Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange
Venue: Altamura, Italy
YE dates: 24 August – 1 September 2017
APV dates: 1 – 3 July 2017
Participants: Jakub Janata, Marek Tuček, Tereza Matoušová, Dagmar Šudíková, Petra Zemaníková
Group leader: Jiří Gurth Jarkovský
Participating countries: Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Greece
Hosting organisation: Ri-puliamoci
Once upon a time there was a youth exchange. This one took place between August 24 and September 1 in southern Italy in Altamura and hosted 32 participants from Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Greece.
Strictly speaking, the project itself took place in a secluded leisure time centre in Altamuran countryside, surrounded by a few summer houses and vast fields. But we were certainly not bored there, as the program of the youth exchange was very rich.
The topic was recycling and other environmental issues and the type of activities slowly shifted during the duration of the youth exchange. The first main goal was to get to know each other, so the first day was fully dedicated to name games and ice-breakers. The following days we did several informative workshops about different environmental issues. We talked about the environmental problems in our countries, we discussed different waste management strategies and we informed each other about different types of pollution using short shadow theatre performances. The last few days of the youth exchange were dedicated to the main objective of the project – building an actual greenhouse from wood, bamboo sticks and (most importantly) empty plastic bottles. I’ve got to admit – it was quite a difficult task, but we managed to build a cute working greenhouse.
One of the things I liked about this particular youth exchange was how much the participants contributed to the program. Even though participants’ contribution is considered one of the key aspects of youth exchanges in general, it is often brushed off just as one participant organizing one simple energizer. At this youth exchange, participants from all the attending countries (co)-organized various activities throughout the entire programme.
One of the days of the youth exchange was reserved for a trip to a nearby town of Matera, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. And rightly so. The historical centre is truly magical.
All in all, I did really enjoy the project and I firmly believe all the other participants enjoyed it too. Working on the greenhouse made this youth exchange truly unforgettable, at least for me!
Jiří Gurth Jarkovský