Youth Exchange in Switzerland – COVID-19 – What now?

14th September 2021

Switzerland

12-19 Decemeber 2021

The world is more unequal than before (or is it?). Who knew the world could change so quickly?

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone and it show us as a globalized society our weak points. We already started to adapt to the “new reality”, but still haven’t really processed this:

  • What has COVID-19 meant for us personally?
  • How were young people framed in the media during the pandemic (only going to parties, not caring, etc.)? How can we get back our voice as young people?
  • How are environmental degradation and eating animals related to this pandemic?
  • How did capitalism and patriarchy make the pandemic even worse?
  • How do we need to change society to prevent the next pandemic?
  • What chances do we have to imagine a new world after this pandemic?

With this youth exchange, we want to bring together 30 young people from all over Europe to reflect about the pandemic, what we learned and are learning from it and what all of this means for young people.

Youth exchange in the Swiss mountains:

In this project, you will experience how people in other parts of Europe experienced the pandemic and you will come up with strategies how young people can change society for the better after this experience! These discussions will happen in a fun and
non-formal way.

You will be able to transform your discussions and reflections into short videos and zines to distribute online. There will be filmmaking and zine-making workshops at the youth exchange. And since we’re in Switzerland, we will make sure to also include some outdoor time. It’s December – possibly we’ll make some snow sculptures!

Some practical info:

The youth exchange will take place in simple living conditions, rooms are shared with several other participants. Travel costs accommodation, food and program are covered through a grant by Movetia.

COVID-19: Of course we are not sure yet how the pandemic will look like in December and things might change spontaneously. At the moment, we do believe we can organise the exchange. We will book all tickets in a way that they are refundable in case it is not possible for you to come. We will of course also follow all hygiene regulations that are necessary to keep the group safe.

Sustainable food: The food we provide will be vegan. This is not just a practical decision, but also an ideological one: We believe in the values of sustainability, animal rights and climate justice – and if we want to continue living on this planet, we need to move on from animal agriculture and its destructive effects on our planet.

Sustainable travels?: This is also why we ask you to come to this project through more sustainable means of transport rather than flying (e.g. by train or bus), if somehow possible. We will give you more guidance and support on how you can reach the venue, once you are accepted to the project.

Who can participate?

  • Living in Switzerland, Catalunya/Spain, North Macedonia, Portugal, Ukraine or Turkey and be between 18 and 30! We unfortunately cannot make exceptions here due to our funding. The “group leader” from each country can also be above 30 years old.
  • Be able to participate in the whole period 12-19 December 2021! It doesn’t make sense for you to come to the project late or to leave early, as you would miss important sessions.
  • You don’t need to have experience at all! We also really encourage people who haven’t travelled at all yet or haven’t travelled a lot yet to apply.
  • Diversity is key! We explicitly encourage participants of all genders, sexual orientations, abilities, educational backgrounds, races and ethnic backgrounds to apply.

How can I apply?

You can find the application form here. Please fill it out by 1 October 2021! We are looking for 4 participants and 1 group leader from each participating country.

If you have questions about the application or the project, contact Iuliia (iuliia.beliaeva@scich.org).

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