The Triangle in Portugal

Within our Tri-continental Youth cooperation project this Youth Exchange created the conditions for almost 70 young people from 12 countries in 3 Continents to come together in Portugal from the 15th to 29th of August 2009. They reflected, presented and discussed over two weeks the effects and consequences of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, who’s tragic trade link these countries together.

This youth exchange went according to our preparations, exceeded our expectations in the creativity and quality of the group workshops. It raised our knowledge and understanding of Human Rights and Empowerment issues and created the conditions for an amazing intercultural experience. It totally failed in our efforts to get 4 Dominican Republic young people and 3 Ghana young people to Portugal because of Visa problems!

Round the theme of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its effects and modern day consequences each group prepared and presented a workshop on an aspect that affected their community. Each group also created a big Poster of their project which became part of a public exhibition at the Portugal Institute for Youth.

We created the conditions for interactive, participative youth led activities. There was plenary and small group meetings, we made visits to youth projects and held an e.p.a. Play Action with children in a difficult community in Lisbon. We visited the monuments to the wealth of the Portuguese Slave Trade and held many intercultural gatherings. The Programme was full, fascinating and demanding.

After one week in Almada and Lisbon we went for another week to Alcoutím - an ancient town on the Guadiana River on the opposite shore is Spain. A peaceful and tranquil contrast to the city of Lisbon. It was very hot but the mornings and evenings gave us a beautiful outdoor working area. We returned to Lisbon for the last two days to give an amazing three continent performance at the theatre of the Youth Institute of Portugal. This was a fitting final to our creative, colourful, profound Youth Exchange we indeed made a “Different Triangle”!

To get a little impression of the exchange watch this video from our final presentation ...

 

Many thanks to our Portuguese hosts the Eco-Estilistas – a youth group that uses “waste” to recycle into clothes that they present in “cat walks” in many places around Lisbon. They welcomed and cared for youth groups from all around Europe, from Africa and America with great commitment and joy.

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