Our young volunteers explored Álora to learn about gender equality through different artistic way, also to develop their knowledge about the situation of the domestic violence against women and men in Turkey, Portugal, Poland, Italy and Spain.

On 25th of November we started our travel with minibus, then changed to a plane and finished the long trip with a train from Málaga to Álora which is a small but charming town in Spain. It was around 8pm when we arrived, after that we got a tour around our accomodation and working place, Casa Imagina, then ate some typical Spanish dinner.

Next day we started our day with an energizer, then we got a clock to write others’ names to each hour as “dates” to get to know each other better and to break the ice between the participants. After the teambuilding activities, we talked about our fears, expectations and our contribution connected to the youth exchange with which we could benefit the work of the team. We also agreed on the rules of the YE.
The coordinators presented to us the schedule of the week, then we were introduced to the workshops we will be attending and the cleaning schedule since everyday we cleaned Casa Imagina showing respect for the cleaned place they provided us, also it was a good bonding with the other teams and with eachother too.
After this, we went for lunch, we ate a really good local soup, local meatballs with tomato sauce and a local sweet for desert.
In the afternoon we played cohasion games to strengthen our trust towards each other, then in the evening we tried out each cultures gastronomy’s specialities during the Intercultural Snack Night. 

On the second day we dived into the topic of the exchange and started the workshops by a discussion about controversial themes and we had to decide that we agree with or not, or maybe we are neutral with some stereotypical statements regarding gender-based activities and attitudes.
After we talked about other crucial aspects like sex, gender and gender confusion, we worked in groups to make freezed scenes about different moments of the daily life to get into and practice our acting skills.
In the afternoon we dyed T-shirts in purple which symbolize gender equality.
In the evening we had a cultural night for Romania and Poland, where we learned and showed traditional folk dances. I can say that I am proud of our team since we were in the first raw during each dances through the week.

In the next morning we started the activities with a discussion about all the official types of violence: verbal, physical, psychological, socio-economic, and sexual violences.
After identifying these, we got separated to five teams with all members from different countries. Our goal was to present the five types of violence in short theater scenes. After presenting them, we split up again to five teams to create banners on against violence, which we brought later on to Álora.
As a closing activity for the day, we learned Italian gestures, Portuguese stereotypes and some cool dances from both countries.

Next day, after a rough start in the morning, since we had some problems with our stomach which can happen with anyone when they are traveling to a different country with different types of food, we went to Álora by bus. In the city center we listened to the mayor’s speech about violence against women within the framework of a bigger ceremony. After the speech and celebration, we played the Gymkhana game, where we explored the city of Álora in national groups, so our youngsters had to work together to solve the tour game by visiting the attractions of the city.

On the fifth day we had free time to look around, therefore we decided to visit Málaga and to spend the day there. When we arrived in Málaga center by train, we explored the beautiful city center, we saw Soho street which is an artstreet full of wall paintings drawn on different styles, and naturally the spectacular Christmas decorations all around the city center. We also bought a lot of souvenirs decorated with the main attractions of Malaga, e.g. bulls, cactus, dancing figures and so on. For a lunch we went to an Italian restaurant, where we ate pasta, pizza and lasagna and have been loyal to our motto: “Sharing is caring”.
After that, we visited the Plaza Málaga, a game store, then climbed up to the Gibralfaro where we just caught the wonderful view of the sunset over the city and the harbour.
In the evening we also tried Japanese cuisine which we found interesting and unusual but also delicious.

On the next day we went back to the topic of the exchange. The first workshop was about being in national teams and making a presentation about violence against woman in our country. After this we had a coffee break and for the next session we organized different scenes about violence against woman which depicted kidnapping, murder, cheating and toxic relationship within family. After lunch we relaxed a bit, had a siesta as almost local people, also socialized with the members of other teams. After our free time we worked more on our scenes and dressed up for the main rehearsal. Following the coffee break we did our theater plays and we watched each other’s as well. 
After the pizza-dinner the Turkish and Spanish team presented their own cultur where we learned how to dance a typical Turkish wedding dance and an easier Spanish dance. In the evening we said farewell to our Polish team, because next morning they were going back home.

The last day was about evaluation of the week, cleaning up and writing our YouthPasses. Our exchange in Álora, Spain was an amazing experience for all of us, we had the chance to learn a lot about the topic of gender equality in general, but also we learned a lot about other countries’ situations, and we cannot forget how much fun we had during the theater exercises, so we want to send our love and appreciation to IMAGINA for hosting this Y.E!