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🇳🇴 "United Youth, United World"

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

"United Youth, United World" - 5-13.11.2018 - Svarstad, Norway

‘United Youth, United World’ was a youth exchange organized by active youth organizations from Norway, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, Hungary and Romania 48 people including 2 facilitators and 6 group leaders met together in Svarstad, Norway on the 5-13th November 2018. With the present challenges in Europe with the immigration crisis, intolerance and racial discrimination in Europe have drastically increased. The exchange aimed to identify the common causes of intolerance and analyze persisting cases of non-tolerance on the basis of culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation and race against various minorities, formulate good practices in order to reduce it, as well as strategies, which could help increase tolerance toward minorities in the participant countries and beyond.

The specific objectives of this project are:

- To increase awareness among young people from a minority background (cultural, ethnic, etc.) on European citizenship;

- To empower youth to take an active role in local communities;

- To bring together young people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds;

- To create space for dialogue;

- To foster their feeling of sharing common values;

- To raise their sense of belonging to Europe.

Tolerance nowadays has become a major factor in life and we wanted to equip ourselves and fellow youths with the knowledge and skills to use to as to live in harmony and raise awareness on various topics related to human rights, democracy, social inclusion, faiths, and culture. The methodology which was used during the project included workshops, debates, hands-on activities, case studies, simulations, visits to NGOs and outreach projects.

Project Video

The calm and quiet Svarstad Skisenter is bursting with expectation and joy, as the main organizer gives everybody their first tasks. More than 40 young people from Portugal, Norway, Kurdistan, Romania, Hungary and Italy laugh and chit-chat, holding warm mugs of coffee in the main lounge, when outside the sky is painted grey, laying a foggy layer to the nearest mountaintop. They are here to live and share the “United Youth, United World” Youth Exchange, held from the 5th to the 13th of November 2018.

Inside the warmth of the wooden walls of the home, everybody is ready to discuss and work on acute challenges of the European reality – the immigration crisis, discrimination and intolerance. “Nowadays, there is a lot of hate around, and young people are getting along with it, more and more”, says Umut Suvari, leader of the Kurdish Youth and Change Association and one of the main organizers for the week – “We’ve carefully chosen the participating countries, in order to get different realities together.”.

Despite their countries’ social and political contexts, sometimes with some frightening similarities, such as anti-democratic governments and institutionalized hate speech, these youngsters are “looking to build a guide of rules to prevent intolerance and promote inter-cultural dialogue”, says Mehmet Polat, the main leader of Norway Kanires Ungdom and the “big boss” for the week.

As the tasks are given, people are getting together with a joyful and open-minded spirit, as well as big smiles on their faces. For some, this is one more Erasmus+ experience, but for others, like Bekir, it’s their first approach to this kind of project. He tells us, smiling, “I’m very thankful to the organizers because I’ve always wanted to be a part of a youth exchange like this.”.

These declarations make the organizers very happy and keep them doing this, “working very hard to make it happen”, says Mehmet, finishing with “it’s gonna be a wonderful week. I can say the vibe is very good.”.

So we hope.

From your special reporters in Norway, Gato and Joyce.


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