Day 3 was a very interesting day for our group of young people as they went on several Field Visits in Thessaloniki. During the morning, the group was divided in two.
The first group went to the Municipality of Neapolis-Sykies where they met Maria Roidi, City Councillor of the Municipality and member of the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe. She presented her background and role to the participants and talked about the political structure of Thessaloniki, the role and influence of Youth in political decision and the challenges it can represent.
3 other young women active in the Municipality also shared their experiences: Mary Drosopulos, youth trainer and consultant for the Municipality, Chryssa Kopra, collaborator of the Office of Planning of the Municipality on implementation and development of youth, social and cultural projects, and Fenia Papakonstantinou, President of AID and representation of education activities of AID (aid.com.gr).
The participants were able to ask to these inspiring young women all of their questions and left the Municipality with a better understanding of the significant things young people can actually do at their own local and political level.
The second half of the group went to the cultural Neighbourhood of Sikies where they were welcomed by Eirini Kagiampini, the president of the community and responsible for the cultural actions. There, they were invited to attend 3 different workshops: ceramic art, deco art and recycling art.
These workshops are usually attended by unemployed people of the neighborhood and participating to them was an opportunity for our group of young people to experience social work using art and culture. They left with a nice piece of art as a souvenir! Their morning program finished with a little guided tour around the facility to see the different buildings of this initiative, including an exhibition house and a youth centre.
The whole group then enjoyed some bounding free time in the city centre.
On the afternoon, the participants were hosted by the Municipality of Thessaloniki where they were welcomed by our friend Aris from United Societies of Balkans! He kindly had organised for our group to meet with two very influential persons for Youth of Thessaloniki: Babis Papaioannou, General Secretary for Life Long Learning and Youth at Ministy of Education and Lina Liakou, Deputy Mayor of Thessaloniki. They were kind enough to introduce themselves and their respective work in favour of Youth and explained the Youth policies of Greece and of the city, which was elected European Youth Capital in 2014.
After some exchange with them, the whole group enjoyed a typical Greek meal in a pleasant restaurant of the city center. With that, the day ended with the nicest moment and memories.
Only two days left and already we can see some friendship growing, and with them, beautiful collaborations and projects to be developed all over Europe!
Warm hugs and hopeful thoughts from Thessaloniki,
Youth Express Network
This project was supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union