Wymiana młodzieżowa w Kownie on the way to tolerance

From the project “On the way to tolerance”, I took certain willingness to act; the determination to build the society for people who face discrimination, as well as those who want to fight this discrimination.

When it comes to the things I learned: I noticed some activities that, despite my earlier disbelief, turned out to be inspiring and they taught me about the history and situation surrounding the horizontal anti-discrimination directive. What is more, I learned about how discrimination looks like in Lithuania, Hungary and Romania. In Lithuania, I was really surprised by the huge amount of parks, how healthy nature was, and the quality of the air – Poland, compared to Lithuania, has a few things that could copy. A slight surprise for me was also the fact that people under 18 years old cannot buy energetic drinks in Lithuania. The restaurants we had a chance to visit outside the project were really tasty and reasonably priced, and the local people were really kind and helpful. The organizers of the exchange saved a little too much on food, however, they were trying to help as best the could whenever any issue appeared, such as illness or a broken luggage. LEVEL UP itself prepared me very well for the exchange – we had informational meetings and there always was someone from LEVEL UP available if needed. Thanks to that, the issue of all documents, payments, sending tickets and invoices, and more, was not a problem. I am deeply grateful for this – for the fact that LEVEL UP helped me organise myself and my documents during my first foreign exchange. Additionally, I am grateful for the possibility to participate in this project, and the fact that everyone was open and helpful. I cannot forget about Wiktoria Tylczyńska, to whom I am deeply thankful, and whom I wanted to express my gratitude for being the best, most supportive team leader that I could have dreamed of.

Aaliyah Madembo, 16 years old – „On the way to tolerance

Wymiana młodzieżowa w Kownie (on the way to tolerance)

The exchange on Lithuania was an unforgettable experience for me.

Primarily, I took a great desire to act and fight with discrimination from the project. I learnt about different perspectives of other people, which made me aware that the issues with discrimination are common, but there are also methods to counteract it. The project taught me the importance of building the community for people who face discrimination to change together the world for better.
I met many incredible people during the exchange. The Polish team turned out to be the best group I could have dreamed of. We got along pretty good and had a great time together. People from other countries were also outgoing and friendly which made the atmosphere really pleasant.
One of the surprises for me was the beauty of the town of Kowno. This place turned out to be a lovely town, and the localization of our accommodation in the Old Town was perfect. During our free time, we often went for walks through beautiful parks and spent our time on the Niemen bank.
I have some mixed memories regarding the cuisine. Unfortunately, the food at the pilgrim’s house was not always edible, but despite that, we also tried restaurants which were tasteful and cheap.
The organisers of the exchange were very committed and caring. Despite some minor issues, such as an illness in the Polish team, they always tried to help us and provide the support we needed.
LEVEL UP prepared us very well before the trip. The informational meetings and the support from the organisation made everything clear and transparent. We could focus on the exchange itself, without unnecessary worries about the organisation.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this project and for meeting so many incredible people. Thanks to this exchange, I could expand my horizons, learn new things and meet with people who have the same values and want to work together for tolerance and equality.
I would especially like to express my gratitude to the Polish team who became like a family to me. Thanks to them, the whole exchange was even more special and unforgettable. I would also like to thank Wiktoria Tylczyńska, our team leader, for her support and professionalism.

Aleksandra Babiuch,17 years old – „On the way to tolerance

Angielska czerwona budka telefoniczna.

The exchange to Kowno, like all of the exchanges, was a great experience that I would love to repeat.

I met wonderful people, was able to visit beautiful places, and I learnt a lot. When it comes to education, this project was perfectly composed substantively. The courses about discrimination and tolerance involved us in the process of gaining knowledge, so we had a chance to learn more effectively about these topics. I met people that I knew earlier, as well as completely new and kind people. Some time later after the project, I am thankful for all the people that I met there. Thanks to the project, I spent my time in really great company and mood. The most funny memory for me is tying mini ties made of white and red ribbon for myself as well as other people from the Polish group. Even before the project, I liked the fact that the organisers from LEVEL UP made sure that we knew everything regarding the project, such as what documents we should have with ourselves. I would like to express my gratitude to the Polish team and especially our leader Wiktoria, who did a great job during the exchange.

Bartosz 16 years old – „On the way to tolerance

Wymiana młodzieżowa w Konwie on the way to tolerance

The project taught me a lot.

I learnt a lot about tolerance, and had an opportunity to share my experience, as well as hear the opinion of people that live in a completely different way. Also, I really liked creative tasks, such as making films or our own t-shirts, as well as the discussions with experts (a coach and a psychologist), during we could learn many life lessons. The project itself was well prepared, LEVEL UP guided us from the beginning to the end, and the host organisation took care of us on the spot. I really have nice memories from this exchange.


Katarzyna – „On the way to tolerance

Wymiana młodzieżowa w Kownie on the way to tolerance

This project taught me a lot about tolerance and discrimination, and how these terms look like for people of different nationalities and ages.

However, the most valuable knowledge, besides the substantive one, was meeting people from whom I could learn a lot. Between each other, we shared our experiences and life experiences, which was often very interesting but also soothing as we could identify to some extent with the stories of other people.
What surprised me was how a charming city Kowno is, we lived in a monastery, which additionally gave the atmosphere to this place. Our favourite way of spending free time was lying on blankets in parks or sitting by the Niemen river, talking and playing cards. I recall these moments very good, they were full of laughter and funny conversations.
I remember the organisers very well, the cuisine unfortunately not, but this was one of the few aspects I could complain about.
The biggest barrier for me in the beginning of the exchange was public speaking, but I am very glad to had the opportunity to leave my comfort zone and test myself from this ankle as by the middle/end of the trip, these activities did not give me any fear, but instead caused excitement.  I am thankful for every conversation I had the opportunity to have during this exchange and the bonds I built during them. It was also a great joy for me to observe the development of people for whom this exchange was the first one.
I would especially like to express my gratitude to the whole Polish team, you are like a family <3


Kinga, 18 years old – „On the way to tolerance

Grupa uczestników na tle koloseum.

