Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange
Venue: Mörfelden-Walldorf, Germany
Dates: 12 – 19 March 2018
Participants: Margit Junková, Michal Kolman, Lucie Dvořáková, Markéta Sokolová
Group leader: Jana Kohoutová
Participating countries: Germany, Spain, Turkey, Estonia, Greece, Czech Republic and Romania
Hosting organisation: Intercultural Club-Goethe Uni
EU(nited) for Climate Action
Mörfelden- Walldorf –This is the name of a very beautiful town where a group of young people from different parts of Europe met and tried to understand the functioning of climate change and to find ways for each of them to contribute to these changes. In order to break the ice we started with a name games – which helped us to get to know each other in a friendly atmosphere. After we met each other, we shared the expectations and fears of the following week. And we filled some questioners in order to see what are the expectations of the participants and what are their insecurities. The first aktivity of this project was in the city of Walldorf where we had to accomplish different tasks. During this activity, everybody had a good time with the locals through the city.
At the end of the first day we talked about CO2 emissions and we calculated our carbon footprint, which helped us become more aware of the impact of our actions, to realize what behavior is more damaging to the environment in order to minimalize it.
The last but not least, we ended the day with the first Intercultural night where Spain, Bulgaria and Germany delighted us with some of their customs, traditional music and dance, delicious food and drinks. It was definitely a wonderful trip to each of these countries, where we could see that diversity defines us, that the human makes the place and that united we stand together. Seriously, who can say that he has seen three countries in one evening? J
Yes, we really needed energizers games already next day – after the long trip through 3 countries, you know.. Energizers really helped us to get into the right mood for start a hardworking day. Next activities aimed to help us have a deeper understandig of suistanability. After finding informations and make our own definiton of that we were presented the sustainable development goals of UN. Then we made a presentation about the situation in our own countries regarding the usage of resources and the way they are produced. It was interesting as we found out that each country has its own faults regarding the usage of resources and the fact that stastistics are quite similar in each state, but they don’t necessary reflect the reality.
- model situation – Oxford debate
Devided in pairs, we had time to understand the topic and prepare our arguments. The first debated topic was about the idea that each country should invest 5% of the GDP in environment education. The second topic was about arguing wheather the EU countries should abandon the nuclear plants for generating power.
Next day – city tour around Walldorf-Mörfelden. This combined the idea of city sightseeing activities with exploring and actually seeing in practice the ideas of our reports. During this trip we were able to experience science fiction in reality.. Well, not quite science fiction, but I haven ‘t seen a shared electric car in our country yet, do you?:)
From the diary of a small traveler: ->
The evening added the best finishing touch to the whole experience – travel to Estonia, Czech Republic, Romania and Turkey combined interesting facts about the country with national dances and delicious national food. This whole experience gave us the opportunity to have a glimpse into a foreign nation and kindled our curiosity and willingness to visit said countries.
->You might think that after an intense second intercultural night with lots of joy, good music, fruitful conversations, dance and lots of laughter which lasted almost till the dawn, we might have trouble waking up, but that’s impossible with such a great company and an amazing day ahead of us.
If you feel sleepy or grumpy, here’s not the place or the time for that. Once you step on the hallway and meet a smiling person which greets you with a warm “hello”, your day gets instantly better. J
We had the chance to explore a bit the surroundings: we got to visit the center of Frankfurt, the capital of the federal state of Hesse – Wiesbaden and Wiesbaden City Palace.
We have not only seen the place where the members of the parliament of the Hessian State Parliament work, but we also learned more about how the parliament system works.
- model situation – Simulation of Parliament
Each of us has had a certain role and task, with it subsequently endeavored to enforce in the simulation of the European Parliament. We tried to uphold our opinion and persuade the opposition part that our solution is right and beneficial to all parties.
Our next stop was …in the FOREST (an inner joke for the initiate.. let’s continue…) for lunch, where we enjoyed the fresh air and an amazing view of the city. Of course, after the well deserved lunch, we had a nice energizer from our lovely colleague, Jack – the master of energizers.
Third and last stop was the center of Frankfurt where we were given a challenge – to take photos of environmental friendly places/products for a future presentation and the permission to explore the city. We split into groups and teams and we made the best out of this opportunity: we had a walk around the city, we enjoyed the food, coffee, shopping and souvenirs areas around and some of us went to see Main River, others climbed on the top of Main Tower for an incredible view.
Please don’t cry, but everything ends once – LAST MOMENTS
Last day we had the opportunity to visit across the Walldorf concentration camp which was situated in the forest near our hotel. At least 1,700 women were forced to work here, treated with extreme cruelt and even some of them were killed. Although this was not directly related to the topic of our project, we really got to learn a lot about Walldorf’s history, and realized about the importance of historical memory.
After the lunch break, we divided into groups and prepared short presentations about the Erasmus+ project types.
In the afternoon we divided into groups according to the topics about ideas for the project we made up and wrote to small papers. The ideas were about homophobia, homes for homeless people, self development, youth employment, disabilities, gender equality, democracy, animal rights, survival skills in nature, food waste, need of basic economics basement of young people before going to real life, radicalization, fight against rasism, domestic violence, new educational methods etc. – there are a lot of topics which young people are interested. Then we filled up a filling form regarding to the topic each group chose, where we described methology, implementation, evaluation and objectives.
In the evening we had a farewell party in which the names of our secret friends were revealed. Also we did a summary of the project and we discussed what we liked and what we would like to improve and everybody had the opportunity to say some comments about the whole project or any other ideas.
Even from the start the group had a special connection: everybody getting along, interactive, being active, with a lot of things in common, eager to learn more about each other. In only few days this connection got stronger and stronger and the more time we spend together, the better this whole experience it gets. Not only that we enjoy spending time together, but we also learn a lot from the activities we are involved in and by sharing stories and situations from our countries or personal experiences from our day-to-day life.
Thanks for this project and for those open-minded people with persistent smile in their faces.