This summer, Ceredigion County Council received funding of €24,919 from the European Commissions Erasmus+ programme to organise a youth exchange for young people in Ceredigion and Romania.

24 Welsh and Romanian young people were involved in the youth exchange. 12 local young people from Ceredigion visited Oradea and Cluj Napoca in Romania in July, and 12 young people visited Ceredigion from Romania in August.

The aim of the project was to give young people an opportunity to gain an international experience with the hope it improves their well-being and self-esteem as well as increase their intercultural awareness.

During the exchange, a mixture of activities were undertaken by the young people in both Ceredigion and Romania. This involved team-building exercises, discussion and debates as well as various outdoor activities in both countries. All of these activities aimed to improve their confidence and social skills.

Providing support for the youth exchange in Ceredigion, Aberystwyth University’s Centre of Widening Participation and Social Inclusion helped towards the cost of the accommodation, food and the use of their facilities in order to carry out workshops.

Jamie Jones–Mead, Project Manager for the Erasmus+ Project Youth Exchange said, “The experience had a massive impact on the young people. For many, this was the first time they had ever set foot outside of their home countries. They gained an insight into each other’s culture and local area while gaining valuable skills through workshops which enabled them to improve their knowledge confidence and discussion skills.”

Catherine Hughes is the Cabinet member with responsibility for Children Services and Culture. She said, “It’s fantastic to hear of this amazing opportunity that’s been given to some of the young people across Ceredigion and the benefits they have gained from getting to know other young people from across Europe. I hope that they have all benefitted from the experience.”