The year 2023 is drawing to a close and it can certainly be said that it has been a year full of exciting international events for our members and volunteers from all over Europe. Highly formative experiences that represent important opportunities for reflection and intercultural exchange for all our young people!
And it is just in the last few days, from 26 November to 2 December 2023, that the last international activity of this year took place: the training course "Rise: Design for emerging futures", organised by Don Bosco Youth-Net, in cooperation with the Council of Europe's Youth Department, and hosted at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg (France).
We will know have the testimonies of three Italian participants, who represented our member TGS Nazionale:Beatrice from the local TGS group Macerata (Macerata), Nancy from the FMA Institute "Maria Ausiliatrice" (Catania) and Gabriele from the TGS Don Bosco group Salerno (Salerno) took part in it.
"When the Rise project was presented to me, seeing all the activities that would take place, I was really excited. At the moment of leaving, however, being the first experience of this kind for me, fear and agitation took over a bit.
When I arrived, all the initial tension disappeared to leave room for the desire to learn and get involved. I met people from almost all over Europe, they were all welcoming, and like me they all had the desire to be part of something as big and beautiful as the project was.
I left with a wealth of new knowledge and skills that I hope to be able to put into practice in my small work groups. It was a truly unique and exciting experience that I hope I can repeat."
"When I was given the opportunity to participate in this study session in Strasbourg I thought what many people would think: 'I"ll try, if they won't accept/pick me, at least I will have tried'.
This choice to try was made on the basis of personal curiosity: having studied pedagogy and having read the general programme, I thought it would be an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Indeed it was.
The topics we covered, the way they were presented, the interactions with the trainers and the other volunteers was something that left me with so much.
On a professional level, I assimilated new methodologies for tackling problems and finding solutions, I internalised new methods that can be used in training and beyond, I delved into human rights and the contexts in which they must be applied.
On a human level, I made friends with truly wonderful people with whom I shared unique moments, "High Level" moments, to borrow one of the most used aphorisms of this beautiful week. "
"It is only possible to find a solution to a problem if first of all you keep everyone affected in mind, working together and in harmony to reach a common goal - A valuable lesson I take from this course that we perhaps too often take for granted.
I have now almost lost count of my DBYN activities... but each time continues to bring intense excitement and novelty as if it were the first, and this experience was no different. This study session was an unexpected breath of life and much-needed oxygen.
A week that brought with it an increased understanding of the fundamentals of human rights and the concept of polycrisis, saw the reunion of long-standing friendships and the formation of new bonds with unique people, was the accomplice of light-hearted laughter but also of important moments, the scene of profound conversations and debates, all immersed in the fantastic city of Strasbourg, a wonderful setting to discover and experience a perfect Christmas atmosphere.
I will undoubtedly return enriched with new methods and techniques to apply, with new wonderful friendships, with the reflections exchanged with the people who accompanied me on this adventure, with countless memories to cherish, and above all with the confidence of new and solid ideas for the future!"
Thank you to all our participants this year. We look forward to the outcomes of all the activities and to welcome you again in 2024.
Thank you Gabriele for gathering the testimonies.
The international secretariat of Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw is financially supported by the European Union, through its 'Erasmus+'-programme, and by the Council of Europe, through its 'European Youth Foundation'. This website is a publication of Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw. The website reflects the views only of the author, and neither the European Commission nor the Council of Europe can be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.