Erica Davison, participant
"I came here with so many assumptions and thinking I was open and I knew a lot….but I realized that I had so much more to learn. I’m so glad I came."
Sulafa Zidani, Palestine/Israel
"GYV has youth from amazingly diverse backgrounds, cultures, religions, and ideas. I’ve learned almost as much from my fellow participants as I have from the excellent workshops that I attended."
Danny Whitelightning, Dakota Nation, US
"In the past three weeks I have thought about questions no one has asked me before. I was shocked that someone wanted to hear my opinion. It is very rare that older generations look to youth and ask them if they have an answer. I feel stronger and more confident about the future."
Philip Kane, Northern Ireland
"I have accomplished the goal of being able to speak in a large group and I learned about dialogue and conflict resolution. Now, I can go back home and resolve conflicts, whether they are personal, family, or community conflicts. I can start to make change."
Alaa Fadag, Saudi Arabia/US
"I was a member of a team which prepared the "World Faiths Night". It was a very good experience for me to be responsible for an all camp event. It was a chance for me to speak in public and learn what to expect from the audience. Preparing this evening gave me a chance to review my religion again and discover similarities and differences in other religions. I don’t want to be ignorant about other religions and I want to be strong in mine."
Shannon Eddy, USA
“I was at camp with Iraqi youth and I was so impressed by their strength to persevere. It is inspiring to see people remain positive and hopeful in the face of such adversity. The challenges that face me in life no longer seem so daunting and I am prepared to face them with the same attitude and persistency I saw in my Iraqi friends.”
Iraqi Youth, Participant
“I learned that listening to understand, isn’t listening to agree. From now on I will engage in dialogue without the intention toward violence and without being inhibited by fear of differences.”
Vinayak Balasurbram, Participant
"I have been able to discover my various strengths at GYV. For instance, I never knew that I was good at public speaking, and I was given many opportunities to do it. I also never knew my leadership abilities until I arrived here, we learned about leaders, such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., and we were provided with chances to lead.”
Omar Alsaadi, Participant
"At GYV I’ve met amazing people and have been exposed to so many new things- foods, customs, religions, cultures and much more. I have truly absorbed the GYV experience like a sponge. In the Global Music Workshop, I learned about Arabic music and how to play it. I improved my journalism skills and computer skills by working on the DVD Memory Journal, it also taught me teamwork, cooperation, and how to be a leader. I learned to be open-minded and explore new things. The Global Youth Village gave me the opportunity to explore who I am and who I want to be."
Cory Castro, Participant
"I am 15 years old and have lived in Northampton, Massachusetts all my life. I never really got an idea of what the world was like outside of the US until I came to the Village. Everyday I found myself engaging in political conversations, learning about Indonesian culture and in doing so, I gained a global perspective. If I hadn’t come to GYV, I would probably have spent the summer at home, wondering about what the world was like, but would have had no idea."