Refugees welcome es un intercambio juvenil que tiene como objetivo despertar la empatía y comprensión de los jóvenes participantes con respecto a las dificultades que experimentan los refugiados, al mismo tiempo que los apoyaba en la sugerencia de medidas para respaldar la integración de los jóvenes refugiados. Además, buscaba crear conciencia entre los jóvenes sobre el valor de la solidaridad europea y fomentar una red de jóvenes dispuestos a trabajar en pro de la integración de los jóvenes refugiados en sus realidades locales. Este proyecto fue financiado por Erasmus+ a través de la Agencia Nacional Húngara para Erasmus+ Juventud, Tempus Közalapítvány.

Durante su desarrollo, el proyecto logró alcanzar los siguientes objetivos:

  • Sensibilizar a los jóvenes sobre el valor de la solidaridad europea.
  • Apoyar a los jóvenes en la formulación de medidas para respaldar la integración de los jóvenes refugiados.
  • Fomentar la empatía y comprensión de los jóvenes hacia las dificultades que experimentan los refugiados.
  • Establecer una red de jóvenes comprometidos que continúen trabajando en la integración de los jóvenes refugiados en sus comunidades locales.

A través de esta publicación, deseamos compartir los logros y el impacto positivo que este proyecto ha tenido en la vida de los participantes y en la promoción de la solidaridad y la integración de los jóvenes refugiados.


Day 1

Tuesday 22 August, we gathered for breakfast at 9am. The day’s activities began at 10 am with an outdoor workshop that included fun ice breaking and naming games to warm up and get to know the group. As a result of the activities, each participant found a buddy within the group. We soon gathered indoors for the mug exchange activity, where each participant received a unique mug from the other participants’ countries.
After the coffee break we set the rules of this project while sharing our fears and expectations and engaged in a fun activity. Families -smaller teams acting as safe spaces- were also created including a team leader and some participants each. At  2pm it was time for lunch and after that another team building activity. After the next coffee break of the day we had another constructive team building activity where we all had to work together to solve a problem. For the last team building activity we formed a silent circle followed by some time of sharing and then silence again.
By the end of the day, the families had their first meetings so the participants could reflect on their day and their overall experience. After that the team leaders meeting with the organisers followed. Our day reached an end with a nice dinner at 9pm.

Day 2

Second day and so many different things!

 We started our day with discussing the problem which is disconnection. Gathered in teams we were doing swot analysis of different aspects of disconnection and our base to analyse were European Union countries. Then we shared the results of our team brainstorming and analysing with the rest of the group.
Maybe the topic was disconnection, but it surely helped us connect more us a group.
After morning session where we had to move our brains we had a chance to move are bodies! It was a time for the competition! Six amazing teams: Be Ken, Palm Trees, Sexies, First in a second, Cheetas, Kung fu pelicans were competing against each other and doing the best they could to win the greatest prize… They were drawing on each other backs, chasing for the clothes pegs and walking as blind caterpillars. They attended four-leg and four-arm race and were freezing at every Danai’s look. 
The session was full of laughter, joy and playfullness. We all took care of our inner children and had amazing time. 
And the winner was… (drums sound) …First in a second!!! Congratulations and we wish them more successes in crazy competitions!
After we had eaten lunch and had rested a little bit, it was the time dedicated for ourselves. We were physically sitting all together, but everyone was focusing on themselves, their insight, and answering questions about their authentic selves, their identity. We were writing down on the paper whatever is deep in our minds and hearts. After the reflection we expressed the things that are inside us through art and created masks presenting what we think others think about us and how we feel we truly are. 
The last session was dedicated to meditation, sitting in silence and sharing our thoughts. 
We finished our day with night walking and watching the stars. We were wandering in the forest, sharing thoughts, lighting our way with flashlights and trying not to be bitten by too many mosquitos. We reached a beautiful spot in the middle of the woods where we could sit down and watch the stars. We sang the songs all together, but also in national groups in our native languages.
 It was a beautiful evening. Thank you all!

Day 3

At the beginning of the day we went outside to the basketball court. The first game was about deciding our standing point in certain personal topics. And if we caught the ball, we had to share our answer for the tough questions. After that we were asked to write down a question we would like to ask the others. With these questions it was easier to get to know each other in a deeper and more meaningful way.
Later in the morning there was an activity all about habits – the good and the not-so-great ones. Everyone identified one good habit they’re proud of and a two bad habits they want to improve.
Then, we split into teams and we did some presentations to illustrate these habits. Everyone got their creative juices flowing. One group reimagined Ed Sheeran’s «Bad Habits» with hilarious new lyrics.
Another team went all telenovela-style, making up a dramatic story with our habits thrown in. 
Besides having tons of fun, participants became aware of the habits that make us who we are.
In the afternoon there was a workshop where we could practise our theatical skills and learn how to express ourselves in a different way than usually. Because there is a safe space we were not scared about doing something wrong and we could just go with the flow.
We learned how to make up scenes on the spot, which was really fun and made us think quickly.
The best part was that we also learned how to work with different emotions, which helped us become better at expressing ourselves. Overall, this workshop was a mix of learning, playing, and using our imagination.
Today’s meditation session has been wonderful, as contemplating things we are grateful for, allows us to embrace a much more positive perspective on our lives, focusing on what we have, rather than what we lack.
The change in the final activity has also been a success, as using the ball with music creates a safe zone where people feel more inclined to share their experiences.

