23 novembro 2017

O testemunho do Michał

My name is Michał. I come from the Czech-Polish borderland. I´m very happy because now I´m doing my EVS project here in Lisbon. I appeared here very suddenly. I don´t even know how it happened... I mean, I flew here by plane. I do not think it´s a good way of travelling. I just sat on a plane, which took me to my final destination a few hours later. In this case, it was 3 hours. 3 hours- it´s nothing! Normally in that much time, I'm not even able to get out of the bed after I wake up. And because of the internet, I feel my past/normal life just behind my back. Next time I promise myself to do this road by walking. Or on a bicycle. Just to feel the distance stronger.

Anyway. Now I´m here for more than four months. Unfortunately, after this 4 months being here, I still don´t have any conclusions about Portugal. Cause I had no time to think about it. Just now, when I´m writing this "testemunho", I'm trying to think about it. But it´s too late. So far, so many things happened, that it´s impossible to make some simple conclusion. 
I can say that Portugal is a very nice place. Lisbon as well. People here are nice, the architecture is nice, the food is nice, locals and the prices are nice too. Everything here is so nice, that it´s starting to get mixed together in one uniform mass made from these nice stimuli. It´s confusing, because sometimes I have the impression, that I will not be surprised anymore. But it´s not true! Every time, especially when I have some overwhelming thoughts, something new and unpredictable happens suddenly - which brings fresh air into the atmosphere. It has a very therapeutic effect. By the way, the air here is fresh as well. I appreciate it a lot! Nature and the weather conditions here are the most hospitable I´ve ever experienced. I´m living in an amazing house with amazing people. They don´t give me the opportunity to be bored. It may sound negative, but for now, they´re able to replace my closest people. 

Working in SPIN is such a pleasure! During my travels around Europe, I stayed in many different hostels. I love hostels. It´s a chance to meet a lot of people from all around the world. Here, I finally have the opportunity to observe how the hostels look from the "inside". It´s so interesting to me! Even simple tasks like cleaning the dishes or peeling potatoes became an important experience here. But of course, there is a possibility to work in a more creative way here. 
By the way, I think that Lisbon is a very spiritual place. As soon as I arrived here, I had the feeling, that I already knew this place. It´s because of the atmosphere of this city. It´s so intense, I would say “smooth”. I have the impression that people here, even if they´re not looking at each other too much, they are living in some specific connection. To me it seems like everyone´s aura is a little bit dissolved, so during a contact with someone else's aura, they stick together and then Spin, creating bridges similar to paste glueing between fingers. So in a crowd of it, it´s like a huge colourful spider web made of those connections... 

And I love the way how the time goes by here! Normally, according to the place I have a feeling that time is towing too slow or running too fast. But here I don´t have this stupid feeling. That is amazing, I love this state!

15 novembro 2017

Erasmus para Jovens Empreendedores - a experiência da Camilla

O programa Erasmus para Jovens Empreendedores é uma ótima oportunidade para quem tem uma ideia empresarial mas não sabe por onde começar. Como no meu caso! Sabia em que âmbito me queria especializar mas não sabia como fazê-lo. No meu país, a Itália, eu já trabalhava com uma associação que coordena projetos europeus, o que estava a faltar era mesmo um conhecimento mais profundo dos mecanismos do programa Erasmus+. Já tinha conhecido alguns tipos de projetos pelo lado da implementação mas queria mais, mais, mais!

Na verdade, a minha experiência como nova empreendedora à procura de maior conhecimento no âmbito de projetos de formação internacionais, começou oficialmente no final de junho, mas na verdade eu já me sentia uma jovem empreendedora antes, antes de chegar a Portugal, antes de entrar em contacto com a Associação Spin.

Um dia um amigo falou-me do programa Erasmus para jovens Empreendedores, fui procurar no site (https://www.erasmus-entrepreneurs.eu) e descobri todas as suas potencialidades. Decidi então começar o processo de candidatura e procurar uma organização de acolhimento através da plataforma do programa Erasmus para Jovens Empreendedores, procurei e procurei dentro e fora da plataforma até que encontrei a resposta às minhas curiosidades e interesses: a Associação Spin que abriu os braços para me acolher.

