Il corso di formazione “The Journey never ends” sul tema del dialogo interculturale e interreligioso in Europa, primo progetto in Italia di Don Bosco Youth-Net organizzato direttamente dalla nostra associazione TGS e co-finanziato dal Programma Erasmus+, sì è svolto tra Mogliano Veneto e Venezia dal 4 all’11 Agosto 2019 con il patrocinio della Città di Venezia, della Regione del Veneto e del Consiglio d’Europa Ufficio di Venezia.
Dopo aver letto le riflessioni della TGS Host Team (vedi precedenti articoli: “The Journey Never Ends. Pagina di diario (parte prima)” e “The Journey Never Ends. Pagina di diario (parte seconda)”), oggi pubblichiamo – rigorosamente in lingua inglese – le interviste ad alcuni dei protagonisti provenienti dalle varie nazioni dell’Unione Europea che hanno preso parte al progetto…
What were your motivations to come here? Did you find what you were looking for?
The main reason I came here was to try to improve my social skills. On this journey you meet a lot of new people from all over the world. I never experienced such a thing before and I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn. It was a scary thing at first but I soon learned how wonderful everyone in this group is and I immediately felt comfortable. Everyone noticed how much I learned about meeting new people and I feel it too. I think I can really use what I learned at home.
Sanne, 18, The Netherlands
Which is the most memorable moment of the week?
It isn’t simple to choose only one highlight of the week, because I carry in my heart many special moments. But I think that the best moment was when I spoke with Begoña, a Spanish friend I met here, about my life and about my love for Don Bosco, and we were moved together. In that moment I realized that the depth of some bonds goes beyond the origins. I felt that we spoke the same language: the language of the heart.
Benedetta, 22, Italy
What is the most useful thing you have learnt during this experience?
I learned a lot about how to have a proper intercultural dialogue and to put it in practice, and learned so much about the cultures of other countries and people all over Europe.
Jan-Gert, 21, The Netherlands
Is there anything you think that could be improved?
Even if the project has been very diverse in what we have talked about, and the study visits have helped us to know more about other realities and cultures, I have missed to meet with representatives of the Muslim community. Just to have the opportunity to ask questions and to help us knowing each other (taken into account that it is a numerous community in Europe).
Iván, 29, Spain
What would you say to someone who may be not sure to join to a similar experience?
Honestly, we could give way too many reasons why having an international experience can change your life, so we will try to go for the main ones:
- First of all, the topic of this project is widely needed in every context that may surround us. Sensible communication can be the only way of building bridges of unity in a world where walls are getting built separating families.
- For maintaining a world-wide society as we have thanks to new technologies, we also need to have mature individuals able to accept and coexist with their neighbours. Reaching this goal requires to understand their context and culture.
- Thanks to sharing the whole experience with people from all over Europe with so diverse backgrounds, you will eventually understand their own way of living and co-adapt yourselves so you can enjoy together to the fullest the experience.
- Once diversity has become your routine, you start having a new perspective of life thanks to the experience your new mates share, as well as the intercultural experience you are getting. This new paradigm help us abstract from our perspective conditioned by our own culture and allows us to see the world with the eyes of a kid: not judging but accepting everything that comes to you. Afterwards, you can swap into your own eyes again and take what you consider positive for your reality and apply while on the other hand, everything that doesn’t match your sight can be simply respected.
- Family is important to everyone, which is why everyone should join. Trust us if we tell you that our families have increased in the exact number of participants that attended this experience. Thanks to the openness created through respect and dialogue, you can connect even deeper than what we are used to in our fast daily lives. This love exchange also develops the feeling of being part of a larger community such as the humanity.
- It is (almost) free. As it is an Erasmus + project, it is completely fundraised, so the amount of money you need is minimum, allowing you to visit places you must once in a lifetime. Different communities welcoming us as equals and tasting the streets shared by the own inhabitants are examples of experiences that allow you to experience this trip not as tourists but as explorers.
After all, is there any possible reason for rejecting?
Miriam, 21, Spain and Marc, 23, Spain
Grazie di cuore ragazzi per la vostra partecipazione!
Lo Staff di TGS Journal