ESN Košice out of borders [E+C: SEGA]

Let’s start with a short overview of the project  just to give a clue what ESN Košice was doing on the Iberian Peninsula.

Purpose: Youth Exchange
Title: [E+C: SEGA] ERASMUS+ CREATIVITY, Social Entrepreneurship and Generational Approach
Topic: Creativity/Social Innovation/Youth unemployment/Social enterpreneurship/Generation clash/ ERASMUS +
Place: Braga, Portugal
Date: 2nd to 8th February 2014
Organizer: ESN Minho
Participants: 45 people from 9 countries/represented by 11 nations (Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, France, UK and Romania)
ESN Košice representatives: Katarína Szaboová, Lenka Blichová, Igor Dudinský, Mária Sásová, Lenka Leláková

As mentioned above, step by step we were introduced to the issues of generation clash, how to use our creativity in order to bring social innovation to the society and build up our own enterprises to fight with the youth unemployment. Through the lectures which contained positive examples of real projects implemented in the city of Braga and others around the world, we were led by Carlos De Sousa Santos who is an experienced project manager in the field. At the same time we were working on developing Youth pass competences.

First days were dedicated to getting to know each other through the name games and common evenings enriched by cooking traditional dishes on the place, all nations together in the same kitchen. That was the real international experience! Later on we could just walk around the full tables and meet proud faces standing behind, sharing the secret ingrediences, mixing European tastes on one plate, chatting with people from different parts of the world and making friends of strangers. The following day each country introduced their home country through a short presentation. These were the integrational and leisure time activities, but the project challenged us with an important task.

After receiving lots of information about the new structure of ERASMUS+ we were ready to grasp the chance and turn the advantage of  “various cultures = various ideas ” into writing a real project which could be implemented and bring a benefit to our cities. Creative process of international teams ended up with eight projects aimed on: 1. support in education of sport trainers, 2. non-formal education of high school students, 3. tourism development, 4. creating free exchange zone and shared gardens, 5. promoting the gender equality in work environment, 6. creating a common web platform for sharing information about Erasmus placement and 7. writing a blog helping to start-up your own business. The last, eighth, got a real shape immediately - the team painted and decorated a room in the building of GNRation which serves as a cultural/creative information point and store. 

Then, with the completed projects we visited high school students and presented them our ideas leading to social innovation in our eyes and tried to show them how cool end enriching it is to do international mobilities by sharing our Erasmus experience

 However, this was still not the end of improving our presentation skills. The “shark tank” moment of the objective critics is about to come. Yes, then we had to face the professional view of experienced people from the practice who were potentially interested in supporting our projects and implementing them in Braga. Each project received a feedback thanks to which we can fill in the gaps and then - we are ready to innovate!

During only one week can happen a lot and it is not easy at all to formulate it into a report. For the most of our team it was the first youth exchange and we feel encouraged to go for more. We learnt a lot – from listening, watching, studying - through playing, chatting when having lunch/dinner, sightseeing - to working, thinking, presenting. A fruitful time for the thoughts and friendships.

Finally- a big THANK YOU goes to Hélder Dias and his ESN Minho crew who made our pleasant stay possible.

Inspire. Create. Innovate.

Author: Lenka Leláková, ESN Košice Cultural Activities Coordinator