Só então começou a parte mais complicada: passar para o papel todas as minhas ideias, fazer delas um projeto concreto com um nome, um logo, um objetivo prático, números e estatísticas: o plano de negócios. O plano de negócios é uma descrição detalhada da ideia empresarial, a missão e os ideais, como se pretende alcançar os objetivos, dentro de que prazo de tempo e através de que financiamentos.

A organização intermediária italiana que me acompanhou (e que vem indicada ao longo do processo de candidatura) foi extremamente útil no procedimento e até me deram sugestões sobre como melhorar o meu plano de negócios. Quando me registei no portal (entregando o meu CV, carta motivacional, plano de negócio e indicações sobre o país onde queria desenvolver o meu projeto) entrei em contacto também com a organização intermediária no país de acolhimento, a qual apoia os participantes quando chegam ao país estrangeiro.

A minha organização de acolhimento e eu formalizamos a nossa parceria através de um “commitment” onde tivemos que descrever as atividades semana a semana e os objetivos do meu período de estágio. As organizações intermediárias (a italiana e a portuguesa) continuaram a seguir-me ao longo de todo o período de permanência no estrangeiro.

Assim que cheguei a Lisboa, comecei a trabalhar e a aprender com estas pessoas maravilhosas, sempre animadas com muita paixão e, finalmente, tive a possibilidade de aprender mais sobre o lado formal do European project design…e não só! 

Com a Associação Spin vi e vivi também uma dimensão internacional que vai para além da Europa ajudando em duas edições do projeto de voluntariado ‘Live it Lisbon!’ criado pela Spin. 

Quando chegou a hora da minha experiência terminar, quer eu quer a minha organização de acolhimento fizemos um relatório da nossa experiência no âmbito deste programa. Estou extremamente contente de ter escolhido e ter sido escolhida pela Spin: a experiência, as boas práticas e o espírito positivo e acolhedor que encontrei aqui ajudaram a expandir os meus horizontes e a dar-me a confiança para, um dia, poder criar algo meu. 

Camilla Guerrato

03 novembro 2017

Intercâmbio TH!NK: youth & the post-truth era

O intercâmbio TH!NK: youth & the post-truth era decorreu de 9 a 17 de Outubro de 2017 em Lisboa. Aqui ficam uns pequenos testemunhos dos participantes da Escócia. 

Shelby Johnston, Scotland
As a wee gal from Scotland, being able to share hilarious and educational experiences with some beautiful folk from across the world has been mega!Spending time working in groups talking about Scotland's current political stance and comparing it to other countries has been beyond beneficial for me to realise how I deal with the daily political news and how ignorant I've been to other peoples situations- all of which are totally different yet somehow have relatable aspects.THE GRUB (dinners) HAVE BEEN BEEN FAB. Having a chance to explore other country's traditional meals & to just chill with them at breaks and at night has been one of the highlights, seeing peoples humour and trying to teach people the Scottish dialect has been a pretty good laugh and we can speak at a decent speed and be understood at this point in the week... we've adopted some honorary Scots along the way.One of the most magical moments for me on the trip was on the way to visit the castle and coming across another Hang Drum (musical instrument) player... I play one at home and was able to have a shot of one on the sunny streets of Portugal which couldn't have put a bigger cheeser on my face. 
Portugal chums, I'll be back. 

Brad Burrowes, Scotland 
My name's Brad and this was my first time in Portugal and also my first youth exchange. I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity through A&M Scotland as it had been a great experience and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. The youth exchange has helped me see the way people from different cultures live and how they differ to mines, the exchange has also changed my perspective on life and has made me realise there is much more to life than just staying in my own city and not exploring the world. I really enjoyed experiencing different food from the other cultures and enjoyed the task of having to make food for 30 people as this was the first time I'd done anything of the sort. My favourite part of the exchange was when we took the day trip out to the museum and castle:I learned the struggles that people in Portugal went through and how times have changed also the trip around the castle was great the I was mesmerised by the views and how nice the city really is , all in all I enjoyed my whole experience on the exchange and would I've the opportunity to do something like this again. 

Les McGovern, Scotland 
The spin exchange has changed my perspective on life as it allowed me to experience many different cultures and how they differ to my very own. I will be heading back to Glasgow with a new mindset, motivated and ready to tackle new challenges which will hopefully better me as a person. I can not thank spin enough for gifting me with such a great opportunity as this was, after all, my very first time I have had the chance to travel to another country. This is a chapter in my life I will never forget as I made new friends for life and not learned about other cultures but also learned a lot about myself. Again words cant express how much I have enjoyed living here in Portugal. 

