Last Friday the Bello Belgo team organized the first intercultural exchange activity with the people from Embajadores Comunitarios. The goal of this first joint-meeting was simple: get to know one other and learn some cultural habits. Being invited to be present at 7pm, most of our Venezuelan friends showed up one hour later. Or how sometimes actions can speak louder than words: the real exchange had begun, but with more than an hour delay…
The country Belgium, its people and certainly its politics appealed – even more nowadays – to the imagination of the Venezuelan graduates. How is it possible that a country with so little natural resources is capable of attaining a GDP per capita three times as high as Venezuela? What is “a BHV”? Are you Flemish? How do you survive without a government? Questions rose, answers were given. Pieter Breugel’s “Boerenbruiloft” illustrated how we Belgians know how to appreciate hard work, good food and beer. The scene was typical: we were humble, but in the same time diplomatic and efficient in presenting. Or how 4 young men demonstrated the characteristics of real Belgians…
Being Belgian, ‘all good and well’. But what were our intentions to do here in Caracas? In fact, for the past few months we had been preparing our mission and the timing was right to show in detail what we Belgians are capable of.
For the next 2 months we have structured our activities in 3 pillars, being
- Financial support: short term funds from our present financial partners have been transferred. It is now up to us to set-up a strategy to realize a long-term inflow of funds for the Embajadores Comunitarios.
- Academic support: two times a week the Bello Belgo team will train the organization and assist the classes. On the one hand we will school the youngsters with information about the EU, its countries and related diplomatic and strategic issues. These courses have to broaden their perspective on world politics. On the other we have engaged ourselves to develop the personal soft skills of the youngsters and faculties of the organization (by giving presentations on negotiation, conflict solving, facilitation,…)
- Structural support: in the long run we aim to shape a continuous exchange between the Bello Belgo Foundation and Embajadores Comuniatrios. Here, we are to investigate how we can establish a university cooperation between Belgium and Venezuela.
By unveiling all of this, our Venezuelan crowd leaned back, opened their eyes and enjoyed. To us it was clear: on our first intercultural night we had impressed our partners. We finished the evening by emptying some real Belgian beverages, forging some friendships and listening to some funny Venezuelan do’s and don’ts. Or how it in the end always ends up with drinking beer…