Early in the morning of 28 August, huge final hugs were given in Oldau before the bus set out from Germany, heading for Poland and Ukraine. This was the end of the part of ‘History begins in the family’ project. The project is organised by Foundations for Freedom INGO, the International Youth Meeting Centre in Oświęcim/Auschwitz and Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation/Bergen-Belsen Memorial in co-operation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
When it comes to making conclusions, only first impressions and successes can be shared, because new meetings are about to take place, but below are statistics from our first meeting:
Three countries – Germany, Poland and Ukraine.
Four languages – English, Ukrainian, Polish and German.
Twenty one participants from three countries.
We spent 48 hours to get from Lviv to Krakow, from Krakow to Oldau and back home.
Four full of work active days, which usually began at 8 am and lasted till the evening.
Two days spent in Bergen-Belsen.
Four interviews made in international groups.
Four sleepless nights. Having been surrounded by such wonderful people, we didn’t have time even to dream about sleeping. How could we manage to stay full of energy and go on working in the morning?!
Twenty one lyalka-motanka (handmade dolls) made by participants during the celebration of the Day of Independence of Ukraine.
One Belgian dance learned in free time.
One home task.
And finally, there was something beyond figures. The last day was rich in hundreds of hugs and wishes, a lot of smiles and an immense amount of shared happiness. Everyone has already started planning the next meeting, which is about to take place in Poland.
We will definitely share with you more figures in the future.
For now, being inspired and full of energy, let’s start doing our home task!
Translated by Yuliya Levytska
Photos: Oleksa Stasevych and Daniel Seifert