ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: youth exchange
Dates: 26 August—4 September 2022
Venue: Buşteni, Carpathian Mountains, Romania
Hosting organisation: ODEN NEHOIU
Czech team: Barbora Kollárová (GL), Klára Čechurová, Klára Studnická, Tomáš Kabát, David Stehlík
Small Communities Have Big Problems was a project that took place from August 26 to September 4 in the small town of Buşteni. Buşteni has barely 9000 inhabitants, but is very popular with tourists because of its beautiful surroundings, so one would expect the population to be much higher!
The project participants came from the following countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Spain, with each team consisting of 5 members.
Most of the project was led by Fabi and Bogdan, who encouraged us to invent things we would never have thought of before. Unfortunately, due to their work as teachers, they had to leave us before the end of the projects. Fortunately, another organizer came, Tolea, who led the project until the end. He was very experienced as he has been working with Erasmus projects for more than 20 years and has participated in 200 projects.
During the first days we visited the beauties of the city and its surroundings such as Cantacuzino Castle. After a short hike, we marvelled at the Cascada Urlătoarea or, as it is called in English, the “Howling Waterfall”.
We explored the problems of pollution, unemployment, discrimination, and civic passivity that are most important in small communities. After exploring each problem, we created something that represented the problem itself and a solution to it. For example, after exploring pollution, we made objects using the upcycling method, and after exploring civic passivity, we made a short film.
As usual in the Erasmus+ projects, there was an intercultural night, but this time with a twist: it was split up into several days, and during one day we had the task of promoting different countries; the Czech Republic had the task of promoting Italy; for this purpose we cut out the silhouette of Italy from cardboard and could project it on the ceiling with a flashlight.
At the end of the project, we visited the town of Brașov and Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle. In reality, the castle was never visited by Vlad III Dracula, who was the inspiration for the Dracula novel.
In conclusion, I would like to say that this project was great and I would recommend everyone to visit Romania, even if it’s faced by prejudices.