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Since October, I have had a chance to discover various aspects of Erasmus+ and writing projects seemed by far the most interesting and intellectually stimulating. So when at the beginning of May our project coordinator mentioned that our association is planning to apply for the European Youth Together 2020 call and that he wants us to get involved in writing the application, I felt both excited and overwhelmed. 

For someone who had never written any project application before, I for sure dived head-first and took on the most ambitious task: KA3, a high-stake action which aims at establishing a dialogue between youth NGOs and policy-makers at the European level. No pressure at all…

Luckily, my fellow volunteer Barbara and I weren’t left alone with this. We joined a team of two experienced colleagues, who guided us through the whole process. Day by day, we meticulously studied the guidelines, filled in the forms, contacted the partners, prepared the budget…

Our project was centered around the environment and sustainable development. The main goal of ours was to create awareness of the importance of environmental protection, to encourage people to behave more environmentally-friendly in their everyday life, to present the many benefits of implementing Sustainable Development Goals to local stake-holders and decision-makers and to provide youth leaders with practical tools to enable a dialogue between them, the youth and high-level policy-makers.

Although incredibly demanding and quite stressful (especially at the end), the overall experience turned out to be a great learning opportunity. At the beginning I felt overwhelmed with the sheer number of requirements to be fulfilled- and the complexity of them all- but bit by bit I managed to get a grasp of it. Coming up with various ideas for activities, trying to predict problems that may arise, planning every little detail was a wonderful exercise in creativity and, at the same time, a great opportunity to put my problem-solving skills to the test. I learnt how to communicate my ideas in a clear and coherent manner and how to give constructive feedback. Most importantly, I discovered a value of teamwork and experienced a truly unique feeling of unity that occurs when working with a group of people towards a common goal. 

Even though the realist in me tells me not to get carried away with wishful thinking that our project will pass with flying colors, I’m proud to say that- thanks to our hard work- we did everything we could to write the best application possible. 

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