Our Estonian team completed their youth exchange in Greece "Mindfulness for You(th)", in Eani, Kozani, Western Macedonia region. The project turned out to be amazing thanks to the wonderful organization Go Alive, who does their job with all their hearts and wonderful participants from Greece, Spain, Estonia, Italy and Portugal!
“One of the best Youth Exchanges,” the participants wrote to us during the project.
Day 1 kicked off with engaging icebreakers and team building activities, fostering strong connections among participants. An outdoor adventure through the sunny city encouraged interactive learning. The weather was great, 26 degrees (not bad for October, huh?). After sharing mindfulness reflections and videos, the team played a thought-provoking game and planned the week's schedule. The day concluded with reflective moments and the formation of support groups, marking an exciting beginning to the project journey.
The second day of the mindfulness week started with a 15 min meditation, which brought a calm energy to those who participated and helped participants to start their day in a most mindful way, as it was really important to feel a full connection with the body.
"After breakfast we had an opportunity to learn what mindful listening is. Through the practical exercise, made in pairs, we learned to meditate through listening to our partner with our full attention, to accept how we are feeling, but also to not attach to that feeling. The practice helped us to understand the power of listening and the power of feeling listened to and even respected by our listener as we could share anything without being interrupted or even judged. This was the exercise we would really like to take with us for our future and to practice it in our life with our friends, parents or even in our professional life."
In the afternoon we had an Olympic Games, where we learned to cooperate with our team, to compete with others in a healthy way and not to take everything too personal.
Another day, another chance for improvement and self-discovery. The cool thing about the project was that there were various team-led activities. Day 3 was the turn of Italian and Spanish teams and they offered to explore core values, engage in a dance activity, and exchange heartfelt anonymous letters. Mindfulness exercises and feedback practices deepened their bonds, culminating in an evening of Greek music and dance at the Eani cultural center, creating lasting memories.
During the project, participants also had an opportunity to explore the city of Kozani. In the afternoon of that day after discovering the city's history and key attractions, they engaged in mindfulness workshops at the Kozani Library, delving into topics like mindful eating, active listening, and meditation.
Speaking about intercultural evenings, in this project national teams had to represent each other, learning in this way about the culture of another country in a more profound way. For example, Estonia (presenting Portugal) and Portugal (presenting Estonia) exchanged insights and tastes from their respective countries, creating a fun and culturally enriching experience.
To sum up, the project was full of highlights, including lakeside walks and emotional sunset gatherings. The atmosphere was just perfect and we can't wait to see where it brings us in a long-term! ευχαριστώ - efcharistó for this project!
Follow @ethos.mtu if you want to become part of this enriching experience in the future!