"Our mission is to assist in the reformation of Ukraine consistent with European standards, as well as to introduce democratic values and develop civil society in Ukraine."

From the Statute of
the Center for European Initiatives

Training on International Exchange Programs, Poland, March 2011

During the week of 20-26 March - at the Motytsh Leschny, a youth center near Lublin, Poland - a training course was held for coordinators of international youth exchanges. About 30 participants from Poland, Germany and Ukraine attended. Organizing the program was the Happy Childhood Foundation of Poland in cooperation with the Sumy NGO Centre for European Initiatives and Germany’s Association for Youth Welfare Services and Social Work. The event was held with the financial support of the German-Polish Youth Cooperative.

The training was attended by representatives from NGOs and young people active in public programs. They studied the basic elements of youth exchange programs and methods of organization and management to achieve success. They discussed the common problems of youth exchange programs and how to overcome them. In addition, they also learned how to use theater, circus pedagogy and other innovative ways as teambuilding activities to create an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual support. An important part of the training course was how to design and develop projects that encourage participation in local and international exchange programs.

Impressions from participant in the project:

 Alina, from Ukraine: This is the first time I have participated in an exchange program. To tell the truth, at first I wasn’t too sure I had made the right decision. But after the first meeting I changed my mind. The other participants from Ukraine impressed me by their originality and versatility. The groups from Germany and Poland also surprised me by their openness, creativity and friendliness. I developed trust and confidence in people completely unfamiliar to me. The training program for me was not just about learning and gaining new skills. It was also about destroying certain stereotypes and exchanging cultural values with people from other countries. The organizers made it a super event that was infinitely interesting. I was never bored. There was adequate balance between practice and theory and class time and free time. I left with many new ideas and pleasant memories. This is due to the excellent organizational skills and the initiative of super people. Of course, good weather and old Lublin were nice, too”.