Being a Refugee is Not a Choice – Italy


Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange

Venue: Riva del Garda, Italy

Dates: 21 – 27 October 2016

Participants: Eliška Klučková, Monika Konečná, Jan Herec, David Březina, Zbyněk Škoda

Group leader: Eva Palkovičová

Please read the info-pack & daily programme

Participating countries: Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey, Latvia, Lithuania

Hosting organisation: Mavì – Association of Social Promotion

Project report:

It is not long time ago, when few people from Czech, Italy, Turkey, Latvia and Lithuania had an amazing choice to be a part of very interesting project Being refugee in not a choice! It took place in mountains close to Italian city Rovereto. We arrived on 22nd of November and were forced to leave this charming place on 27th November. So try to imagine a group of 30 young people, enthusiastic for the topic somewhere in the mountains… How cool it was! On the beginning of the project we were playing some games to know each other, to start feel like in our homes with our friends. And we were feeling friendship so fast!

Rest of the project was dedicated to our topic – refugees issue. We enjoyed some very funny activity – mainly when we were working together or in group, when we were brainstorming, on preparing something, but there was also a lot of very serious moments. We visited refugee camp so we had an opportunity to spend some time with people that we are used to call “refugees”. From this moment, when I hear word „refugee“ I see faces of people there, I hear their voices, their stories which they told us. And it was not funny stories. I was very useful experience, from this time I see this “problem” from a bit different perspective, and I am sure, I am not alone… During our stay in camp we were recording videos and documents, taking photos, dancing, smiling, talking together and on the end of the project we prepaired a little exhibition which contained all those materials. We were also pleased by concert of kurdish-turkish group, which was so nice and we enjoyed it so much! Next day we were visited by one guy who is going to humanitarian missions to Turkey, Serbia, Greece. He was talking about his experiences, about refugees ways to Europe, about situation in Aleppo, and about many other things. In the second part of the day, we had another guest. It was 25 years old guy, refugee from Ghana, who is studying on the university in Trento. He told us his story and it was really very strong and sad hear to how many difficulties was he exposed. Yeah, in this moment I was sure, that being refugee is not choice. Next day we spent on the trip to Lago di Garda, but it was raining, so our experience was not as good as it could be. And in the meaning we had another cool guest! Dancing group! We were dancing together, all of us! Enjoying dances from Africa and Europe. We dedicated whole last day to preparing our exhibition. Some of us were preparing posters, some of us were collecting stories, which we heard, some of us were making video. In the evening we had and exhibition. There were not too many guests, but we really enjoyed it and we had nice opportunity to say „Thank you“ and „See you“ and give an hug and kiss to our new friends, who are going to be in our hearts for rest of our lives!

Eliška Klučková 

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