“68: Youth for Hope, Hope for Youth!” was a youth exchange that we organized in 2009 in south Bohemia in a cottage house close to Veselí nad Lužnicí. There were 27 participants from the Czech Republic, Austria (Caretaker), Bulgaria (Bulgarian Young Greens), Hungary (Artist of Life), Latvia (NGO „Culture, Tolerance, Friendship“) and Italy (Binario Uno).
The main idea of the exchange was to zoom in on events which happened in 1968 and to find inspiration for our actions in everyday life.
- Firstly we wanted to remember and learn about events which took place in 1968 in Europe and all around the worlds and formed the change in the world.
- Secondly we wanted to understand how (young) people contributed to changes that happened.
- Thirdly we focused on modern day global issues considering what an individual or a group of people can do to find a solution.
There were two main outputs of the exchange.
- At the end of the exchange participants created comics/posters displaying their thoughts about global issues and bringing awareness to topics that should be considered in all societies worldwide. These displays were printed on postcards and spread in participating countries and other places.
- The national groups did a small project at their places to bring a change to their local community and to experience that they can be the promoters of the change. (Hungarians prepared workshop about the generation 1989, Austrians began with gardening in public places of Wien (“Guerilla Gardening Wien”), Czechs prepared a weekend stay for children from foster care).
During the exchange we applied experiential learning (a simulation game at the beginning of the exchange to sense the atmosphere of 1968). We promoted active participation of all partners – there was always one national group responsible for each day. Moreover, participants had to share responsibilities around the house (cleaning, chopping wood, making fire) and collect materials relevant to 1968 before the exchange.