This summer I voluntarily participated in the project [Demo]cracy. As you probably know it was about democracy. It was a simulation of democracy, we had parliament, government, judgement etc. Once I was elected to the parliament and government. When I was part of those people in power, I realised that there is a lot of work to do. Communication with that many people is not easy. And everything that has you done doesn’t have to be enough. But I have a lot of friends in the world and good experience, thanks to this project.
I was part of many projects but [Demo]cracy was something absolutely different than all of the projects I ever participated.
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect and how I will survive 12 days in the middle of nowhere with 44 other people trying to live in a democratic society.
I was scared but excited at the same time. But it was a great experience…
I was so surprised how similar it was with real life and I have learned so many things. Maybe not that much about things you can find in books or Wikipedia. But about real life, I realized how much power do we have as citizens but we don’t really know how to use it. I realized how easy is to complain about something but how hard is really to do something to change it. How hard is to make people happy and how hard is to work with them. Also, I lost my voting rights before the last election (lost my ID) so I could not vote, honestly I cried (I am sensitive yeah…) even if it was „only“ simulation it felt so real when I could not be part of it.
I am waiting for [Demo]cracy vol. 2 and l am sure it will be great.
This project was a great learning experience for me. Both learning about democracy and living in a simulated democratic society made me a more informed citizen and helped me appreciate the different aspects of our democratic state. I also met a lot of cool, interesting people I can always turn to.
The project [Demo]cracy drawn my attention since its very first appearance. I was naturally curious and excited not only about the outcome but most importantly about the process. I was also about to meet my friends I haven’t seen for quite a long time already, so my mind was definitely full of expectations already few weeks prior to the beginning!
After we all arrived at the venue, and after a few games, I was nicely surprised most of the people remembered each other names and some even remembered fun facts, hobbies or siblings! This was very nice to see, and some of the participants got close on the very first day. This was something I enjoyed in particular. People were approachable, took random places at the lunch or dinner table, and as a result, thanks to this we built many friendships.
The best trip was definitely a trip to the lake, where we got to rent a boat, sunbath and a little bit of free time for casual summer activities.
Other than that, sometimes it was hard for some participants to separate the simulation of [Demo]cracy from free time in the evening or simply at the table whenever during the breaks. Things got unintentionally super serious, and it took time to get the feelings to the right point – however, this got better over time and it is also something we learned to do among the other necessary skills like setting up a government, proposing, ruling, making compromises, and holding the future in our own hands.
Of course, saying goodbye was hard as always. This never gets better. But we all believe the world is small and we are gonna meet sooner or later!
Overall, I enjoyed this a lot! Million thanks go to Erasmus + and to Change Your Self Team for creating and for conducting this simulation of democracy!
So my impressions from the [Demo]cracy. For me, the first Erasmus+ project. Although the project was organized in my native country, it took place in a village at the lake which I haven’t visited before and the nature was really beautiful for a morning run or just for a walk around. The food was very good and cooked with love :). In the morning there were Swedish tables so everybody could eat what they wanted. Lunch and dinner were always different and really tasty so I was really happy about the diversity of dishes. The project started slowly with teambuilding which helped us to get to know each other. Since I didn’t have any clue how these projects work or what is being done during the time I was just ready to enjoy every minute there. For me, most interesting days were among other things the visit to Košice since we were mostly in the village, days when we learned about how democracy works and how our own decisions can influence the direction of the country/group. I’m grateful for all the new experiences and friendships I found. Overall really great project and I am happy that I could be a part of it.
My impression from the [Demo]cracy are still mixed. For sure, it was one of the greatest experiences I had during my Erasmus+ journey. Two weeks in a very isolated place with 45 people. That is for sure a challenge. The challenge to organise it, to provide proper accommodation and good food, to create a learning environment and to survive the whole thing. But we DID IT! One of the beautiful thing about Erasmus+ is that regardless of how many projects you’ve been to, you always can learn something new.
During this project, I did realise a few important things. First was that our democracy is as good as it’s citizens. This is crucial to realise. When we complain about democracy, we are complaining about ourselves. Second thing is that the ego is enemy number one. While ruling/organising/managing others, it is very easy to see criticism as a personal attack, lack of interest of people as hate, struggles as a failure. I think ego is in the way of overcoming this. Third thing is that education towards democracy, citizenship and participation is crucial for youth. And it is inadequate in our educational system (read missing). Fourth and last for this post (it’s long anyway) is that people can work together. When talking about this project, everywhere I heard that it will turn to dictatorship and I will have to cancel the simulation early. It didn’t happen. Despite the rivalry between participants, heated discussions, arguments, we survived and we had a great experience.
A that’s what I am grateful for. For all the people that help to prepare it, for the people that participated, for all the people that run for the office and for all the people that voted. Thank you all for making [Demo]cracy great!