Sam Donnelly, Scotland
Coming on this trip has been an amazing experience I feel I have learned a lot and my confidence has grown, it has been a life-changing experience and I would love to do it again, if I could go back I would do things a little differently but I will use this as a learning experience, I have loved getting to know everyone and learning about new cultures, everyone has been so nice and friendly I will miss the people and spin, thank you for giving me this opportunity I can't wait to go home and make other people aware of the things we have learned. 

Jasmine Main, Scotland 
My name is Jasmine and I am a youth worker from Glasgow, Scotland. I had been on many youth exchange projects as a young person and was delighted to be asked by our organisation to accompany young people as a staff member and team leader to Lisbon for 10 days. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching young people from all over the world bond and laugh over life experiences and cultural differences. I know these experiences and memories will stay with them for life and I can't wait to see the effect it will have on their lives back home in Scotland.

Intercâmbio TH!NK: youth & the post-truth era

Aqui podem ler mais testemunhos dos participantes do intercâmbio TH!NK: youth & the post-truth era, que decorreu de 9 a 17 de Outubro de 2017 em Lisboa. 

Dominika Ostańkowicz, Poland
Felling and memories about the exchange:  The story of my exchange started by feeling afraid about people, travelling alone and my not so good level in English. I fastly recognize it wasn't necessary. People in exchange are really amusing we have a friendly atmosphere. We make a little community based on empathy and explore our culture. It was also a great opportunity to practise English. Many of people send me an invitation to their countries, so my calendar is full of places which I have never been before. I will remember this time for so long and recommend to other people. 

Klimentina Gjorgjioska, Macedonia 
Being both a group leader and a participant at this youth exchange, was very challenging for me since this was my first youth exchange. I have already been part of Erasmus mobility projects, but just training courses. Taking part in this project, undoubtedly opened new perspectives to me and reassured me once again how powerful young people are with their skills and creative thinking.I was very enthusiastic about my participation here because as a political scientist I am deeply interested in analyzing the emerging tendencies like post-truth societies and post-democratic practices. This exchange contributed to deepen further my critical and contemplative prism of the reality we are living in.Also, it showed me that engaged and motivated young people can make significant work if they work in teams and respect the opinion of the others.I am glad, I had the opportunity to meet youngsters from Poland, Estonia, Italy, Portugal, Scotland and share with them my opinions as well as experience Lisbon together.It is always amazing to be part of workshops and project that bring diversity and different mindset together because you can always find inspiration there. Thank you, SPIN, for enabling us this great experience. 

Francesco Diperno, Italy 
Getting knowledge about something let you control it; take it for granted and it will control you. That's why it's very important to be aware of what is happening around us, to be curious and especially to start asking ourselves questions that were never lingering in our heads. Critical thinking means get out of society's gates and go directly inside of us. Who are we? What is true? What is false? Why? We were born in an unfair world, where it's easier to believe in lies. During the youth exchange "TH!NK, youth and the post-truth era", 9th-17th October, we focused on this, trying to open our eyes to the world. Recognizing lies covering uncomfortable truths, dealing with journalism and media (even in a practical way, also going to visit "Diario de Noticias"), and, especially, learning by doing. Workshop, activities, visits filled our days make them full of meaning. Every moment was coloured by knowledge, smiles and life. A mix of cultures, languages, habits and different points of view, we were all together to be better, to make the world better, somehow, in our way. I'm very glad to have been part of this project and I really thank Spin organization to all the work behind this. So if you are reading stop sitting on your sofa and start travelling, meeting people from everywhere and being part of Erasmus+ projects. It will change your life! 