I learnt a lot during the project.

I got to know the perspective of others, the problems of discrimination in other countries and the ways to combat it. This was a very interesting experience! The activities were mainly based on group works, so there was no time for boredom, and this allowed me to meet more people.
The best aspect of this exchange were people that I met. The Polish team was wonderful and we had a great time together. People from other countries were also outgoing and friendly. There were even 2 girls from Chile, so I had a chance to talk in Spanish which I have recently stared to learn.
The organisers were very caring and tried to make everyone feel good. The only thing that I can complain about is the food. Unfortunately, it was not the best and many people did not eat their portions.
The big advantage of this exchange was also the localization in which we lived. We were accommodated literally in the Old Town of Kowno, so it was close everywhere. Despite the fact that Kowno is a small town, I really enjoyed it.
During the whole exchange, we could count on the full support of LEVEL UP and our team leader Wiktoria, who deserves a big thank you!


Monika, 17 years old – „On the way to tolerance

Grupa uczestników na tle koloseum.

The exchange “On the way to tolerance” was the first exchange in my life, so I was slightly nervous before the trip.

As it turned out later it was unnecessary. During the project, I met amazing people, especially those from the Polish team. Thanks to them, every activity and free time became funny and unforgettable moments. I do not think I will ever forget our shared jokes while playing cards by the Niemen river.
The project included many interesting activities. These activities included presentations about the situations related to tolerance in our countries, the creation of the mind map and surveying the bystanders. What it scared me the most at first was the necessity to speak in front of everyone. Speaking in front of everyone was quite a big step out of my comfort zone, and now I am very grateful for having the opportunity to overcome my fear. 🙂 In addition, I opened up to others, and I feel that interacting with other people is much easier for me now.
I remember Kowno very well as a charming and peaceful town with lots of greenery. Surely, I was surprised by its small-town and small population. The nice surprise was also the fact that we lived in a monastery.  The stay there was very atmospheric, and the evenings spent in the room number 7 were unforgettable. One of the negative aspects of the project was the food. However, the organisers were very helpful and we could always talk to them. Thanks to LEVEL UP, I felt much more confident while going on the exchange. Before the project, there were several informational meetings during which I gained all the knowledge and support I needed.
I would especially like to thank the entire Polish team for making my day better and funnier! Special thanks to Aaliyah for the laughs we shared together, to Iskierka for conversations and to Kinga for being a great roommate.  <3

Paulina, 17 years old – „On the way to tolerance

Wymiana młodzieżowa w Kownie On the way to tolerance

It can be said a lot about the project in Lithuania.

First of all, I learnt a lot about tolerance. Not only what this is, but also how to prevent mental abuse in the real and virtual world. Moreover, I learnt to spread and share my thoughts, and even how to help people who are victims of such abuse. I met a bunch of wonderful people on my way during the preparations and the project. Let’s start from the organisation which meticulously helped and explained everything. My team that supported each other every step of the way, and despite only those ten days, bonded like a family, all the way to the participants of other countries with whom we became friends. Although, the language barrier sometimes tried to hold us back, everyone coped brilliantly and tried to the best of their abilities. It is a great experience. Your own LEVEL UP, but others too. As the leader, I sometimes got emotional as I saw my group’s progress. I am thankful for the possibility to meet these wonderful people and to be in Kowno in Lithuania in the project “On the Way to Tolerance”. We were in a lovely place. There was beautiful architecture, greenery and wonderful people. The food was not surprising, similar to the Polish one, was edible. This is all what I am going to say about it. The moment with painting mandala was a funny situation. The purpose of those lessons was to look deeper into yourself and relax. However, we as the Polish people are very loud. There was no end to the laughter and fun during these activities. When most of participants were quite or had headphones in their ears during painting their own mandales We were full of energy and spent incredible ninety minutes full of conversation and laughter. We shown that it is possible to relax out loud as well.

Wiktoria – „On the way to tolerance

Wymiana młodzieżowa w Konwie On the way to tolerance

The youth exchange organized in Lithuania is going to stay in my heart for a long time. I have to admit
that this was the best exchange in my life.

We lived in the city centre of the picturesque city of Kowno, where the architecture amazed each of us.
This project gave me a desire to share information about tolerance and make people aware of how to fight with discrimination against other people. The biggest surprise for me in this country was the cleanliness of the city, the vast amount of nature in the centre of the second biggest city in Lithuania, and the kindness of local people and the organisers. Everyone was extremely kind to us and eager to suggest what to see in the town. The biggest barrier for me personally was performing in front of the audience during different kind of
presentations, however, thanks to the support from the people on our team group, I felt more comfortable and less stressed. I would like to thank the organisers at LEVEL UP for their trust and acceptance me into this brilliant project as well as for their care and support before and after the project. We could always count on support from the coordinator and clear information about the project. I am very grateful that I could experience so many wonderful days with such amazing people I met. I will remember the memories I have for the rest of my live, and I will gladly come back to them.

Wiktoria, 18 years old – „On the way to tolerance

Wymiana młodzieżowa w Kownie On the wat to tolerance