This trip to Amsterdam marked, unfortunately, the end of this large-scale project. For this occasion, we organized a week bringing together not only the project partners but also some participants.
For three days, we shared the different activities carried out in each country, having as a common theme the intergenerational relations, but treated in different ways: language learning, motivations, entrepreneurial skills, and evaluation. Every day, we learned from each other and shared beautiful moments together.
I would like to relate one of the most striking experiences in my opinion; this is the activity carried out by our Dutch partners based on the development of entrepreneurial skills. We were lucky enough to share the place where we spent time during the week (“Talentenhuis” or “House of Talents”) with 60 young dancers and musicians who were there to rehearse a festival taking place at the end of the week. We took advantage of this unprecedented situation, and perfectly in line with the theme of our project, to unite these two generations and thus create a moment together.
Each group had an instruction without the other knowing it. Aladdin’s participants had to describe a situation they were stuck in their professional or personal life and explain how they had managed to overcome it. The young artists had to tell a situation where they had to make an important decision. The older participants settled in the room, respecting a minimum of space around them, and the young people arrived and chose someone to create pairs. Then, we gave them 20 minutes to share these experiences. Observing these different groups, I found there was a right chemistry between them, most of the time. It looked very natural, and the discussions seemed quite deep. There were contacts, looks, words that sailed across the room.
And suddenly, when we announced the end of the exercise, we saw tears, hugs, and many wanted to continue the conversation that they had not finished or that had led to something else… It was very moving, even as a spectator, to see these links created so quickly between two people of different generations who did not know each other a few minutes before… and it is precisely thanks to all these criteria that it worked . It was because of this context, which inspired trust, so each person on each side was able to open up and learn from the experience of the other.
Our week ended with the Friday conference. We presented the work that each one had done during the different working sessions, in the form of videos, testimonies, workshops … We were happy to have shared this and to continue to do so by presenting it more officially.
This was my first trip in a professional setting and it served as trainer every way. And I shall end with a remark that we made at the last dinner; These moments remind us that, although we all came from different countries, with a language and a specific culture to each one, we all have the same desire to share, the same heart, and we are only one.