Antonio Atanasovski, Macedonia 
Hello everyone, this my first youth exchange. I took one Erasmus+ training, but the concept here is totally different. We had lots of fun and time to enjoy hanging out with people, exploring Lisbon but most importantly learn to think critically. Before I arrived I thought I knew everything about fake news and the post-truth concept, but as I saw I was really wrong. Lisbon is a city with a huge spectrum of diversity, there is the old town which looks exactly like the map from Assasins creed, also the modern buildings, where we visited the office of popular newspaper company and had the chance to write a paper and speak with the journalists. Then there are the museums, we visited the Museum of Liberty, where I learned about Salzar, the censorship and the propaganda that was going. The best part is that I learned that the revolution started when a certain song started playing on the radio. If you take walk on the Bario Alto area, you could notice as you are walking you can hear 5 or more different languages just on one street. 
This a picture of me and my new friends. 

I could write so much about this experience, but I will keep it short. I want to say that there is something magical about meeting totally different people or exactly same as you, which I did. You can see that things have many different perspectives, which sometimes we have the same news in a different form. So if you, my reader, are going into western Europe, visit Portugal. You will learn so much and meet so many beautiful people into the city that never sleeps.

31 outubro 2017

O testemunho da Petra

So what happened since the last time I wrote the testimony?

A lot. New volunteers arrived, some left, then new ones came, I changed appartment, participated on on-arrival and midterm trainings, participated in info session and eurodesk session where I shared my EVS experience with portuguese youth, I led workshop “We are all equal”, I helped in the hostel, I replied on tons of emails, I learnt people how to make gluten free meal, I saw old ladies’ excitement when they renovated their old clothes, I shared Slovenian inventions on Noite Europeia dos Investigadores, I was part of Spin Banca for Sant’Antonio, I painted walls in hostel, I put dishes in and out of dishwasher countless times … 

I also got some visitors, I visited some places in Portugal, I got good moments and I had bad ones too. But this is all life. It really doesn’t make any sense to deny the reality. And at the end you realise you don’t need many things to be happy. All you need is to be true to yourself and others, be calm, have faith and life will show you a way. :) And you need a friend and a dog too. ;) :* :*

Petra Mršnik

29 outubro 2017

Intercâmbio TH!NK: youth & the post-truth era

Aqui temos mais testemunhos dos participantes do curso do intercâmbio TH!NK, que decorreu de 9 a 17 de Outubro de 2017 em Lisboa.

Jakub Kitel, Poland
Post Post-truth
The most important part of youth exchange for me was talking to people. Despite cultural differences, we all share common fears and anxieties. In these times people either don't have a vision for themselves, or they don't really believe the narrative they are telling themselves. No one feels appreciated, no one feels in the right spot. Pop-culture based in democracy fed us with lies about being able to change the world, given that we work hard and really believe, but the world was never changed by the will of common men. Joining any kind of political or sociological movement will change every day to a game in which we think in terms wins or loses about cases that don't affect us. And being a part of this system based on the mirage of importance always means losing. These are not times of great ideologies or plans, rather a small prejudices and silent convictions that can pose as universal truths about the world. Trying to find a solution or those “universal truths” will only lead us towards more lies and cruelty. Because the only truth lays in people – our common need to feel safe – we can achieve it by choosing narration, joining the conversation within the system and losing, or ignoring conversation and focusing on people that are close to you, and trying to be the best version of yourself for everyone else. I want to believe, that post-truth society is heading towards the world in which we don’t lie to ourselves about the importance of our beliefs, but rather focus on the only truth that always mattered – other people.

Marta Kuncer, Poland 
Sunny Lisbon, or Spin Association to be precise, hosted youth exchange „TH!NK: youth and post-truth era”. Since I’m interested in critical thinking and role of media in a modern world I decided to take part in it. Group of 30 people from different corners from Europe met together in a street-art-dominated Barrio Padre Cruz. We spent a week exploring the topic in a non-formal education way and simply sharing a time together. Workshops were dedicated to critical thinking, freedom of speech, manipulative fake news, comparison of various national perspectives, guidance to facts checking and other. Participants had an opportunity to explore the topic fully but it, of course, depended on everyone’s own engagement. Surrounded 24/7 by Portugueses, Italians, Macedonians, Scots, Poles, Estonians for a week we had plenty opportunities for a cultural exchange. Some were limited to small talks, while others – fortunately - went deeper into political/social issues. It’s clear that there are some still rather big differences when it comes to gender equality, education, corruption, basic human rights, freedom of press, homosexuality and others in each European country. What I find pretty common after this youth exchange is universal lack of respect for each other. Even though we bonded and liked each other it didn’t stop some people from not listening to each other, being late, or simply assuming that they will get things done for them by somebody else – to name a few examples. It was a valid reminder that whether it comes to a short youth exchange, longer social project or a society itself – the participants who play a part in it are the ones who are shaping it after all. I had some interesting interactions and conversations. Upside was to see people who left their own country for the first time, being a bit insecure, and how much they opened during the whole week. I believe that’s where youth exchanges are truly fulfilling their role. They are safe, organized platform for the youth who never before had a chance to go abroad and have more engaging interactions with people of different culture.

Caroline Männik, Estonia 
Even though I have been in quite several youth projects, I still felt extremely excited when i got to know that i can go to the youth exchange in Lisbon. This experience was something completely different for me as I have never been in Southern country, neither been in a group leader`s position. But first of all, try to imagine arriving to Lisbon as an Estonian. You are used with cloudy and rainy weather and with wearing jackets and scarfs all the time. But then you take a flight and suddenly you have sun and can wear shorts even in October. I`m pretty sure that I got overdose of D-vitamin here. We came to Lisbon a day before the official beginning of the youth exchange and used the free day for exploring the city and it`s fascinating mosaic walls. I`m so satisfied that we came earlier because it helped to create strong group feeling inside our Estonian team. Next day we arrived to Spin and got positively surprised how cool Bairro Padre Cruz is, especially it`s street art. After introducing ourselves through couple of games, we understood that with these participants we will have really memorable project... and we were right. Throughout next few days we got more familiar with the topic of the youth exchange, we discussed what is the definition for the post-truth and shared examples from our countries. I enjoyed watching documentary called “HyperNormalisation” and I`m sure that I will watch it again once i arrive back at home. After having intensive workshops in Spin we also went discover Lisbon with the whole group, visited museum, Media lab and stunning castle. What made this youth exchange very different from my previous projects is that every nationality were responsible for preparing the whole dinner for the participants. It was obviously very stressful, but at the same time it improved our teamwork and cooking skills. Everybody seemed to love trying out different cuisines, starting from Italian pasta, ending with Polish pierogi. Overall, this youth exchange was magnificent and I`m going back home only with positive memories. 
Stay positive, 

Esmeralda Ferati, Italy
Hi everyone! I'm going to write shortly for my youth exchange in Portugal. I didn't know about the existence of this project until me and my friend talked about it. I came from Italy where these programs are very popular but I never thought that I'm gonna be part of the similar one. Now I'm here, taking the best of it! At the beginning, I wasn't convinced about the success of the project. We were people from different countries like Italy, Estonia, Scotland, Portugal, Macedonia, Poland and I thought it would be difficult to interact with each other. But my suspicion wasn't real. Different activities made us know each other and now we behave like a family. Looks like we are part a TV Show and every day we have some tasks to complete to achieve our goals. Fortunately, we achieved all the goals together with no differences. When I write about tasks it comes up in my mind the firsts ones, when we had to remember all the names of 30 people. The very first one was that we had to choose by causality one secret friend and we had to do something special for them to make their day beautiful and interesting. I did it for my secret friend but unfortunately, I didn't receive anything from my own secret one. But anyway my days were beautiful and more beautifully. It wasn't just for the activities that made us know each other there were also activities that made us know more about the world around us, some things that weren't said before to us. We discussed too many topics that show the main our days problems such as was the Post-Truth, about media, politics and society.

27 outubro 2017

Intercâmbio TH!NK: youth & the post-truth era

O intercâmbio "TH!NK: youth & the post-truth era" decorreu de 9 a 17 de Outubro de 2017 no Bairro Padre Cruz em Lisboa. Aqui ficam uns pequenos testemunhos de alguns dos participantes

Agata Siwak, Poland
I had decided to participate in my first youth exchange only 4 days before it started. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it, but as soon as I got there and met these incredible people, I knew it was a place for me. I loved Lisbon, especially at nights with live music. The atmosphere, the company, the weather… Everything was perfect. Thanks to the people, workshops turned out to be exciting and interesting. The hosts did their best to give us another great experience. Having participated in this youth exchange, I can surely say that it will not be the last one.

