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Youth Exchange "Your Own Opinion": New Horizons for Media Literacy

True magic had happened in Pustomyty (Lviv Oblast) on 7th of July, the youth exchange had brought 40 young people from 8 countries to discuss and audit the concept of media literacy, and to rethink a way how we can recognise and defeat manipulations, propaganda, cyberbullying, etc. This incredible journey had last for 9 days, and all of participants made their contributions to the topic, sharing their personal experience and considering media conditions in their countries.

 

If look closer to the project, the aim of the youth exchange was to empower young people to become conscious media and news consumers and to apply their critical thinking when assessing any information source. The project offered many workshops to give some insights for recognizing manipulations in media and personal manipulations, training critical thinking and reliable journalism, defeating propaganda and fake news, rethinking the concepts of cyberbullying and tolerance, etc. After all sessions each national team had a little group reflection about the activities, the atmosphere of the youth exchange, and feelings of the participants.

 

During the major programme all young people from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine had the opportunities to present cultures of their countries: traditions, customs, meals, songs and dances. Playing Kahoot about Czech culture, dancing the Greek Syrtaki, listening to hypnotic Georgian songs, tasting traditional Lithuanian cheese and many other things – everything is so interesting and amazing. Three intercultural nights were full of positive energy, funny moments and bright presentations. For example, the Ukrainian team introduced the traditions of Kupala Night (Ivana-Kupala) when everybody could try to read their own fortune with their wreaths and shoes. Along with that the participants had a quiz about Ukrainians and tasted some typical treats from the national cuisine. 

Besides, Lviv was a wonderful place to show all national teams what is Ukraine and a true Ukrainian daily life. Everybody had a good chance to talk with locals about what is a hoax and fake news, and how often they experience different tricks in the media today.

 

The youth exchange "Your Own Opinion" was finished on 15th of July, 2019. All participants had got their Youthpass, discovering the world of Erasmus activities, reflecting on their contribution to the topic of media literacy, enjoying Ukrainian culture particularly and intercultural exchange in general. Everything was made for youth by the youth. Fabulous days in Pustomyty!

 

Taras Syvukha