“Beyond the Horizon” is a youth exchange organized by the Polish association Fundacja Brajlówka, in the framework of the Key Action 1 Erasmus+ programme/youth. The exchange took place between 9th and 17th September 2016 in the Polish village of Poronin (Malopolska region). The partner organizations were:
- Belgium (Views international)
- Hungary (Látássérültek Szabadidős Sportegyesülete)
- Italy (Unione Italiana dei Ciechi e degli Ipovedenti ONLUS)
- Poland (Fundacja Brajlówka)
Every partner organization sent a maximum of 10 participants, 5 blind and 5 sighted, between 17 and 25 years of age. Every group could have a maximum of two leaders (with no age limit).
- to raise awareness on the problems that blind and visually impaired people are faced with in their everyday lives, through practical experiences during the project;
- to promote sport and a healthy lifestyle;
- to inspire empathy in young sighted people, thus helping social integration;
- to develop positive behavioural patterns and mutual understanding.
A variety of activities was organized, both inside and outside the hotel where the exchange was hosted. Read Elin’s article to breathe the atmosphere of the Tatra mountains!
Advanced Planning Visit Poronin, Poland
For the Youth exchange “Beyond the horizon” that will take place in September in Poronin, Poland, an Advanced Planning Visit was organised. The event took place in Poronin, Poland from 8th till 10th of August 2016. An advanced Planning Visit is an event that gives the organiser and the partners of a project time to better prepare it. This kind of event can take place when we speak about a project with a special target group. And disability is one.
Anca and one of the young participants, Mohamed, represented Views International to this visit. During the visit we visited the accommodation, we discussed the planned activities, we met with representatives of the hosting association and we discussed the administration and financial matters.
During this visit we worked on the project and tried to find solutions to all possible difficulties that could arise.
We also gathered all the necessary information in order to be able to answer all the questions we had and all other potential questions from the young participants.
They were two fruitful days and a really enjoyable time in the surrounding of Polish Tatra Mountains.
These two working days were really needed in order to prepare the hosting of more then forty people from whom at least half are visually impaired.
We hope participants will have a great time during the youth exchange.
Let’s wait and see what they will say in the next following issue of our newsletter.
My travel experience in Poland
My travel experience in Poland
Maybe I could compare this youth exchange to a vacation on the Spanish coast. The weather was hot, there was animation and every night you could find one party or another. The only differences were that we were not by the sea but in the mountains, and that people didn’t speak Spanish.
To summarize: young people, from different countries, visually impaired and sighted… all in one place. You can call it “diversity”, but at the same time I got the feeling that we were not so much different after all. It was the first time I participated to a project such as this one, and I find it a pity that I haven’t heard of Views earlier. However, I hope it will not be my last project!
Some people used the words “peace Community” to describe the exchange… although “sleeping” definitely wasn’t the main activity that we carried out!
I’m totally blind and I liked the atmosphere of inclusion, the feeling that you are just like everyone else (a feeling that, unfortunately, you don’t always get to experience in daily life!).
We did sport, went to the mountains, went to visit some cities, and did many other interesting activities. However, what contributed the most to the process of making us closer was sitting together at night, laughing, tasting Polish wodka or Hungarian palinka, and struggling to wake up so early the morning after.
I met really nice people, not only in the Belgian group, but also from the other countries. I can’t wait for the next exchange!