Youth Exchange Programme: OUR FORTRESS EUROPE, 13-20 February 2011, Vienna, Austria

26-02-2011

From the 13th to the 20th of February a group of 5 young people from The Netherlands, sent by GHRD, attended a youth exchange called Our Fortress Europe in Vienna. A total of 25 participants attended from the Netherlands, Austria, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Italy.

The aim of the youth exchange was to raise awareness on immigration, an important topic that affects the European Union as a whole. The immigration situation in Austria was particularly highlighted, given the programme’s location in Vienna. However, thanks to the active participation of the other European countries immigration topics were also discussed on a broader level and participants were able to analyse and discuss European perspectives. Participants also learned more about differences and similarities regarding the topic of migration in individual member states of the EU.

The participants not only had the opportunity to experience Austrian culture, tradition and manners but also to have direct contact with the customs and background of other participants’ countries of origin.   

The non-formal learning platform enabled the participants to discuss and exchange ideas and experiences about immigration and social and cultural issues in a friendly and positive environment. Participants also had the opportunity to visit a camp for asylum seekers and during another visit, have an informal and very interesting conversation with some refugees who are waiting for their permission to remain in the country.

Since one of the goals of GHRD is to provide young people with human rights education and stimulate dialogue between youth native and migrants living in Europe this project was a good opportunity for young people from the Netherlands to learn about the situation of immigrants and their rights in various European countries.

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