I’m lucky, I have three meals per day

Participation at the Erasmus + project “Inclusion of migrants in hosting societies” has been an enriching experience from different point of view. First of all, I had the opportunity to spend some days with my brother in a beautiful place like Lavrio, after long time in UK and outside home it was a great opportunity to know each other better and do something useful together.

The trainer Ilie was extremely informed regarding EU topics and projects that I was not aware before the project. Knowledge of this makes me appreciate more what European Union is doing but is not perceived by the public. I feel like I have now more tools in order to do something for my professional development and for helping others. My learning process is at its beginning but everyday my trust in educational programs like cultural exchanges is increasing, I am willing to do my best in order to become a facilitator or a trainer and work as a youth worker in European programs.

We were in such an amazing place like Lavrio and Saron Hotel was great. Food was amazing; accommodation was super and the swimming pool superb. Since I arrived I felt like it was nonsense to be in the swimming pool while refugees were passing by and sleeping in the camp, but in the end the choice was successful: after visiting the camp I think all the participants realized how lucky we are if compared to the situation of many disadvantaged people with difficult background. After I actually met some refugees, after I had a human contact I realized how lucky I am and what is developing now in my head is something similar to my trip in Ivory Coast when I was 15 years old. Now I am thankful to have 3 meals per day and this was something I had forgotten in the last years.

The choice of the countries involved in the project, from my point of view, was successful: I never met many people from the Balkans and I think they were all very interesting people with many things to say, my interest in Balkans has increased a lot.

We visited the refugee camp of the UNHCR and I have to say it was not that bad. Seemed like operators were working peacefully, and the camp was not busy as I expected. Anyway, I could speak with some hosts and the problems they face seem complex and probably generalist media cannot cover them because of ignorance, people are not informed about specific political problems and this, from my point of view, has contributed to the rise of xenophobia in various European countries. Now I feel I have something to say which comes from experience and I am not a target of a certain kind of political propaganda.

I cried during the project and it was liberating: I met a Syrian refugee, and he was so traumatized and I think he managed to communicate his situation to me just with eye contact. It was a strong experience and probably now I understand more what war involves. I feel stronger now and less afraid.

It was definitely a strong project and I hope many other youngsters will have the opportunity to see what I saw and live the experience we had.

Francesco Boscarol – Italy

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