Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange
Venue: Cadalen, France
Dates: 20 – 30 June 2017
Participants: Radek Brázdil, Zuzana Fišerová, Petra Bubeníčková, Kateřina Tomanová
Group leader: Alžběta Vicianová
Hosting organisation: SolAfrika
Participating organisations: France, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Estonia.
At the beginning of the summer we had an opportunity to join a youth exchange with very friendly atmosphere. The project called Mix´Abilities took place close to Cadalen, Toulouse in very tiny place, literally on the field J At the project participated 25 people, five from each of countries – Czech Rep., Estonia, Slovenia, Spain and French organizer Sol Africa.
The main topic of the project was Discrimination linked to disabilities, Inclusion of youth with disabilities in our society. It was a reason to form a group of people from different environment – youngsters with disadvantages, social workers, special needs teachers and the others.
Thanks to experienced leaders Maeva, Adele and Lisa, there was everything prepared before our arrival, including bio quality food storage, working shifts and rules. They collected all of us at Gaillac train station and explain us everything. We stayed in two houses at Atout Piol area, one for sleeping and chilling, and one for activities and eating. The daily life was organized in style “help yourself, help the others” and managed by mixed groups responsible for different activities like cooking, cleaning the dining room or household.
Every day there was an energizer to warm up and get to know each other, later games or workshops. During all 10 days we had group meetings but still enough time for ourselves.
One of the main activities was Forum theatre. After speaking about our life experience with discrimination and disabilities, we chose few sketches based on our stories we prepared for kids at Cadelen school (6-10y). Speaking with them about such an important topic was very enrichment.
We also passed thru a very new experience – walking in countryside with “Joelette” (organization Umen). It is a kind of trolley for people with physical disabilities helping them to enjoy outdoor environment. They taught us how this construction works and we had a possibility to drive/lift each other, it was fun but a lot of hard work as well… uf.
The biggest highlight of the programme was definitely Dance and percussions with a charming instructor Chantal. It was a moment when all our wildness and craziness went out, and we enjoyed pure life energy. Following sign dance showed us a bit of deaf culture and allowed us to see EU anthem from different point of view.
We spend at Atout Piol 10 nights in total. A half of them we had cultural nights and the rest of evenings they prepared for us amazing programme – music fest in Albi, folk fest or African dance performance. Every cultural night we tried different food and snacks from each country, watched presentations, performances or dances. Our Czech cultural evening started with dinner we cooked – “bramboraky” with sour cream, cheese and sauerkraut. Presentation was made thru quiz in mixed teams following by school of folk dance and ice-hockey fanning competition.
Piol dance members prepared perfect goodbye performances of African dance we joined with newly discovered wildness. Unforgettable!
Finally, I would like to thank our sending organization EYCB, the Sol Africa for an excellent programme and I have a special coded message for all participants…
“Africa – Africa – France – Africa – Africa – Estonia – Africa – Africa – Slovenia – Africa – Africa – España – Africa – Africa – AtoutPiol – Africa – Africa – and Gobal – Africa – Africa – Czech team – Africa – Africa – love you – Africa – Africa – and send you – Africa – Africa – big hugs – Africa – Africa”