Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange
Venue: Garda Lake, Italy
Dates: 24-30 September
Participants: Adéla Lindnerová, Petra Sýkorová, Marek Zimmel, Jitka Kolová, Petr Koleňák
Group leader: Veronika Kůsová
Hosting organisation: Mavì Association of Social Promotion
The project Life Skills, Youth & Migrants took place in Italy, namely in Riva del Garda next to the breath-taking Garda lake which provided us with pebble beaches and grassy parks as stages to our activities. We all arrived to Riva on the 24th September, 2018, and enjoyed 5 packed days of morning yoga (voluntary for sleepy heads and party animals tired from the previous night), team-building activities lead by a local psychologist, mantras, songs, games and especially activities designed for strengthening life skills like creativity, critical thinking, stress management and mind flexibility. To be honest, mental flexibility was the most practiced skill as the Italian organizers tended to change the schedule last minute. Luckily, we all came prepared with a supernatural amount of chill and since most participants were from likely-minded Southern countries (Spain, Turkey, and Portugal), the Czech team managed to adopt their laid back attitude in no time as well.
Between hard work, meeting refugees and training our minds, there was time to eat tons of pasta, cycle to close-by lake resorts, hike, climb mountains, discover castles, learn African dances in a scorching midday heat (getting into the African character!) and dancing circle dances from around the world with a local dance group Danzare la pace (Dance for Peace). We also had the opportunity to meet several refugees residing in Italy and talk with them about their life stories, their reasons to come and their experience with Italy.
All in all, we learned the basics of yoga and meditation, we met inspiring people and made friends with them, we enjoyed the spectacular location of a turquoise blue lake hidden among mountains, and we lived this week to the fullest. And all the credit for these immortal memories goes both to the organizers from Mavi (the Italian organization) and EYCB! Grazie mille a tutti!