all that you need is a PC and Skype and my feelings got better. So i realized that whoever you are and whereever you are don't matter if you have good friend and people around you who are supporting you!

My weeks in Sicily and activities..

Our group main activities where to teach English in schools to students, help to build to local green parks to look nicer and to make local projects.. and this was just perfect for me and i enjoyed all of it.

My main problem...

When we had group meeting and we where discussing about what we where learning,where i always found that i didn't learn something new, until i got back to Estonia and every month i found something new about myself that i learned in EVS and realize it now.

EVS changes lifes!

This Project was financed by European Commission's Erasmus + Programme

Monday, February 6, 2017

Inclusion with Disadvantage Youth with Art Youth Exchange - INTERVIEW WITH REILI LEHIS

Name of the project: “Inclusion with Disadvantage Youth with Art”
Date: 23rd until 30th January 2017
Country/City: Usak, Turkey

What was the main topic of the event?

The main topic of the youth exchange was “Inclusion with Disadvantage Youth with Art”. The aims of the project were:
- create awareness among young people about inclusion and discrimination;
- promote art and use as a tool of participation young people:
- to increase the participation of young people with using their creativity;
- increasing the visibility of Eramus+ program in Ušak and increasing the participation of local youth to such programs.
During the project we were supposed to implement workshops on the topic of inclusion and do outside activities related to art (painting, music and dance) and flashmobs to create local awareness.

Estonian group had to admit that the actions and workshops promised in the schedule were not fully arranged. During the first days we focused on getting to know one another and made a few interesting group works and assignments about the topics of inclusion, empowerment, disadvantages and discrimination. Getting to know each other is always fascinating - participants from Estonia, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, United Kingdom and Greece bonded quickly and this was the basis of the group works being interesting, fulfilling and fun. 

Unfortunately we did not focus on the methods and ideas of the inclusion through art nor did we implement the workshops for painting and creating flashmobs outside. Fortunately we had some very talented people among the participants who entertained us and helped our whole group to include each other with their singing, dancing and playing an instrument.

What was the biggest learning moments on the event for you?

The biggest learning moment was to learn patience and the art of going with the flow. In Estonia we are so used to everything happening on time and according to the schedule. Since there were many uncertainties and change of plans throughout the weeklong project, instead of giving up or being frustrated we chose to have fun, accept the changes and go with the flow. Sometimes letting go can help you to make the best of something.

Another learning moment is about people – even if we did not fully focus on the project topic, it was still so much fun and we could learn plenty from other participants’ ideas, country, culture and talents.

In conclusion, being open-minded, accepting surprises and uncertainty, and going with the flow helps us to be more creative, learn more and connect to people. 

With not many tourists visiting, local people in Usak mostly do not speak English, so shopping in the bazaars and little shops helped us develop the skills of body language and being more creative for understanding each other.

Do you have any plans to continue active in the field? If yes, what?

In this case the plan to continue in the field should be introducing ourselves the theories of inclusion of disadvantaged youth with art. 

Brief introduction to the theory of inclusion and discrimination was interesting and made us think that art, in its different variations, really is a good and effective way to include young people to social activities and show themselves in the community.

Would you recommend it to your friends? I yes, why? If not, why not?

I would definitely recommend taking part of Erasmus+ projects. Participating in projects is a perfect opportunity to share ideas, find friends from around Europe, introduce your own country in the best way possible to get people interested in coming to Estonia and learn or practice language skills.

Another interesting thing is that these projects can take place in any city and this is how you can visit a place you would otherwise never visit  – for example this project took place in Ušak, Turkey, which is about 500 km from Istanbul – for Turks it is a small city, with 500 000 people. For us it was a way to walk in this city as locals and observe the everyday life of local people.

During the project you can find out more about the mindsets, customs and talents because all the participants spend their time together doing group works and assignments during the daytime and having fun, dancing and singing in the evening. 

