YE en Croacia. Del 27 de abril al 7 de mayo, 6 chicos y chicas participaron de la mano de Mundus en el intercambio juvenil “They are here!” en la isla croata de Stomorska gracias al programa Erasmus+. Allí pusieron en común sus conocimientos e inquietudes sobre la situación migratoria europea y los problemas de integración que los migrantes y refugiados encuentran en los diferentes países que integran nuestro continente.

Compartimos con vosotras esta nota de prensa con toda la información sobre lo que dio de sí este proyecto. Si quieres participar en una experiencia similar no dejes de consultar nuestras oportunidades de cursos e intercambios Erasmus+ en el extranjero.

We all have our life goals and wishes that we are ready to dedicate our self to a certain extreme in order to make them come to be; fulfilment, success in work, love, game, science… These all pale with the wish for a better and safer life, and that wish is currently herding millions of people from their ancient homes in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southwest Asia towards us, towards Europe! These people are our reality no matter our stance on the matter and we should all be aware that they are already here, among us, working, living and hopefully integrating, an undeniably two way process. The best we can do, whether we are for or against their immigration, is to strive towards achieving a functional co-existence which will benefit both sides. This very notion, that far from developing a solution to the issue during the project which is a silly notion, we should seek to understand it and raise our and other people’s awareness of migrants and their background reasons through workshops, discussions, exchange of ideas and viewpoints and hearing the other side. This all has the goal of empowering us as individuals so that we may approach this topic as informed and responsible citizens of the EU.

VoVo and our partners “Forme” from Italy, “Mostar Friedensprojekt e.V.” from Germany, “Asociacion Mundus – Un Mundo a tus Pies –“ from Spain, “Asociacija “Aktyvus Jaunimas” from Lithuania and “Fundacja Europejski Instytut Outsourcingu” from Poland organized a youth exchange in Stomorska, on the Croatian island of Šolta, with 39 young people from their organisations on the topic of migration. During their stay in sleepy Stomorska they attracted the attention of the local populace and enjoyed the pure nature and the Mediterranean sun. This proved as an ideal surround for the exchange of ideas and opinions which the project promoted since it facilitated peace of mind, thought and discussion, with a healthy dose of Adriatic Sea and sun of course. Our participants envisioned and created multiple activities with the aim of raising their and others awareness about the migrant issue; they conducted a very successful flashmob on the Riva (waterfront promenade) of Split, the second largest city in Croatia, where they attracted the input of hundreds of passers and the gaze of many more that strolled past during high noon. They also created their own theatrical play about immigration in which the spectators played their own role as immigrants crossing the border. This was played during the ending concert event we organized in Stomorska and during it a sum of donations for the Croatian Red Cross was collected by the inhabitants of Stomorska and the participants.

Enriched with new skills, competences, knowledge and experience as well as a sense of success and accomplishment with a project well done, the organizers and participants left Stomorska with a heavy heart. Stomorska gave us a warm reception, the locals received us humanely and logistically, they provided us without charge with their Old school, repurposed for social events and exhibitions, it now adequately fulfilled the role of a Erasmus+ project venue, and we hope it will again in the future! We thank all our local partners in Stomorska for facilitating our stay, the head of the municipality of Šolta Mr. Cecić-Karuzić, the Pelegrin sports and fishing society with mr. Koludrović, local NGOs Help Split, Rusmarin and Buđenje and all others who worked with us during our stay in Stomorska.

This youth exchange created great results and the participants had an interesting introduction to Croatia and we hope they will return to us in the future again. There shall always be problems in our societies which have to be taken seriously such as the migrant tsunami and we will always have a perfect setting to address them and think on them in Stomorska. Our participants learning process is, however, not over. There is still the post-project phase where we will take the spark of awareness we generated on the youth exchange back to our local communities. We will organize workshops, presentations, lectures, public events, flashmobs etc. at home and use the competences we gained and the results of the project as means to raise awareness in our own fellow countrymen, for those arriving seek that above all, to be our fellow countrymen also…

Project outputs:

Compound social media campaign:

The days of written media as the main means of disseminating information are past. We live in a modern, interconnected world where the lifeblood of our societies, information, flows through virtual veins of the internet. Therefore, there is no better way of reaching out to others, especially young people, than by means of social media, the foremost of which in the West is Facebook. Our participants revived the group generated during our earlier awarded Erasmus+ training course “Stop disCRIMEination” in Zagreb and compounded on the existing thousand members soon to be an equal amount of new ones. We will use this platform as one of the principal ones for reaching out to our target audiences with the project outputs and thus achieving our aims of bettering our societies through responsible citizenship and critical thought. We are sure that our current results of over 200 new likes and 1870 clicks in the first week will be expanded even more in the future!

Photo and video products:

Photo gallery !

We talked about migrants with local community and asked them for their opinion, here are some collage of thoughts.

During the migrant crisis, the greatest impact on our opinions and feeling have always been the videos and photos of human tragedy. The most significant by far being the infamous image of young Alan Kurdi face down in the beach sand where there would usually be crowds of joyous tourists. Truly, the picture tells a thousand words and equally amount of feelings, the video serves the same purpose, 24 times per second more. To view the two gives context and feeling to a story and we wanted to show our story to all those interested. The world is not black and white, and that’s why we stand for a colourful world.

Participants did video interview, here you can watch it !

Flashmob in Split – “Paint for a colourful world”:

A colourful world, a dream of common prosperity and peaceful coexistence, an idea worth living and dying for. This was the background of our “Paint for a colourful world” manifestation in Split during which the participants created a Flashmob in which they invited the local community to leave their mark on a great white sheet with the slogan “Paint for a colourful world”. They left their mark in the form of a colourful handprint on the white background, a vivid reminder that we all leave the same mark, no matter which colour it is…

The crowd involvement surpassed our expectations and the sheet filled up very fast so we concluded our Flashmob successfully within just an hour! Many of the participants wished to continue so they did so on their own initiative as they spread out throughout the city centre of Split. Of great aid was our local partner, HELP Split, which invited us to prepare for the Flashmob in its own quarters and showed us around the city.

The Flashmob was a resounding success and many of the people that participated inquired about our project, our mission, our background and discovered not only their interest and opinion about migrants, but also an awareness of our European dimension, our joint citizenship and responsibility to work together on a bright future which is Europa.

Concert and theatrical play:

This youth exchange above all sought also to disseminate the outputs of this project to the local and foreign populations so that many more might learn and benefit from our work. For the locals they prepared an open event with a theatrical play and music after and in advance prepared flyers and posters about it which they disseminated through Šolta.

The theatrical play brought us a story of migrants crossing a border and all that they experience during it, from wickedness to genuine compassion. The actors were all present, the spectators were the migrants crossing the border alongside the participant group which prepared the play in the main roles. We all had the opportunity to feel on our own skin they terror of the ruthless border guards, the cold of the night air under a simple blanket, the meagre food and water which they are offered and the beautiful and heart-breaking moments migrants experience in their mission to Europe.

During this final event we also organized a fundraiser for the Croatian Red Cross which deals with migrants transiting through Croatia. The participants and the local population contributed what they could and would give and all the proceeds have been transferred to the Red Cross in the name of the Project. Organisations as the Red Cross are of crucial importance in this migrant crisis since states are often slow or unwilling to help and the first responders are always the civil society and responsible citizens.