From August 23rd to September 1st, 2021 YEU Cyprus brought together 34 young people from 4 different islands (Mitilini, Cyprus, Sardinia and the Canary Islands) to introduce and discuss their islands’ traditions under the youth exchange titled ‘Islandism’. Islandism was a project designed in an effort to highlight traditions of various islands which are in danger of being forgotten due to the islands’ small size and remote location. Additionally, this project aimed to create a space for discussion and exchange of ideas which could enhance the quality of living for young islanders. Through numerous activities developed in the context of non-formal methodology, participants had the opportunity to develop various skills relating to creativity, communication, collaboration and active participation as well as to foster feelings of social inclusion and solidarity by improving their sense of belonging to the larger European family.
In particular, due to their involvement in this project, participants were able to explore in depth the traditions of their own country but also to learn about the traditions of other marginalised European areas whilst improving their research skills and active listening. Creativity, innovation as well as the development of digital skills were encouraged through the use of different software during the production of audiovisual material to promote their tradition. Moreover, through the activities participants had a close look at social issues relating to inclusion and became more aware of different island challenges and opportunities which resulted in the connection of people with different backgrounds from similar geographical situations.
Furthermore, participants deepened their self-awareness and developed their communication in English and other foreign languages. They learnt about opportunities offered through the Erasmus+ Programme and built a network of international partners. Participants were able to work on their facilitation and leadership skills in non-formal methodology through the workshops each national team had to organise during the exchange. Lastly, all participants developed active participation and social and civic responsibility by engaging closely with EU values through non-formal educational activities which help to foster tolerance, solidarity and more.