Six young Egyptians participated in one of the intercultural exchange programs organized by Hors Pistes organisation. This youth exchange was about non-violent communication. The youth traveled from Egypt through Sting organisation.
Through workshops, the program aims to create an interactive environment for eight days and in six teams from different countries: Egypt, Italy, France, Croatia, Georgia and Tunisia. During these workshops and activities, each person begins to discover himself and find out how to accept others and how diverse we are.
All the participants from the Egyptian team confirmed that the experience was real and that it may not be the first of its kind, but it was distinguished in terms of the facilitation team and where the program was held, where everyone was satisfied.
Amgad Moustafa one of the participants said: « Being involved in some activities as a facilitator may make you say things that you may not be saying on a personal level. So when you turn from facilitator to participant you have a great opportunity to see the truth, and here I got that opportunity and it was wonderful. »
Amr Ramadan one of the participants pointed out that: » this experience is one of the most beautiful experiences that I have lived in my life, 9 days in the the Alps, no Facebook, no wifi, no mobile signal, not buying anything because there was no place to buy anything from . We were in the mountains, without fast food, the pressure of work and e-mails, without many things from the pressure of civil life, the real experience was very interesting and very useful. »
Shima Ashraf said: « I spent a week in this isolated place without internet or a mobile network. I wake up in the morning until the end of the night to learn, to discuss, to work, to laugh and to have fun, to learn about different people, cultures and words, and to learn the languages of the different teams.
You are growing more and more every day, and your passion and desire to travel to these countries and to spend more different experiences there, and certainly this is different food from different countries every day, and new and strange habits and habits, you wish to hear and learn a lot about them. »
Ahmed elmey relates to road to Vaunières:
« Before traveling I was feeling some anxiety and tension, especially as this was the first event outside of Egypt, and the harder it was in English and not Arabic. So much so that I was browsing the Internet and translating some words that I would use in the workshops, but suddenly I stopped and said to myself I can do that I can talk and discuss all my thoughts with others. Day after day I became more confident, I could speak to all the people from more than one country. »
The things he learned in the camp:
- Listen to the others and to have faith in his free expression
- Becoming able to communicate with everyone well
- lots of beautiful workshops that focus on clear goals – deepen the forms of non-verbal communication
Rana elfeky says : « Unforgettable experience, these two words can summarize it all. For me, Words Matter was a great opportunity to be exposed to different cultures, also living in the mountains for 9 days accompanying by all these awesome people with nothing but tranquility and fun was priceless. In this trip, I discovered a lot of similarities between all of the participants and all of our countries, the program itself was really useful and taught me a lot of things other than that WORDS MATTER such as: always try to think positive, being helpful with everyone without waiting for something in return and that we can always communicate without any violence even if we have major differences. I’m really glad I was part of this program and I will never forget all the good memories we had there, Thank you Sting and Thank you Hors Pistes. »
And the story ends with some notes of fairytales, « once upon a time there was a girl called Amira », who tells enthusiastically about her first trip to Europe!
« Once upon a time there was a girl who is called Amira when finally she went to Europe, this journey happened in a place she’d gladly call heaven which is Vaunières let’s see how her journey goes under this blue sky with mountains everywhere and nothing but the nature around you…
The workshops were including information about communication and different types of communication, they were interesting and useful as I learned how to express myself more, to trust others, how to think from different perspective that I usually don’t use and most of all how to build a connection. The discussions were holding lots of respect, understanding and humanity. This exchange was amazing for me as at the end I felt like how amazingly ‘Words Matter’.
We were the only team that didn’t know each other well before we go as other teams were actual friends and organization members. The relation and the trust that we built through the exchange and even after was amazing and it was useful during the exchange days.
I was really impressed with some members who built language, communication and friendship through the nine days and they broke the ice between themselves and the other side of lots of things, I was watching them growing supporting them and telling them how proud I’m of them. And yes the porpoise of the exchange checked 😉
We cooked msaa’a, Saniet Batates and Roz Mea’mar and people went crazy over the Egyptian food. Let alone that I cooked Zalabia !!! MOM screamed when I told her that I cooked something 😀 thanks Egyptian team.
45 person in the same place is a huge number, but to talk to everyone and make somehow a connection with this number is impressive… I found help from the facilitators other leaders and the participants. I was a team leader but also a participant so while doing the workshops I learned a lot and I saved lots of memories and experiences that I’ll never forget. I built some friendships that I believe they’ll last.
The more I travel and do exchanges the more I fall for people not cities, at the end you find that all of us are the same, longing for understanding acceptance and common ground in such peaceful places and communities. »
To find out more about Words Matter, check out the video!