16-23 November 2016, Riga, Latvia

We have just finalised another great Youth Exchange, organised and promoted by “Youth Line”, which took place in Riga between November 16th and November 23rd 2016.

Held in Riga and named "Social Records - Let's Highlight Equality Matters”, it aimed to develop the theme of inclusion and equality by challenging the participants to film short movies upon which they projected how they perceive social exclusion, poverty, homelessness, disability, membership of an ethnic minority, lack of adequate literacy skills, unemployment, family circumstances, addiction problems and similar issues connected to social exclusion. These short movies would then be used to raise the awareness of general public, government officials and European officials about these issues and freely distributed so that may be used by others to further expand the work that was developed.

He had the participation of 42 participants from 7 countries, Latvia, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, and Germany, that first spent 3 days having supervised discussions on equality and inclusion issues, bringing their personal and culturally diverse views to this forum and gaining a broader and more open view not only on the issues but their perception from different perspectives.

We used various non-formal education and social animation techniques to get everyone to feel comfortable, participate and contribute with their own views and solutions to these problems. We made everyone realise that every opinion counts and throughout the exercises it was amazing to see how spontaneous discussions arose when new and unexpected opinions challenged some prejudices carried by the participants. It was, to say the least, eye-opening to everyone!

After this phase the participants were separated in 5 different groups, chosen purportedly to make them as diverse in views and cultures as possible, and they started the filming and editing, which took the remaining 3 days, and made them roam Riga to find the best filming locations for their scripts and interact with the local population, who was often quite curious about this group of young directors, filming crew and actors from so many origins that were exploring their city.

Inevitably came the Grand Opening night, where all the movies were presented, with all the excitement, the obligatory celebration and even champagne!

Disclaimer:This YE was organized by non-governmental and not for profit Public Organization “Youth Line” and supported by Latvian Agency for International Programs for Youth and Erasmus+.