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"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

Youth Exchange “Under the Wings of Imagination”, Motycz Leśny, Poland, February 2010

Organizer: Happy Childhood Foundation, Lublin, Poland

Partners:

  • Center for European Initiatives, Sumy, Ukraine;
  • Association of Youth Welfare and Social Work, Furstenwalde, Germany.

Date conducted: 6-13 February 2010

Place conducted: Motycz Leśny, Poland

Participants: 17 youth from three countries (Poland, Ukraine, Germany), aged 18 to 26 years.

Exchange language: English

6-13 February 2010 in a small Polish town of Motycz Leśny near Lublin trilateral youth exchange took place. Youth from three countries Poland, Ukraine and Germany took part in it. The exchanged was realized in the partnership of Happy Childhood Foundation (Lublin, Poland), Center for European Initiatives (Sumy, Ukraine) and Association of Youth Welfare and Social Work (Furstenwalde, Germany) and was financed by Polish-German Youth Collaboration Programme.

The programme brought together lovers of RPG and LARP from three countries. After 7 days of being together the youth learned a lot of new things about culture and traditions of countries participating in the exchanged. The integration of youth was boosted by national evenings on which Polish participants represented Ukraine; Ukrainian participants demonstrated Germany and German participants showed Poland. On the one hand, it was very curious to watch how the representatives from other countries introduce your country and your culture, and on the other hand – it helped to break those stereotypes which youth had about each other.     

Besides, special evening was given to presentation of national culinary traditions. Ukrainian group overdid everybody here. The participants cooked Ukrainian borsch, fried pancakes, prepared Uzvar and let everybody taste Ukrainian Korovaj and sweets. Polish participants also offered their traditional borsch and bread with lard. German group represented German culinary day and treated all participants with German sweets. The dinner was awesome!

To let participants of the exchange learn more about Polish history and traditions the organizer made 2 excursions: to Lublin and to Zamość.    

As to the main theme of the exchange – LARP there was no limits for imagination. From the very beginning of the programme the participants worked on the idea of the final game, trained their acting skills, learned how to transform into and live as different characters.     

The idea of the game was to create post-apocalyptic society of the future in which crime and violence are rare and seen as remnants of the 20th century. The events took place in the year 2056. The use of rude words is abandoned, you cannot say lies, smoking and drinking is abandoned. It is own for society’s good and prosperity. Everybody is happy. But are they really happy?

So, the participants faced the aim to create the utopian society of the future and contrary to it – underground rebellious society. The youth made up laws for the perfect society, traditions, common language and decorations for the game. For better immersion in the created world the participants were made up correspondingly to their characters in the game, they picked up suitable outfit.   

The final game took place at night and lasted 4 hours. The game was stopped at 4 am. But, in spite of late hour the desire to continue the game did not disappear. That is why the participants had been discussing and analyzing the events happened during the LARP till 8 am.

Incredible transformation of participants in their characters made the game real.