Youth exchange “Coexist”

Tue, July 11th 2017

Youth exchange “Coexist” Youth exchange “Coexist” Youth exchange “Coexist” Youth exchange “Coexist”

Like every year, IniciativAngola organised a youth exchange, which is financially supported by the EU programme Erasmus. The exchange took place from June 25 to July 4 in Tanzenberg/Plešivec in Carinthia. The topic of the whole week was CoExist, especially coexisting between different religions and cultures. According to the topic, the participants came from 7 different European countries: Austria, the host country; Slovenia, Czech Republic, Bosna and Hercegovina, Montenegro, Serbia (Vojvodina) and, for the first time, Croatia.

The programme was very interesting: on the first three days, we got to know each other. We played different team-building games, discussed multiple topics in small groups and had a lot of free time, which we used for doing sports together. We also went hiking to Ulrichsberg. Then we had a few days filled with different workshops about the most important religions: Catholic (evangelic, orthodox and Christian), Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Most of our guests were “natives” of their religions and very open-minded to answer all our questions. We spent the weekend away from Tanzenberg. On Friday, we went to Klagenfurt and visited churches of different religions. In the evening, we were part of a Croatian concert. On Saturday and Sunday, we were in St. Primus/Šentprimož. There we had different workshops about IniciativAngola and the voluntary service. Some of us also played football at the festival Kick&Rock 4 Africa. On Sunday, we participated in the holy mass in St. Primus/Šentprimož and then we spent a relaxing afternoon at the lake near-by.

The festival CoExist4Peace was surely a highlight of the whole week. Young people of different ages and religions came to us to Tanzenberg/Plešivec and played sport games with us, learned about different religions and then, prayed with us an interreligious prayer. The atmosphere was very special and peaceful.

After nine days, we really became a coexisting team. At the final presentation on Tuesday in the government of Carinthia everyone could see that.

Lucia Haab

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