The end of another chapter – Start thinking, critically!
Our organization together with its partners Association Focus-European center for development (Bulgaria), You in Europe (Greece) and Stowarzyszenie Inicjatyw Regionalnych (Poland) has successfully implemented the project “Start thinking, critically!” held in Hidiselu de Sus, between 10 – 16 September 2018, funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Commission.
This project was our organization’s 11th youth exchange program organized, and it is safe to say, even after 10 years of youth work, we still do it with the same passion and dedication!
This project had the subject of media literacy and critical thinking, and it gathered 28 youngsters from 4 countries, who have lived, learned and gathered experiences together in the course of 7 days!
So what made this project special? First of all, the location of the project. Pensiunea Larysse is where the project was held, a place close to the city Oradea in a beautiful green scenery, where the combination of the green space, the near forest, the calmness of nature and the fresh air all come together to bring out the creativity of those who spend time here.
Another important factor was – of course – the participants.
The group of youngsters was so diverse, not only they were able to share with each other knowledge, personal experiences, games and so on, but it was one of those groups, who have immediately found a common ground, and the room was full of eagerly chattering youngsters, only 10 minutes after they have arrived.
We had a full week filled with exciting workshops, from brainstorming
about the main concepts of media literacy, mass media and critical thinking, to creating a timeline of how technology has changed mass-media, to creatively learning about cognitive biases, to learning how to create video materials, to study visits and meeting with the local community. All these activities were spiced with a a great variety of energizer- and team-building games, in majority implemented by participants. We also had intercultural nights, where each national team did a great job at presenting their cultures in a comprehensive way, from traditional games and quizzes to showing the traditional costumes, songs and dances, while also sharing their cultures through a great selection of foods, snacks and drinks.
In conclusion, the “Start thinking, critically” project was one-of-a-kind, partly because it provided an ideal context for participants to not only learn in non-formal and creative ways about the relevant topic of media literacy and critical thinking, but also because it enabled participants to form meaningful personal connections – through the sharing of personal stories and regularly playing board games together (just to name a few) – which can be kept alive well beyond the ending of the project.