Youth Association DRONI facilitated a youth exchange titled “No to Loneliness with NGO Jututaja”. The project took place in Bakuriani, Georgia, between 23 – and 30 April. The objectives of this youth exchange project were to lessen feelings of loneliness amongst youngsters and elders, while concurrently teaching them about coping mechanisms and social and cultural differences related to eldercare.
Over 30 participants have met to better understand Georgia’s and Estonia’s social, cultural, and governmental approaches to elderly care, and to be able to recognize both of the system’s advantages and disadvantages. The participants have learnt about the importance of having a more understanding attitude towards elders and the topic of aging and the elderly to not be seem as taboo as before. In addition, the participants met to be able to recognize mental health red flags in themselves and their loved ones and know where to look for help.
REPORT from the project
The first day started with the introduction of the program of the youth exchange and talking about the expectations, contributions, and fears regarding the project. The morning started with a nice walk in the forest and meditation. After we had smooth into the topic of COVID and loneliness effects and the talks about the difference between alone and loneliness followed. The participants were sharing their thoughts regarding the topic and a few group working activities followed. The day was full of informative sessions, that’s why at the end of the project we played the game “Mission Impossible”, where participants had to perform a difficult task using a team spirit.
The second day started with sports activities in the forest of Bakuriani and we participated in the “Silly Olympic Games”, during which we had to participate in the activities together as a whole team. After an energetic morning, participants have started to work in small groups for promo activities for the upcoming days. The beautiful day finished with an Estonian cultural evening, where we played different games in order to find out different interesting facts about the country. As well as, we have learned Estonian dance and tried different food and sweets.
The next morning started with Art Therapy. At first glance, colouring mandalas is not a difficult task, but as it turned out, this process brings a lot of pleasure and peace to people. That’s what started our morning with mandala therapy and set the mood for the day.
On this beautiful note, our project volunteers were given an interesting public talk about what skills a public speaker should have and received interesting tips from the coordinator. The second half of the day was dedicated to the creation of social projects by the participants and then their presentation was presented in a very interesting way, using an “Elevator Speech” methodology. . “Elevator pitch”- What’s an elevator pitch, and how can it help your career? An elevator pitch—also known as an elevator speech—is a quick synopsis of your background and experience. The reason it’s called an elevator pitch is that it should be short enough to present during a brief elevator ride. The evening session was dedicated to Georgian Intercultural evening, where Georgian young people presented their country, culture, language, and traditions.
Youth exchange participants had the opportunity to learn more about Erasmus + Youth and the European Solidarity Corps, and then worked on and created their own Erasmus + Youth Exchange projects. The field of interest of young people is of course diverse and they have created projects on the following topics: human rights and international relations, ecology and environmental protection, mental health, and more. After working on the projects, the young people, with the information they have already received about the public speech, made a presentation and presented their ideas for youth exchange. The second half of the day was dedicated to fun activities, the project participants remembered the wise words and suggestions that their grandparents often said and presented these phrases in a very interesting way, with pictures, music, and theatrical performances. Our project is coming to an end and the experience and knowledge gained over the coming days will be summarized.