Social Inclusion Days are Erasmus Student Network’s initiative where more than 500 local associations in 41 countries host events in order to raise awareness and take action about volunteering and disability. The main goal of the initiative is to provide opportunities for international students to learn how one can contribute to the improvement of society as European citizens. During the two weeks period we hosted numerous events whose goal was to point out topics such as interculturality, gender equality, support for minorities and minority groups, ecology, fight against poverty, discrimination… Our mission is to provide young people with an opportunity to make a difference and create a positive social change while volunteering during their mobility. Besides this, international volunteers have a better chance of expanding their knowledge of other cultures and educational systems and in having first-hand experiences with the locals. Also, this is a good way to show others that mobility does not only consist of traveling, partying or studying but also of active engagement.
Social Inclusion Days in this semester lasted from the 20th of November until the 4th of December. During this period we were informing international students about ways of contributing to the local community, such as downloading an app called „Pruži život“ or bringing bottle caps to designated places. Also, the entrance fee for most of our events during this period was between 100 and 200 RSD. All money raised during Social Inclusion Days will be donated to charity.
We kicked off Social Inclusion Days in a cheerful way and we sang our lungs out in the name of charity! This isn't a typical social inclusion event but we wanted to start in a cheerful way and leave our international students with an opportunity to socialize and hang out.
BOARD GAMES EVENING
Zvuci srca is the first-ever socially inclusive coffee shop in Belgrade, and we are more than happy to visit it from time to time. Not only is it a coffee shop where people suffering from Down syndrome work, but it is also a craft shop where you can buy the things that they make. This semester we took our exchanged students to Zvuci srca for a casual evening. Cold and rainy Saturday evening was perfect for playing board games with friends while enjoying a delicious cup of coffee.
PAINT YOUR CLEAN FUTURE
In an attempt to raise environmental awareness and reduce the amount of trash on the streets, the city of Belgrade will ban the usage of plastic bags starting from the 1st of January 2020. Like the majority of young people, we are also passionate about ecology, climate and keeping our planet clean, so we held a creative workshop called Paint your clean future. Everyone who came designed their personalized tote bag, which is a perfect solution for the new situation we will find ourselves in once the New Year comes, but it will also make us unique and fashionable.
Another not so „Social Inclusion“ event, but we wanted to mix it up a bit and have some fun. Dream party was the most comfortable party we have ever attended.
LIGHTS OUT DATING
One of the causes of Social Erasmus is advocating for people with disabilities. In order to do that first, you need to experience the world from their point of view. At the beginning of the night, participants had to put blindfolds on so that they couldn't know who they were talking to. For most of the participants the experience was inspiring, interesting and for some blindfolds made talking with strangers more comfortable. After three blindfolded dating sessions, there was a discussion about the experience that can be summed up in one sentence: 'Handicap people aren't that different from us!' – Tien.
As the environmental crisis is happening in front of our eyes we wanted to do everything that is in our power to try to raise environmental awareness. We chose a documentary movie in which famous chef Anthony Bourdain tells a story about food waste and how does that make him feel. Alongside Bourdain, top world chefs, innovators, activists and farmers talk about techniques that are used to cut down food waste and their determination to deal with this problem.
The last stop of the Social Inclusion Days was Marina Abramovic's retrospective exhibition called The Cleaner in the Museum of contemporary art. Marina Abramovic is an internationally acclaimed performance artist who has shocked the world numerous times. The exhibition follows all phases of her 50-year old career. The exhibition is opened until the 20th of January 2020, and if you haven't visited it yet we highly recommend it!