Express Out Loud – France


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

Venue: Bédeille, France

Dates: 22 August – 1 September 2017

Participants:Jan Renner, Marie Škrdlíková, Ivana Mišíková, Tomáš Fogl, Tomáš Voda

Please read the info-packdaily programme Please also read the beautiful booklet with the outcomes of this project!

Participating countries: Czech Republic, Macedonia, Estonia, Hungary, France

Hosting organisationSol Afrika

Project report: 

At the beginning of August, I went to France as an assistant organizer with organization “Solafrika” for a European Youth Exchange. I’m very grateful for this opportunity, and I have to say that this exchange was a great experience for me, from which I took many positive experiences and adventures! I came to France four days earlier to discover the beauties of Toulouse and its surroundings. Thanks to today’s possibilities of Couchsurfing, I met amazing people who were hospitable not only in terms of accommodation, but thanks them for the opportunity to see for example Carcassonne or the beautiful town “Castlenaudary”.

One week before of the project the start, I travelled by train to Cazères, where the main organizer of the project (Maëva) picked me up and we went to Bédeille where the project took place. That week, before the arrival of all volunteers, we built, cleaned, painted, prepared and tuned the last details regarding both accommodation, activities and workshops themselves. Besides working, we did, of course, laugh a lot.

At the end of August, 5 participants from the Czech Republic embarked on the Express Out loud project, which took place in the small village “Bédeille” in Midi-Pyrenees. Other participants of this project were young enthusiasts from different parts of Europe: Macedonia, France, Hungary and Estonia.

All participants were hosted by the French organization SolAfrika on a rustic farm that has undergone several changes over the years, of course for the better. The new SolAfrika has a more extensive accommodation option. Besides the possibility of sleeping under a hood that some of the Czech groups also used (the sight of the stars in the mountains is indescribable), there were other possibilities of sleeping inside a converted building with beds, in a caravan or in a Mongolian tent called “YURTH”. Caring for our cleanliness took place in the outdoor showers in the caravan, but we also had the opportunity to use the indoor showers that we and the SolAfrika organizers made work shortly before the project. The dry toilets was a novelty for some, but a great adventure.

As it is customary for projects organized by SolAfrika, the participants are divided into teams of different colour. These teams are involved in collaborate on cooking, cleaning, dishwashing and maintaining cleanliness throughout the complex. Not only for these purposes, this division into the teams is beneficial, as the teams are made up of participants from different countries, we had the opportunity to get to know each other better.

As the name of the project testifies, its whole spirit was borne in expressing oneself and speaking. Activities and workshops were also selected for this. Among the 3 main were flash mob, clowning and speech carier. We spent the most time on them and then went with that, for example, to St. Girons, Seix at the “Move de Salad” festival, and finally as a celebrity exponent in Toulouse, where we expanded our activities to include free hugs, free massage, street football and athletics games for children.

Finally, I would like to thank all the participants and the EYCB organizers, who gave us the opportunity to travel and gain new experience, to the organizers from SolAfrika, especially to Maëva, Nico, Emilie and Susanna who cared about us for our entire 11 days as our own and thanks to whom we didn’t stop laugh for a moment! These amazing 11 days have brought us experiences, adventures, memories, but also new horizons and especially new friends, because the group we created in those few days, I’m not afraid of, there was a bunch of people in which you don’t have time to be sad!

Looking forward to other projects!!! 

                                                                                                                                                                                           Jana Kohoutová

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