LET’S BACK TO THE THINGS WE LOVE! Moving…during the pandemic period

On the week of 17 to 21 August 2020, our member Esprominho participated on the last meeting and the last Student exchange of Pupils of the Erasmus+ project TAB – Traditions Across Borders in Szentendre, Hungary. (Nº 2017-1-HU01-KA219-036042_7).

EsproMinho – Escola Profissional do Minho, from Braga, Portugal have been represented with 2 teachers and 2 students and for the meeting staff and teachers. Even on vacation with the goodwill and effort of teachers and students, they managed to fulfil this last goal of finishing the project. The biggest challenge was to achieve a mobility involving teachers and students in a strongly conditioned period.

Esprominho’s beliefs and sense of responsibility towards the Erasmus+ project motivated all of them. The constant need to respect hygiene and safety rules is obviously part of our concerns in all kind of activities, and that necessity was reinforced due to the current situation.

During the project, some countries schools did not participate but online work tools were set up so that everybody participated in some parts of the activities.

The Erasmus program is, above all, a program of mobility of knowledge, skills, but nothing can replace the social, the sensory and the emotional. The face to face became even more important. It is true that it was a different activity plan with some restrictions, but all the best was done to keep an excellent atmosphere. Hungarian host and coordinators were excellent in all the details.

Esprominho therefore seeks to encourage the Erasmus world within the legal framework to continue to develop their approved projects. Today, more than ever, in a Europe strongly threatened by radicalism and certainly close to an unprecedented economic and social crisis, it will make sense to say YES and in a serious and responsible way we should all continue to implement the ideas of the Erasmus+ program and the entire Agenda European Union either 2020 or the next 2021-27.

It is possible to continue our projects respecting the national policies about COVID-19 and act with responsibility in another. It is also true that life is not the same and there is a lot of things and different feelings but we have to try to keep the program ON and our lives moving, showing that we have and we can move (differently perhaps).

The background of this project was based almost 3 years ago on pedagogical experience which reveals that our students do not have appropriate knowledge of the community of the European Union, although they were born in one of its countries. To gain community development, it is always crucial to support the youth to be able to participate and active in the life of the Union and this is what Esprominho did. To become European citizen without understanding and knowing other nations’ values, cultures, and traditions is impossible.

Seven countries’ seven schools from Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and Turkey made a mutual agreement in order to contribute and fulfil this project. The countries represented different parts and cultures of Europe, ensuring the diversity of the project. We have been in all these countries and all the moments was unforgettable. More than 300 students and teachers, families, and staff have been involved.

Six fields of intercultural sphere were focused in this project, namely national parks and nature reserves, world heritage sites, traditions, public holidays, national holidays, and gastronomy. Six project meetings were organised (students’-teachers’ mobility) during the whole period of the project.

For sure there are no borders for knowing traditions, protection of environment, peace and friendship!