Day 4

“Another sunny day” just like Belle & Sebastian’s song in Navarredonda de Gredos. What’s better than starting off the day by having a nice walk and a bath in the cold water of the Sierra de Gredos river? 
 14km return way staying in touch with nature and observing cows, donkeys, goats and horses having their breakfast. The sun was shining energetically but luckily a bit of wind came in our help. 
 Later on, hunger was calling the participants to be back at the hostel for lunch time… and after a little nap to recover energies, it was time to connect with one another by listening to songs individually and then sharing the story behind the choice of the song with the participants in small groups. 
“Sharing is caring” some would say. But do we ever share our gratitude to our body for all the amazing things that it lets us do? Then thanks body for keeping on fighting. 
To disconnect the soul from the body after such a sporty day, a meditation session was held. Breathing in, breathing out, relaxing and just forgetting about what just happened. Some fell asleep and then woke up full of energy just like if meditation served as a “factory reboot”.

Day 5

On the 26th of august, the facilitators organized for us a trip to Ávila, which is considered one of the most interesting cities in Spain. There was a lot of free time for us during the day, so everyone had the oportunity to explore the city on their own and experience the local culture. Some of us visited the town walls, the catedral or Plaza Mayor.
In Avila the group also got to explore the city and get more in touch with locals by playing the «peg exchange» game. We were divided in groups and each group was given a peg to exchange for something with more value. The idea was to have an hour to do a chain exchange of things and the group with the most valuable item/items would win. We got the chance to meet many amazing people, local and tourists, in streets and in the shops, who were open to talk to us and help us reaching our goal.
It was heartwarming to see how many people were open to talk with total strangers and give us something, even when that something might have had some sentimental value. It was a funny way to explore the city and actually getting in touch with the culture and to try to speak some Spanish.
We voted to choose the winning team and,in the end, they decided to share the cakes that they got as a price with all of us. Sharing is caring!

The night started with the the Hungarian and Greek team preparing the intercultural presentation. The Hungarian team showed the traditional Hungarian weeding , organised a quiz interactive game and taught folk dancing. The Greek team presented a mythology video as well as a humoristic one . They couldn’t leave behind their folk dances .

The night closed after the participants tasted the national foods, drinks and snacks from the presenting countries and it was amazing!!

Day 6

On Sunday 27, the day started with breakfast at 9am. We then gathered for the first workshop which involved identifying and assessing our own bad habits. We split into small groups where we had to create a video, a poem and an essay about connecting with others. At the end of the workshop we shared and reflected on our creations with the whole group. 
After the coffee break we paired up with someone of our choice and discussed important areas of our lives to create a self-reflection pie.
Soon it was time for lunch and then the facilitators passed the baton to participants who had created their own 30 minute sessions. The open space was an amazing experience full of diverse, creative, fun and educational sessions that participants ran, including the library of life, Greek dances lessons, debate, flexibility and mobility, make-up workshop, improvisation, sexual orientation and Bachata lessons.
After that the whole group gathered together and reflected about their experiences. The day concluded with a family-group meeting, a meeting of the group leaders with the organisers and an optional dance party of self-expression.

Day 7

The morning of the 28th was for sure an intense one. We had to choose a partner to work with for the whole morning and were given access to the 36 questions for accelerated intimacy.

It was truly a unique experience to bond with somebody in such a short amount of time, without feeling pressured or judged.

And, as per usual in this exchange, the afternoon was completely different.  If the morning was filled with quiet conversations, during the afternoon we had music, laughter, and dance! During these exercises, we used our bodies to express ourselves without words. Flowing, experimenting… alone, in couples, as a group… trully an unforgetable experience.

Day 8

On the concluding day of our journey, had the opportunity to delve deeper into the realms of Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps. It was an experience filled with laughter as our facilitator ingeniously presented these programs through the lens of internal memes,using our own photos.


For the most experienced participants, they had prepared a game of «Brisapoli» recreating the journey of a youth organization, with all the decisions and problems (based on real life situations!) that may occur.


Then, we were divided into groups, and tasked with creating our own project ideas. This was an amazing way to work together and to give us motivation to start our own ideas and projects!

However, as the clock ticked without anyone being able to stop it, the moment of saying goodbye arrived. Yet, it didn’t feel like a final farewell; instead, it was more of a ‘see you soon.’ The closing ceremony became an emotional crescendo, where tears of goodbye mingled with smiles of cherished memories.

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