Smettere di essere spettatori passivi, uscire dalla propria zona di comfort per mettersi in discussione e apportare piccoli cambiamenti nel mondo. Oggigiorno le istituzioni si preoccupano di promuovere azioni di cittadinanza attiva. La vera attivazione è però quella che parte dal cittadino che, personalmente motivato, volontariamente agisce. Compiere piccoli gesti che abbiano un impatto sociale, che coinvolgano le persone e smuovano la loro parte emozionale è il proposito di XChangeSquare. Da questo progetto l’esperienza che alcuni studenti Erasmus+ hanno realizzato a Barcellona.

Il racconto delle protagoniste [ENG]

Even before the mobility period started the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of the University of Coimbra had challenged all its mobility students to be its ambassadors. In this way, the XChangeSquare project was born.

The main goal of this project is to create several activites with social impact and to transfer academic and professional information between several faculties around all Europe. For this reason students, who are ambassadors now, have the mission to develop creative and meaningful activities while they are abroad.Ana Rocha and Isabel Assunção, ambassadors of the XChangeSquare project, are experiencing their Erasmus+ mobility in Barcelona. In this context, they develop their first activity named H4H (Hug 4 Humanity).

Hugh 4 Humanity

Hugs 4 humanity is an activity that carries out the purpose of breaking impersonality and promoting hope. For this reason, these two ambassadors along with others mobility’s students, went to the streets of the Catalan Capital with several posters calling for some fundamental values. This activity, besides reminded people the importance of all this values, also allows them to have contact with people from all over the world.

The free hugs movement is known to many as a social movement that envolves people offering hugs to strangers in public places. Based on that, at H4H, a group of mobility students went to Plaza de Catalunya and to the Gothic Quarter with several posters. There they asked people for hugs in respect of a certain value. Some examples of those values are peace, love and respect.

The power of an hug

They were selected in order to remind people of how the world is an unstable place now but how with a simple gesture it’s possible to make a difference on each others day. With a simple hug the group could bring countless smiles to all the people who aproached them to participate. A simple hug allowed them to talk and meet people from differents parts of the world – like Italia, New Zealand and even Russia. With it they got to put their shame aside and went to the streets of Barcelona to interact with strangers, to break the impersonality and individualism that rules in the society nowadays.

“Personally, I had never participated in such action like Hugs 4 Humanity. I never thought I had the courage to walk the streets with posters calling for hugs from everyone who passed by us. However, I know that at the end of the day all the people who participated were radiant, happy to have been a part of something but especially for spreading love, empathy, affection and happiness. For that reason and after all this amazing experience it’s never too much to have in mind that a simple gesture has an huge impact. People often forget that in life is the little things that make us happy.” – Ana Rocha and Isabel Assunção, ambassadors at XchangeSquare project