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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Who Will Save The World Now?

Let's build our world again...Are we competitors working against each other or is the world's future in the hand of cooperation and mutual understanding? These questions were in the Youth's mind when a tall guy with a witty look in his eyes said: "You cannot build your factory there!" The words we heard from Aron van Wiljk during the Perspectivity Game, a game that conveyed the message of sustainable growth. 

Aron is another Dutch participant of the Youth in Action. If you ask Aron what he liked the most about the Youth in Action and GHRD projects he would say: "The people, they are all so kind and nice!" Aron is 19 years old, currently he is studying pedagogical youth care work.  However in the future he would like to continue his education in the field of economics, management or law. Aron is in the Youth Council of Delft (JOUWDELFT), he is actively participating and conducting several projects such as a research about safety among youngsters who are looking for homes or organising a Youth Conference in November. Aron likes to read, learn, discuss politics, religion and philosophy. He also likes to play sports and enjoy biking when the weather is niceLet see what are his thoughts on this interesting game, the Perspectivity Game.
Monday 20th of August 2012

The Perspectivity Game

This game was about the way we see our future – perspective.  We split up the group and play with teams of two youngsters. facilitator from the Perspectivity Network gave us a the rules of the game. We started the game by not knowing what the numbers on the board meant. Every team was representing a country that wanted to expand their economy by building factories. Some factories gave pollution and others don’t, but the non-pollution factory was far more expensive than the factory that caused pollution. All the pollution in the world caused disasters which hit certain factories (hit by number of the dice). After a few rounds we could discuss with the other teams about what to do against the disasters. Our group decided to built non-pollution factories. After that decision we weren’t hit by any environmental crisis. The goal of the game was to revenue points (every factory is counted as one point). Competing with the other teams and the other half of the group.  The other group didn’t made a change and continued building factories that caused pollution, they got hit by several crisis, they didn’t managed to develop their own country and by that, the whole world.
Conclusion of this game? It’s a fun game, communication works, we’re all sharing this world so we should solve problems, together, at the same time.

The Perceptivity game makes you change the way you see, how to behave or act in any kind of development. The game is made by a non-profit organization and known all over the world. Even several of big companies and universities played it. If you are interested in the game check out the website for more information

A Little Stop for a Piece of Whipped Cream Heaven

When we look back to Youth in Action week,  there are tons of memories printed on Justyna's photos thanks to her passion for  photography. Let us introduce her. Justyna Waruszewska, 23 year old  graduate student from Poland. She is doing her master's in management .At the moment Justyna is getting for her one year adventure in France to continue her studies there. Justyna takes pleasure in travelling,  meeting new cultures and learning languages. She speaks English, French and German, also her dedication to pick up Dutch words as soon as she step foot in Netherlands was laudable. This is her experience during Youth in Action, enjoy!

Saturday August 18, 2012

I have already spent in Delft four wonderful days. I like this town because of the atmosphere and interesting architecture. People in Netherlands are friendly, cheerful and open. I have a feeling that I could even live in this lovely town.  

Yesterday, I visited The Hague. We have spent there almost all day and we were sightseeing the city centre. I had the opportunity to see the Queen's Palace and municipality building - Stadhuis. At the lunch time we went to the Will's pancake house. The owner of the restaurant welcomed us very warmly, he recommended the speciality of this place, which are called poffertjes with strawberries and whipped cream. It tasted very nice and it was the first chance to taste traditional Dutch food.

Today I attended the presentation of the Turkish participants about racism and xenophobia. Those two topics were very interesting for me, because there are not really that often a subject of debates in Poland. 

During this Youth In Action project I have participated in presentation about my country - Poland and I have seen other national groups' presentations about their own countries. I also took part in many other activities. Tomorrow our polish group will have a presentation about age discrimination. It's going to be an interesting day.

Are you curious about this Dutch delicacy, poffertjes? Here is the recipe; how to make pancake puffs:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Enjoy the Moment: A Dutch Experience

Youth in Action ended yesterday with full of memories to reminiscence and promises made to meet again with new friends from all over Europe. The week of learning, fun and travelling is over however there is still more to find out. Are you wondering how the week of the Youth was? You can follow us on GHRD blog for the upcoming days and read about what happens when people from different parts of Europe meet to challenge ignorance, prejudices and human rights violations and find out cultural differences and what makes everyone connected.

The first impression of Daniel Pietrzak is a person with integrity and intelligence. Daniel is from Poland, he is 23 years old. His main goal is to finish two masters he is studying at the moment and in the future work for the EU parliament or follow an academic career and continue with his PhD. This is not Daniel's first youth project, he also participated another Youth in Action programme in Turkey. Daniel says the projects are a start to become a world citizen and broaden one's perspective of life.

Friday August 17, 2012

There is a time during every youth exchange/project/foreign trip when the place that was mysteriously new at our arrival is not like that anymore. It changes very rapidly. Even tough I have spent only two nights in Delft, I actually feel like home here. I already know the way to the city center, I enjoy walking by the watercourses, I know at what hour I should return to Kruithuise and make it till the entrance gate is closed and many more.

First part of the day was filled with games and energizers. However the thing that I especially like to do is talking and interacting with other participants. Therefore I had a lot of fun after dinner, when we were advocating on various topics during the practical workshop which focused on the stereotypes and discrimination. Also, I enjoyed the simulation game which was about negotiating with government officials to have sex education in schools. I was part of a NGO and my goal was to convince and inform officials that the sex education is necessary and the government should finance it. The discussion showed me the importance of incentives and dialogue. I felt like I can be an active citizen and make changes in my community.

As every evening in Delft, I've decided to go for a nice, short walk around the city. It actually ended after four hours - because still so many things here draw my attention, surprise or amaze me. One of them is, obviously, bicycles. I live in Poland, quite a big country actually, and I haven't seen there as many bikes in my entire life, as I'm seeing in Delft city center. It is awesome! Also, I made many photos of old, rusty bicycles attached to bridges or parked in bizarre positions around the city. Another thing that comes to my mind when I think about Delft after those two days is atmosphere. People are enjoying the moment here. In the evenings they are just sitting in cafes, talking with friends and riding their bicycles, simply, having a nice time after a tiring day at work. That's the thing that we still have to learn in Poland, enjoy the moment.

Friday, August 17, 2012

7 days of Youth In Action: Equality is a European Quality

Youth in Action is continuing with intriguing events and eye-opening discussions. Let us introduce one of the Youth participating this 8 days of training. Her name is Abigail Tjhay, she is a 17 year old ambitious high school student with a lot of on her plate and many different interests. She is in the Youth Council of Delft (JouwDelft), her responsibility  is to advise Municipality of Delft regarding issues of Youth. When she is not busy with her advising  job she likes to play the guitar and sing in a youth band called “Three-eyed Monsters''. Abigail said that her dream is to study psychology. She is already making changes in her community by organizing events for the gay youth of Delft to raise awareness about the discrimination they face in their daily lives. She will do the opening for the "7 days of Youth In Action: Equality is a European Quality" and share her ideas about what the Youth is up to. 

Thursday August 16, 2012

“How do you pronounce your name?” the one and only thing I dislike about international exchanges is that you have to try and memorize names. It’s a good thing there are such things as name games, that 1) help you remind people’s names and 2) are a lot of fun.
Once we knew each other’s names (well, not all names, memorizing names and faces is a talent, not a skill), we learned about each other’s interests. It was clear that, despite our cultural differences, we had a lot in common.  Once we got past the introductions, we finally got to the good part: a workshop on sexual diversity.

A member of Global Alliance for LGBT Education, Marinus Schouten, dropped by to give a workshop about LGBT rights in societies and for education. He talked about what it means to be gay, bi or transgender and he also told us about the history of homosexuality. Then he taught us an important lesson about identity.
            “Imagine if the Prime Minister passed a law, that states that something that is a part of you, is punishable. What would you do?”
Many participants said they would try to protest or at least ask why they passed that law. Some said they would try to make a compromise with the Prime Minister and some others claimed they would cry. Marinus then asked us how this law would make us feel. Negative adjectives like angry, sad, scared and even depressed were mentioned. In short; no one should be made to feel like they have to hide who they are, as it would have a negative impact on the way they feel about themselves and the world around them.

After Marinus left, I continued the discussion on homosexual marriage with a couple of other participants. One of them told us she once heard the following phrase “Claiming that someone else’s same-sex marriage is against your religion, is like being angry with someone who’s eating a donut, because you’re on a diet.” which seems like a really good point to me. You see, your identity is nobody’s business but your own. No one should ever be allowed to pass a law that would oppress your right to be you.