After the project, our hearts are filled with joy and admiration – how lucky are we do meet all these inspiring and amazing people. Together we experienced interesting and chaotic days that will be in our memories forever.

The group was composed by Reili Lehis, Hedi Teidearu, Renata Lukk, Kadi Käsner and Kristel Sarapuu. 

This Project was financed by European Commission's Erasmus + Programme

Friday, February 3, 2017

Conflict Transformation through Culture Training Course - INTERVIEW WITH ELISA KIVILA, CHRIZTI TINT AND INGA ULM

Name of the project: Conflict Transformation through Culture: Intercultural Conflict Management in Youth Work
Date: 18.01.2017 - 25.01.2017

What was the main topic of the event?
Elisa Kivila - The main topic of the event was to learn about the characteristics of knowledge of intercultural conflict management approach, to develop new perspectives by experiencing cultural differences, needs, values and positions. In addition, to integrate the intercultural conflict management approach into fields where they work in order to transform conflicts in the youth field.
Chrizti Tint - Main topic was how to manage conflicts in youth work.
Inga Ulm - Conflict transformation through culture.

What was the biggest learning moments on the event for you?
Elisa Kivila - One of the biggest learning moments was definitely learning about other culture and countries’ problems from people all over Europe. As we had a lot of workshops with groups, we learned a lot about main concerns in different countries. In addition to that, I also liked that we had to analyze ourselves and how we act in conflict situation. That helped us to understand our strengths and weaknesses during conflicts and how to use them. Also, we experienced how diverse are peoples’ points of view on the same topic and how differently they deal with these situations and find solutions.  
Chrizti Tint - I learned a lot about different countries and about myself also.
Inga Ulm - Realizing, what kind of problems are there in different countries/cultures and how they are created, what can be the root problem.
Learning, how different people are, their mindset, world view and background. Together we can create much more than alone. Also, if you have friends in different countries, you are much more tolerable to anything that happens in the world and understanding, why some people act as they do.

Do you have any plans to continue active in the field? If yes, what?
Elisa Kivila - I think that conflict management could be really useful for everyone, in spite of what your major/occupation is, because in everyday life we challenge conflicts with other people as well as with ourselves. In the future I would like to be involved with similar trainings for sure.
Chrizti Tint - I am sure that I will continue doing different projects and make new friends/contacts because if you do it once, you can’ stop anymore.
Inga Ulm - Might happen yes, because during the project I realized that meeting with all those people, facilitating and having discussions about this kind of important topics can be something I am passionate about

Would you recommend it to your friends? I yes, why? If not, why not?
Elisa Kivila - I would and I will definitely recommend these kind of projects to my friends. It seems quite unbelievable how much can you learn in a week from different people with different backgrounds, cultures, experiences, etc. The trainers have really good ways to bring work and fun together, so basically you get smarter while you are having fun J Also, it is a great way to visit some other country and learn about its culture.
Chrizti Tint - Certainly I will recommend participate in these kinds of projects, it was life-changing experience for me.
Inga Ulm - Definitely, because only like that you can understand how the world is functioning, what the most important values in your life are and what it means to have a real friend in another country. This kind of projects are perfect for developing you step by step, improving social skills and gaining knowledge.

More comments or anything else you would like to share? You can add here in your own language, if you want!
Elisa Kivila - In general I really liked the whole concept of the project – all the 36 participants who attended were amazing, the trainers, organizers of the projects were great, of course the training itself was useful and interesting and Istanbul is a really magical city. Also, I have to mention all the workshops, simulation games and role plays that made the training even more exciting and fun! I would really recommend these projects to everyone – it is a good way to make friends all over the world and as they say that you know it’s a great story when it starts off with “When I was on Erasmus +….”
Inga Ulm - It was one of the best experiences I have had so far. It made me see my own country and the world from another perspective and gave me lots of ideas, thoughts about what I want to do further in my life.

This Project was financed by European Commission's Erasmus + Programme