Aneta Ligenza, Poland 
It was my first youth exchange. I was really excited but full of fears about my skills and knowledge. New experiences, new people, different cultures. The subject of exchange was for me interesting. I'm a street photographer and knowing about post-truth is for me necessary. Every workshop was a great way to learn new skills, listen to other participants. This exchange wasn't only workshops but meeting new people, sharing our passion, trying new meals from 5 other countries, sightseeing and exploring Lisbon all together. I think I will be looking for another exchange because is a great way to explore Europe.

Shirley Van-Dúnem, Portugal
Being in a youth exchange for one week can make us experience different emotions: we can be homesick or find another home next to new people, we can feel tired and really exhausted and even without energy try to enjoy the experience to its fullest because we know that in a blink of eyes it will all be gone soon. Living in the host country of this youth exchange remember us of the pressure to treat others like we would like them to treat us, it's all about learning, respecting boundaries and turn what makes us different from each other the reason why we need each other.

Ana Sofia Abreu, Portugal 
As a Portuguese girl I had only participated in Youth Exchanges outside my country, but Spin gave me the opportunity to spend ten days with amazing youngsters in Lisbon. The experience was quite different. Being from the hosting country makes us have a different participation in the programme as we are able to communicate with the natives and know the surroundings. Regarding the thematics, the workshops were very interesting and my knowledge about freedom of expression and freedom of press in Europe changed my perspective, as some countries still struggle with this issues. The multicultural differences between the participants is also one of the things I liked the most. With so many historical and personal backgrounds it was impossible not to learn so much about the other countries and other nationalities- we even tried typical meals from each country. Also, the friendship built in these 10 days just proves that no matter how different we are, the foundations of respect and togetherness are real and we all feel very European! And in the end of all this, what we learnt the most is that... what's really important is to TH!NK !!

Kristo Tamm, Estonia
I spent a week in Lisbon, Portugal as part of an Erasmus+ Youth Exchange. The exchange gathered participants from Estonia, Portugal, Poland, Macedonia, Italy and Scotland. The project was extremely constructive, interesting and beneficial. The topic of the exchange was an important one: post-truth politics, combined with the concern for the youth and their ability to navigate in this new world in which we now live. During this 7-day exchange, we had a wide variety of constructive exercises that helped develop our critical thinking and analytical skills. We had workshops with smaller groups, thus giving everyone a chance to speak their mind, but we also had exercises involving everyone at the same time. Additionally, we watched a thought-provoking documentary, visited Lisbon, and enjoyed each other's cultures, by having country dinners each night. As this was my first youth exchange, I did not know what to expect. However, all my expectations were exceeded, as the project was organised superbly, the participants were nice and the location was beautiful. I made a lot of new friends, learned about some lovely cultures and gained a huge amount of new knowledge about the topic of the project. 

Lola Milkovska, Macedonia
This is my first youth exchange and therefore I am very happy to be part of it.I think that is very inspirational to bring people from different countries together and make them work on different thematics. This youth exchange made me think more critically towards media and politics. I gained new skills, knowledge and a great experience. This was also my first time in Portugal.I get to know more about the political, cultural and societal aspects of this wonderful country. It was great and challenging to be part of the intercultural evenings.I am happy I had the opportunity to bring the Macedonian cuisine and tradition to the participants from different countries.I also enjoyed the other international evenings and cuisines and therefore I feel closer to the other counties. It was a pleasure to be around this kind of people because I made new friends and I experienced new things. I definitely recommend Erasmus + mobility projects to young people around the world.

Pedro Carvalho, Portugal 
This was my first time doing a youth exchange and I really enjoyed it! During this last week, we did a lot of different activities to get to know each other and also discuss the topic of post-truth. What I liked the most about this experience was the interaction with people from other countries and to learn more about them and the history/culture of their countries. I learned a lot I didn't know about these countries and now I want to visit them to learn even more and experience the wonderful things each country has. I'm taking a gap year and now I'm thinking about doing a trip around central and eastern Europe to visit some of the countries that were represented in this youth exchange. I really enjoyed the theme of the youth exchange as well, I love thinking about topics such as freedom of speech, what is truth, politics and media manipulation... I think these projects are a great opportunity to meet other people and learn about interesting topics and what it means to be European. It's also a good way to travel so I want to do youth exchanges in the future outside Portugal so I experience what it's like to do have an experience like this in a different country. To sum it all up, I think the projects and activities were very well organized and the people amazing!