Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: training course
Venue: Montbrun-Bocag, France
Dates: 16-26 June 2015
Participants: Alice Primasová, Jana Mahnigová, Ivan Rosa, Ondřej Půček
Host organization: SolAfrika
Participating countries: France, Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal, Estonia, Lithuania
State exam is behind the door and I am looking for some “reward” in form of summer „Youth exchange“ or another project. Macedonia, Greece, Italy are blinking on the monitor and here it comes – south of France for 10 days. Infopack is promising work on stereotypes, knowledge about migrant issue or problems of handicap people. All of these through role play games and theatre exercises. I immediately knew I wanted to be part of it.
Despite all of projects positives there are no partners from Slovak republic. Never mind – as Czech Republic is there, I am sending application form with note about Czechoslovakian brotherhood.
Long story short – EYCB – an impressive NGO from Breclav decided to support my participation and to send me to the project as their member. Now I am on board of Boeing to fourth biggest city in France – TOULOUSE.
After day of sightseeing on my own, organizator Nicco picked me at the bus station and transported from civilization. Yes, this Training course didn’t take place in some snobbish, bright, French city, surrounded by muffins, lemon tarts and macaroons but somewhere in heart of green fields right below the Pyrenees. Travel time past fast as well as conversation in our car. Narrow curved roads and deep forest were waiting behind the windows and I started to feel impatient. It haven‘t took a long and we arrived at „locus delicti“. Probably old water mill has been rebuilt to nice cozy hostel. Small river is still flowing bellow its stone bases and small wooden laths decorate beige walls. Building stands in the middle of nowhere, in neighborhood of small lake full of frogs, never ending meadows and grass eating cows. In conclusion the conditions and organization could not be better, however the content of TC overcame all of my possible expectations.
To say the truth we didn’t use so much theatre exercise during the course but in other side we played a lot of games and practiced many tools of non-formal learning. Especially role play game have made us thinking a lot about how migrants feel when they have to cross borders and deal with all restrains of wealthy countries. We developed the topic of prison and criminals with an expert from local NGO, who deals with these people on daily basis. With „handi sports“ activities, we were introduced to possibilities of doing sport for handicap people. All day we were trying to play blind football, basketball on wheel chair or handball relying only on our hearing sense. It was just one day, only couple of hours and yet we realize how tough have to be life with serious physical damage. We were presented by methods how we can possible help to handicap people and stunned by information about costs of handi-sport activities.
Beside all the topics, every night we were “invited for a dinner” by one of participating countries. We had possibility to try its cuisine, get to know its traditions or to sing some folk songs. I was impressed especially by Estonian evening – I realized how develop and open minded this country is, but even Lithuanian evening have caused a lot of thinking in my head. As we were near by famous Pyrenees on free day organizators took as to an incredible hike ended with celebration of French music day in St. Girons. So we were presented even with French culture. In each corner was playing music of all kind, streets were full of artists and acrobats, confetti and fireworks flew in the air and hundreds of people filled live samba snake. I sat on ground for a while to enjoy the atmosphere and I noticed a couple of seventy years olds dancing on slow jazz music.
Regarding to the French leaders I have to admit that these three youngsters – presented us with an example how new leaders should look like, how they should organize their projects, solve conflicts and communicate their interests. In the end of my lines I cannot use other words than thank you – thank you a lot for all energy and time you have invested to this project and to work with us. I promise, that I will do my best to use all what I have learned in this unforgettable week. “Merci bocu mon amis” 😉