Young people from five different countries met in one place to jointly try to change their approach to a healthy lifestyle, and then make changes in their local community. After a few days spent in a charming place, they left full of new knowledge and optimism to actually introduce a real change.
The training course Shake a leg, together! took place in Struga from August 12th to 18th. These few days were full of activities. Young people aged 18 to 30 from Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Slovenia, and Turkey participated full of energy and enthusiasm. SALT abounded in numerous workshops concerning a healthy lifestyle and proper way of exercising. Other essential topics, such as public speaking and promotion, media literacy and fake news, body and brain functioning, were discussed. The most significant undertaking was the Facebook Challenge, which will continue on social media of the project. Participants learned a lot and tried to create something that can affect their local communities. The event in Struga was only the first part; the whole project consists of 5 activities: 3 transnational project meetings (each two-day meeting) and two blended mobilities (5-days mobilities). The next blended mobility will be held in Lithuania, where the entire project will end with a festival.
Participants shared their thoughts about the experience in Struga:
Laura, Lithuania (project organizer):
I think it was a bit different than we originally planned, but then again, I think with all that time that was gone during the pandemic, our views changed, and also other group leaders added additional value to the project. The whole group always brings the magic to these projects, so in the end, what matters the most is that amazing group of people connected and gained some new knowledge from us and each other. And that is exactly what we wanted. Now is the next part, the Facebook challenge, and activity in Lithuania. I am scared and excited about it at the same time.
It is something that a word or an essay can’t express adequately. I love this project and the way it was organized. After these couple of days, I can feel myself in a new way. In Struga, I have found many friends that converted into a family on the last day of the project. I can happily say it was the best Erasmus+ Project I have participated in.
SALT was my 5th project, quite different from the others. During the five days, we not only learned about a healthy lifestyle but also grew by being around each other. We had night swims together in lake Ohrid, danced in the sun on a boat trip, watched each other get more comfortable at speaking English, gave and received lots of hugs, pushed each other to exercise, took long walks resulting in at least 15,000 steps daily, we even had a wedding and made friendships and memories we refuse to let go of.
Before I started this project, I could have never expected it to turn out this good. From day one, I started to learn unexplainable much, not only about the importance of a healthy lifestyle but also about numerous life lessons through all the different backgrounds and life stories. Every participant in our group affected my life differently, and I am so grateful that I was given a chance to be part of this wonderful journey.
Without exaggerating, I could say that this was one of the best Erasmus+ projects I’ve been to so far! I returned home different, inspired, and with a wish for a change. I was enthusiastically surprised by the other young people, who, with their words and actions, proved that they carry so much love, acceptance, respect, understanding, etc., towards the others. I returned home sad but at the same time extremely happy because I brought a lot of new knowledge and, most importantly, new friendships.
I wouldn’t have believed it if they had told me about my experiences within the project before I came to Struga. I was amazed by the environment and friendships established by this project. Its content rekindled my (almost extinct) interest in sports. My personal trainer was surprised to see me at the gym days later. I am looking forward to the next steps of the project.
Europos Savanoriu Tarnybos Asosacija Saltes
Voluntariat Zavod Za Mednarodno Prostovoljno Delo Ljubljana
PI Youth Association
Volunteers Centre Skopje