Eline, 16 years, Holland
“This year, it really changed me, I think, for example now I can
see the beauty of the simple life without computer, television, etc. and just being with people you love. When I came back and saw my dad and little brother, I realized how many negative things people think of all the time, and obviously I do too.
So, it might sound a little bit complicated, but what I mean to say is that the camp has learned me how weird the way we live today is, and that it is something we really should change in the future. And of course, that even if you don't understand each other at first, or just don't think that you could ever be friends with somebody, in the end you will certainly discover a part you love in the other”.
Enrique, 21 years, Italy:
“What a strange fact that when you have to say goodbye to those whom you love, then you really feel the power of such love! And it's a strong and chargingpower, in which you can find answers to many things. And you can find the strength to keep that love close to you, so that it may stay intact...”
Shouly, 27 years, participating first time as youth guide, Lebanon:
“The healthiest place and people I have ever had the chance of sharing realities with”.“The uniqueness of YTOP is the harmony and understanding between allages. There is an unspoken understanding of mutual respect. Since then, I have tried to understand the difference between interacting with these age groups in my life back home and the group of people at the camp. I finally came to the realization, that the wisdom and calm which are found in the older generations were somehow imprinted into the children. I also found the innocence and
the youthful spirit maintained by everyone I met. I believe that this safe environment indirectly promotes sharing, sharing of everything from responsibilities, to knowledge and most importantly - TRUST.”
Some reflections from parents:
The mother of one of the participants with Down Syndrome told us that since Lorenzo has come back from the exchange, he is resolved to go to school and study with a new found confidence and persistence. He had expressed since the very first experience in the youth exchanges that his biggest desire was to have a coffee shop of his own. With the support of his parents,he is now working on his own coffee shop. Lorenzo is living his dream for real...
Parents are reporting that the young people are better in their homes and school, helping and assisting in duties, and they have an enhanced sense of responsibility. Some of them left behind shyness, opened up towards new cultural backgrounds and mostly all of them are ready for a new opportunity to exchange with their peers...
My daughter joined the Y-top-Camp the second time in this summer,
from where she retourned home totally enthusiastic and full of positiv impressions.
I will shortly give you a snapshot of her living envirement life, because through this it will help you to understand in what ways the Y-TOP is influencing her.
She is changing and developping her personal life through it.
To give young people the possibility and the space of trying out and processing together on the way of growing up is a silver bullet to the development of a human to become social responsible, creativ in political conciousness for the whole ecology .
The best possibility for understanding is practice.
And exactly that is what the camp is offering to my daughter.
Since this camp happend, my daughter has become much more open to other humans and situations,
which are „different“ to anything she has had experience and has lived to see until now.
She became much more sensitiv to all discremination in the daily life, she became more interested in political backgrounds (refugee influx) and through the contact with other humans in the Y-top, she feels much more, what happens to other people in an intolerant system.
This international exchange is not only very helpful in becoming more skillful to speak english or get to know other languages (reduction of barrier of speaking/comunicate), it is most co-operativ, it broadens one`s mind by cross cultural and intellectual exchange.
So I say to all who engage
so that all young people can have this chance of experience