Breaking stereotypes via the art of communication

Youth Exchange

Kolochava, Ukraine, 8th-18th July 2013 ()

The project brought together young people aged 16 to 25 from 3 countries (Estonia, UK and Ukraine) for 9 days international youth exchange. The project aimed to support young people to develop mutual cooperation while breaking down cultural stereotypes about each others countries.

This project took place in Kolochava village lactated within the trans Carpathian Mountains of Western Ukraine. The group from 3 countries stayed together for 9 days to look at the topic of stereotypes through non-formal education activities. Some of the activities included photography, hiking, and art workshops. After a number of workshops delivered by the leaders the group started to work towards creating a performance about what they learned about cultural stereotypes. The performance was given to members of the local community where participants also had the chance to interact informally over some food and drink.

On one of the days the group took a visit to the city of Mukacheve close to the Slovakian and Hungarian boarder. Participants had the chance to explore this beautiful little city as well as having a cultural meal at a local restaurant. On the way back to Kolochava the group stopped at one of the mountain lakes to take in the view and enjoy the local nature.


            I really enjoyed the opportunity to join this exchange and felt I learnt a lot about other countries and cultures in Europe. As a result, I made some life-long friendships and can’t wait to join the next project”

Jake Craig – Participant and resident of Hastings

The interactions between the participants was really positive and some long term friendships were formed. The project truly broke down some of the negative cultural stereotypes that existed and many of the young people were keen to visit each others countries, as well as return to the Ukraine. A number of the participants expressed the interest to do a follow up project especially European Voluntary Service, which we will try to help them achieve.


These were some of the things that the young people gained during the exchange.

  • Creative art, music and drama skills.
  • Breaking cultural stereotypes and new inter-cultural competencies.
  • A fostered trust, reciprocity and mutual respect for each others culture and background.
  • Skills in International tolerance and cultural acceptance.
  • Public presentation and speaking skills.
  • Self confidence.
  • New international friendships.


To view more photos, please check our Facebook project album at

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