The participant of the Democracy Hub project shares his experience

Peter spoke about his journey on the project, expectations and impressions, and shared tips and insiders

Life-changing debates: the story of Peter from Kyiv

My name is Peter, I am 13 years old and I am from Kyiv. I study at the Intellect Lyceum, I like to study history, psychology and I love cycling.

Learned about the Great Debate Camp project from the Instagram page of the Klitschko Foundation. Although this is my first debate project, I immediately realized that it was a good chance to hone my public speaking and English skills.

The main motivation for applying to the Great Debate Camp was that at the beginning of the year I set a goal to try something new and not be afraid to apply for courses of this scale. Another advantage of this project was that it takes place in the summer, so there is more time for additional training and self-development. The debate topic also seemed interesting and promising for the future of my career, so I submitted the questionnaire without hesitation.

At the interview stage, I immediately felt a friendly atmosphere. I was not embarrassed or scared, but on the contrary, I wonder what the next question will be. I liked it, there was variety, and the managers were really interested in learning more about each of the participants.

The Great Debate Camp was the most memorable training game where you could hone your debating skills. The final debate tournament was extremely exciting: a fierce struggle between the teams and an intrigue over who would win. I also liked that even at such a crucial moment, the managers did not stop joking, were positive and "deflated the atmosphere."

Team training games were extremely difficult at first, because we kept arguing about whose argument was better and how to build our speeches. However, we soon realized that we needed to unite and listen to each other. And in the final tournament, we immediately found a common language in the team and achieved remarkable results. "Great Debate Camp" gave me the experience of communicating with different people, defending my opinion and resolving conflict situations, without which there is no place in the debate.

I developed the skills of understanding the debate game, quickly finding arguments and counter-arguments in communication with peers and communication skills. I met many cool people on the project, who charged with energy to move forward!

I believe that in order to improve something, you need to step out of your comfort zone and perform new, non-standard tasks, and this is exactly what happened at the Great Debate Camp. Almost none of the participants took part in similar projects in English, but we were able to overcome ourselves and overcome the language barrier. There was little time to improve your English, but through debate you improve your English, your brain begins to work better and your vocabulary increases significantly. At the end of the project, I felt like I had finished an intensive English course, because I immediately saw progress in my knowledge!

The online format is quite complicated, because you had to sit in front of a computer screen for 6 hours every day. However, I am grateful to the organizers and managers of the project, who did not overwork us and took breaks for our recovery. In addition, one of the most difficult days was the tournament, when you realized that now is the decisive moment, the adrenaline is running high, unreal emotions! It was a real atmosphere of competition, because each participant really wanted to become a winner.

I thought it would be a regular debate course on the basics of public speaking, and the project turned out to be an exciting journey into the world of debate. Inspirational speakers, incredibly interesting lectures and productive training games made him unforgettable. Great Debate Camp definitely exceeded my expectations!

I would also like to participate in the School of Success to develop leadership and project management skills. After the Great Debate Camp, there is a desire to learn more about the field of debate, so I look forward to new projects in this direction. Now I know for sure that the Klitschko Foundation is really doing very inspiring, new and professionally organized projects.

My goal for next year is to start volunteering and helping people. I want to put into practice the skills acquired at the Great Debate Camp and become more socially active. And also to increase the level of English, as I plan to go to study abroad.

My advice to all Ukrainian teenagers: do not be afraid to try something new, communicate and meet people of different views, have a goal to which you want to move.