Youth Cooperation = Peace Integration

The big reunion of the 2016 summer camp group had finally arrived. The journey went to Vukovar, Croatia. Vukovar is located in the east of Croatia, right on the Serbian border.

“I can’t believe we’ll see each other again tomorrow”. Although the young people had kept in touch all year, it is still something indescribable when you finally come face to face. The participants would spend two weeks together in Vukovar.

The young people got to know Vukovar and its history especially through a scavenger hunt in the city centre, a visit to the Vukovar Municipal Museum and the Memorial Centre of Homeland War Vukovar. The latter in particular was received with interest and at the same time very emotionally. “War leaves wounds that remain for a long time,” the participants reported. Again, everyone became aware of how important it is to fight for peace and international understanding.

A lot could be learned in workshops. The variety of topics ranged from identity, motivation, emotions and empathy to social media and peace in Europe.

The young people were also able to develop their skills in the DIY groups. They chose between Facebook/Blog, Dance, Handcraft and Newspaper.

Having already realised the importance of volunteering at the summer camp, the participants were now able to work on local projects themselves. These included cleaning up the legendary Campus15 staircase on the banks of the Danube, which looked like new afterwards. Also, the preparation of a park in the forest with the interesting name Adica. The gratitude of the citizens of Vukovar who use these facilities showed the participants how valuable their involvement can be. As another social project, the participants visited an institution for mentally disabled people. Besides understanding the situation and having a lot of fun, the young people developed respect and admiration for people who have to fight their own battle every day. In table tennis, all participants nevertheless lost to the successful players.

To mark International Youth Day, the group visited the Vukovar City Library and did a live programme here. Building peace is the task of the youth. This was the message of the young people.

As the temperatures of the Croatian summer are not exactly low, a visit to the local pool was not to be missed.

The Scavenger Hunt and the Childhood Game Night were also a lot of fun.

What the participants will remember for a long time, however, is the day spent on an island in the Danube called Vukovarska Ada and the excursion to Osijek, as well as the entire experience of this camp.

But the people will probably be remembered even longer. The young people have made friends for life. And memories were created that they will never forget. For sure, the Reunion will therefore not have been their last encounter. The adventure is not over yet!

The blog about the 2017 Reunion can be found here: