My experience from DiscoverEU

Hello, my name is Nicolas Dimitriadis, I was selected to receive the DiscoverEu pass. In January 2020, with my friend Andrea, started our trip from Larnaca International Airport. Since we were in the army we did not have many days to spend, so we decided to visit only Belgium and France.

Our first destination was Brussels, the heart of Europe, where we stayed three days. Since, we travelled in winter it was cold, but we did not stay at the hotel, we explored the centre of Brussels. Furthermore, we enjoyed wandering around Grand Place. Of course, we tasted the amazing waffles they make. In addition, we had an amazing tour in the European Parliament.

After Brussels, we went to Paris by train. The trip was not so long, so during that time, we organised our next visits. Unfortunately, in Paris, we had only two (2) days. When we arrived, we took the metro to go to our hotel. Which was near Eiffel Tower. We started exploring Paris, we visited, first of all the Eiffel Tower. Then, we went to the Arc de Triomphe and the museum “Louvre”. The last day in Paris, we went to the cathedral of Notre Dame and to Montmartre.

We travelled back to Brussels Airport by train, since our flight to Cyprus was from there. We faced some difficulties, because of the lack of direct flights from European Countries to Cyprus. In addition, in Paris they had a strike in public transportation, so some of the metro and train lines were closed. Despite of all the challenges we faced, it was an amazing experience, that we will never forget.

“Only with our active participation, we will form the society that we want and dream of.”-Maria Trikouppi

‘Only with our active participation, we will form the society that we want and dream of.’- Maria Trikouppi

In September, I had the opportunity to participate in a European competition titled “Reclaiming your rights”, which was held by European Disability Forum (EDF). I was informed about this competition via the Facebook pages of ‘PlanBe, Plan it Be it’ and ‘Eurodesk’ which continuously promote all European opportunities.

Specifically, the aim of the competition was to highlight, through a photograph whether the rights of people with disabilities are respected, or not, and how they feel about this. Through my participation, I did not want to show only a specific situation that portrays discrimination, but to express the general disaffection of these people, both form the wider political and legal system and from society in general, which marginalize them. So, the person in my photograph is voting for the reclamation and fortification of their rights. With my photo I managed to win the third prize at the European Competition.

As a society, we need to raise awareness and be better informed about the topics that concern people with disabilities so that we can achieve better integration for them in the society. After all, we all have life lessons to be learned from these people’s strength and determination. In conclusion, all youths must take advantage of the opportunities that are given by the European Union to obtain knowledge, experience, and skills. Only with our active participation, we will form the society that we want and dream of.