The EUROWEEK program is a seven day gathering of young adolescents from all over Europe. They get an opportunity to meet and live with youth from all walks of life, and coming from different countries around the world – be it, Africa, Asia, Latin America or Europe. Through the week, the volunteers conduct various workshops on cultures, communication, creativity and being good individuals in general.
In the globalizing world today, it is important for the students to be more equipped on different cross-cultural issues of the world. Euroweek brings international volunteers who can help the students broaden their perspective about cultural differences… It provides the children an open space to develop their self-confidence through the various workshops and activities that the volunteers conduct; be it on language, role plays, motivational talks, games, dances or group discussions.
The hope is that these children eventually realise that the world is a big place – and that there are people from all walks of life, traditions, speaking different languages, and just absolutely unique in their own way. The idea is to help them break free from stereotypes that often builds in the minds of these young people through social media and hear-say. Hopefully, this opens their mind…. At least a bit!
My experience of being a part of this program for a year was absolutely memorable. The learning is not just for the children, but also for us as volunteers. I had the humbling opportunity to work with an inspirational group of people from Philippines, Africa, Turkey, French Polynesia, Ukraine, China, different parts of Europe… It is not like meeting people in a hostel or while you travel – you live with them and learn from them. Conducting the workshops made us all realise the beauty of our own culture and appreciate all the good things we often take for granted.
After all the years of travel, being able to share the incredible experience the world has to offer when we open our eyes, was overwhelming. Making the children realise the value of all that we have around us and the possibilities of giving back to the world, was an eye-opener for them. Each workshop I conducted with them involved sharing about cultures around the world and social change that is possible at our own individual level – sustainably and consciously for the world we live in.
It was a great mix of fun, hikes, adventure, discussions and some life-changing perspectives.
Be it motivating them to do random acts of kindness for the community or yoga for their own health, this was for me, a means of making them realise both facets of life that we ought to pay attention to – loving ourselves and making a difference at our individual level in the world.