Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange
APV (advance planning visit) venue: Ostello dei Balocchi, Ligonchio, Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, ItalyAPV dates: 20-22 April 2018
Youth Exchange venue: Ostello dei Balocchi, Ligonchio, Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, Italy YE dates: 18 – 26 May 2018
Participants: Petr Jirků, Michael Csepcsar, Jan Cimpel, Markéta Sýkorová, Tea Vulasová, Kateřina Kopecká
Group leader: Ivana Sedláčková
Please read the info-pack – please note that the youth exchange dates are 18-26 May!
Participating countries: Czech Republic, Italy, Estonia, Croatia, France
Hosting organisation: P.E.CO. – Progetti Europei di Cooperazione
Participants’ fee: €40 (deducated by the organisers from the travel cost reimbursement)
Pizza, pasta, mozzarella, pesto, bella. For most people, these are the only words they know in Italian. Even for us it was, before we went to S.T.E.P.S.2 – a project whose central themes were self-development and self-knowledge, intercultural learning and the development of group dynamics.
Close your eyes, imagine that a gentle wind blows on you, you smell the trees, fresh grass, you walk on the path… and the donkey bumps into you from behind. Yes, the trekking part of the second year of this project, which took place from the 18th to the 26th of August 2018 and was attended by participants from 5 countries, including 7 participants from the Czech Republic and held in Italy in the Tosco-Emiliano National Park near Ligonchio, was with donkeys. More specifically, five donkeys – Nina, Fela, Margarita, Olmo and Camilla. And thanks to their presence, we learned new Italian words. The most important thing was probably the word lungina, which is the rope that is used to lead the donkey.
Trekking, which we did for 4 days, has been a medium for the main theme of the project. In addition to trekking, for which we were perfectly prepared within two days at the hostel where we stayed at the start of the project, we have participated in several workshops, activities and role-plays aimed at self-development and self-awareness throughout the project. For me the most exciting activity was the One Step forward activity, when we realized that not all people have the same opportunities, and how little things that may seem ordinary to us can be much more important for others.
The weather did not favor us and it rained for a few days. But we managed everything. Paradoxically, perhaps the bad weather has strengthened the team spirit and encouraged our self-development, self-denial, and we have proved that we can do more than we think. Even though there was no Wi-Fi connection at the hostel, we formed a stronger connection between us. The organizers did their job well, and the whole Czech team wants to thank them for a great program. We would also like to thank the sending organization for allowing us to take part in this project. The project is over, but the friendship during the project is established and the gained experience and knowledge will remain with us.