Looking in the Mirror
How a project in Lithuania connected 43 people from different cultures
On the 7th of May, 43 participants from Denmark, Palestine, Latvia, Lithuania, Armenia, UK, Georgia, and Jordan all met for some of the most memorable and educational days of our lives.
The theme of our meeting was inspired by "the man in the mirror." Our aims were to take a look at ourselves, and then make a change.
With participants of all ages, we explored our capabilities, insecurities, and cultural differences in order to unleash our potential, and evaluate our motivations.
Through exploring what makes us different, and realising our common ground, or at least vested interest and curiosity in our differences, we enhanced our critical thinking skills, which slowly helped us feel proactive, and understand our maximum potential.
Some aspects were difficult in the sense that they pushed us out of our comfort zones. Not in the way I have before, such as embarking on crazy experiences, and tackling my fears, but it made us ask questions we wouldn't usually discuss, due to the way we perceive societal norms.
These kind of activities are something I would have never have thought could impact both my personal and professional perspectives. For example, asking someone about the conflict in their country is something, as a British person, I would avoid, as I believe it could be extremely sensitive, and I would not like to risk upsetting that person. However, from having the opportunity through crafted activities it became a truly valuable experience that I don't believe I would have dared to combat without this project.
Since coming back from the project I have honed on the reflecting techniques that we used in Lithuania, and I have been reflecting not only on the project, but on international relations and development as a whole. I have taken an interest in global politics, and development projects more than I have even when volunteering with an NGO in a third world country, simply because I am inspired by the large group of diverse people I met on the project.
I hope now, in the future, to engage in international relations/politics work and research, and to visit the countries of the participants, and experience their culture first hand.
I am grateful for Raminta at Inovatyvi Karta (Inovative Generation), and George and Gvantsa at Youth For the World for creating this project, and giving us this amazing opportunity.