In December 2019 I participated in my first ever Youth 4 Europe exchange programme around Climate Change, which was hosted in Burgos, Spain.

As an environmental activist, and someone who is both worried and concerned about the state of the climate I was really interested in being a part of this exchange, and to seeing what I would learn over the course of the 10 days that the exchange was taking place on, not only that, but I was looking forward to seeing the type of people I would also meet whilst on this exchange.

The other participants came from 3 other participating countries, so along with the UK team there were also groups from Hungary, Spain and Italy. Through the first few days and after a couple icebreakers I quickly learnt about the eclectic bunch of people I was spending the 10 days with. The whole Y4E group was made of like-minded activists, creative and change makers and together we were going to work on something really special!

The bonding within the group was immediate and started as soon as we were on the coach trip from Madrid to Burgos, and only got better as the time went by! The intercultural evening was not only a chance to learn about everyone’s diverse culture and their home country, but also a chance to share in each others culture, and bond even more! 

But away from the bonding, and all the fun that we had whilst on this trip through getting to know each other and explore our area, we were there for a much bigger purpose, and that was to create a policy proposal around the environment, trying to make the world a better place. In the beginning this task felt daunting, but as the time went by and each persons passions were realised, this did not seem like such an impossible accomplishment.

As we reached the end of our exchange, each group left with a fully realised campaign and policy proposal that we could all be proud with and continue to work on once we were at home and in our own countries, and for me, personally I can say that I left feeling inspired and proud of what I was able to accomplish, and look forward to seeing what else I can do and be a part of.

By Saffron