Beginning of December has a particular place in our hearts; it is ECTP Europe Camp time! ECTP 2018 is even more special for us; it is the 10th edition of European Citizenship Trimester Programme. This year, Europe Camp took place from 2 to 6 December with the participation of 287 participants and 51 volunteers from more than 25 countries in two venues in Belgium.
The European Citizenship Trimester Programme is an exchange programme run by AFS organisations in Europe and coordinated by EFIL. The programme was created as an intra-European trimester exchange focusing on European and Active Citizenship.
Participants start their exchange at the beginning of August/ September and at the end of their experience, they get together in Belgium for ECTP Europe Camp. We believe that ECTP Europe Camp adds a powerful dimension to the programme. Participants get a chance to discus about different aspects of active citizenship, visit European Institutions, reflect on their exchange and bond with other ECTP participants. They attend different workshops run by AFS volunteers on various topics linked to Active Citizenship in Europe. By the end of the camp participants brainstorm about challenges that we face in our society and they develop a small community project to implement in their home countries once their return.
In addition to Active Citizenship discussions, different elements of Europe were presented during Brussels Day. Participants visited the European Institutions, discovered different aspects of Europe and reflect on what Europe is to them. Later that day, the group also explored the city centre of Europe’s capital.
In this year’s ECTP edition, to celebrate our 10th anniversary, we invited two ECTP alumni, Josef Burker and Karmen Obrdalj. They shared their experiences with participants and talked about what active citizenship is for them. Thanks to their inspirational speeches, our participants got the chance to see what can be done after their exchange experiences. We are happy to say that, from this year’s ECTP edition, we will continue inviting ECTP alumni to our future camps.
Same as last year, ECTP participants continued claiming badges by using the open Badges System, which was introduced to the programme in 2016 to promote intercultural learning and reflection on experiences upon the exchange students. The Open Badge System is an interactive online learning tool. Each badge represents a competence that can be gained during the exchange experience and badges can be included in CVs.
All this has been possible thanks to the efforts of a great team of 51 volunteers from all over Europe and Egypt who prepared the content of the workshops and coordinated the logistics of this huge event.
ECTP is growing every year and we are already looking forward to next year’s edition! Be ready for surprises! See you in December 2019.