YOTA 2013 Estonia

Youngsters On the Air 2013 Estonia was a youth exchange project under Youth in Action programme, continuing the projects which took place in 2011 in Romania and in 2012 in Belgium.

The organizer in 2013 was Estonian Radio Amateurs' Union. Teams from 15 countries attended (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Sweden). Most of the participating organizations are members of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).
The youth exchange event took place in Tartu (Estonia) on August 5th-12th, 2013.
Special callsigns ES5YOTA and ES9YOTA were active during the event.
The main objective of the project is to promote technical education among the youth.
Technical disciplines are often perceived as difficult to learn. In spite of more and more technology in our everyday lives, less and less people want to know how this technology actually works. Youngsters opt for soft disciplines in further studies, resulting in overproduction and unemployment in these fields. At the same time, technical disciplines suffer from lack of people, resulting in labour shortage in these areas.
The aim of the YOTA project is to show to youngsters that technical fields may be fun and a good tool for broadening one's mind, in addition offering excellent career possibilities. Communication with kids and elder people having similar interests, but with different cultural background and languages, gives international experience, self-assurance and the most important, friends with kindred spirits.
The participants were involved in activities implemented with the support of non formal education tools such as presentations, games and exercises, workshops, debates, outdoor activities, meetings with the youngsters and technical professionals from Estonia, which gave them the learning space to raise their tolerance and solidarity spirit toward diversity, to raise the understanding between them, to develop their volunteering spirit and to develop the initiative and entrepreneurship skills.
The relationships and experience developed during the youth exchange foster networking activities, which give start for further initiatives. The project community membership in Facebook grew to over 100 actively communicating members in less than two years. The youth network is co-ordinated by IARU and national youth co-ordinators, enabling to communicate with stakeholders easily.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.

This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein..