Commissioned by three big youth organisations in Rotterdam three of our
board members organised an international youth exchange in the
summer of 2010. This project, consisting out of so called 60 vulnerable
youngsters from Italy, Romania, Republic of Ireland and The Netherlands,
became a huge success! Youngsters interacted, changed, bonded and became
more independent and self-aware.. During the years after the project youngsters
kept asking about a new projects. Even till today when we meet this group they
start smiling when they think about this youth exchange!
But, we couldn’t find the time and did not know how to develop a project like this
into concrete actions and follow-ups, until the early summer of 2012.
In this period Robert Felix, our president, was asked by Youth Express Network to
participate in a Grundvig-workshop about intergenerational dialogue and cultural
communication. Together with Bastiaan Krans his co-community worker and his
former colleague Jordy van der Meulen he went to Strasbourg. This project was so
inspiring that we got a lot of flashbacks to our 2010 project and really wanted to do
something with it!
So in the late summer of 2012 we tied our forces together again and got some extra
power from a fourth hero, Bernadette Bedeaux. At first we were an informal working
group, but the idea became more and more concrete. We want to be a platform for
young people in the youth health care system and local youth work. A place where they
can meet other cultures, talk about participation, human rights, social inclusion etc. and
have the possibility to gain a lot of new personal skills through international projects!!
So the 12th of the 12th month in the 12th year of this millennium became a
historical day.. The day The Exchangeables were officially born!
Currently we work with youngsters from the region of Rotterdam-Rijnmond
and Dordrecht. But we are open to people from anywhere and everywhere..