ThisABILITY — Italy


ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: youth exchange

Místo konání: Montecchio Maggiore, Italy

Youth exchange dates: 9—18 May 2023

Czech team: Vojtěch Korbelík (GL), Jan Zavadil, Miroslava Pečenková, Jana Hauschwitzová, Marina Bednářová, Marie Magdalena Sedláčková, Kristýna Kováčová, Tereza Mědílková, Karolína Graniová

APV (Advance Planning Visit): Montecchio, Italy 13—15 April

Please read the info-pack.

Hosting organisation: STUDIO PROGETTO

Project report:

On 9th May, our Czech team, consisting of nine members (two men and seven women), embarked on an exciting ten days long journey from Prague to sunny Italy for a project called “ThisAbility.” Our destination was Montecchio Maggiore, a charming town near Vicenza. A total of 37 participants from five countries—Spain, France, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Italy, our gracious host—took part in this inspiring project.

The success of our experience can be attributed to the exceptional organizers, Lara, Leo, and Irene. They curated a diverse and engaging program filled with captivating activities, ensuring that boredom was never an option. Initially strangers to each other, we quickly bonded as a cohesive group, breaking the ice with entertaining games from the very first day. Our collective focus centered on gaining a deeper understanding of the lives of individuals with disabilities and their integration into society.

The project involved a many of outdoor activities. One notable event was the collaboration with the town’s mayor to start a local project. Additionally, we had the opportunity to explore the Villa Zilleri and visit two local castles, which were dedicated to the legendary Shakespearean characters, Romeo and Juliet. However, the pinnacle of our experience was undoubtedly the introduction to a modified version of the game called Baskin—an inclusive sport similar to basketball, allowing people of all disabilities to participate. After familiarizing ourselves with the rules, we even had the privilege of playing alongside professional players. This unique and unforgettable encounter left a lasting impression on us all.

Furthermore, we had the privilege of visiting the local day care center, Piano Infinito, which provides essential support for individuals with disabilities. Organized into groups, we were granted a glimpse into their daily lives. From observing the care of horses and cattle on the farm to helping in the carving workshop and enjoying the ambiance of a café, we immersed ourselves in their world.

In addition to these remarkable experiences, we also participated in numerous workshops that fostered teamwork and self-discovery. From language learning to photography, cooking, dancing, and meditation, each of us contributed our own unique skills. The evenings were always filled with delightful presentations from each country. Engaging quizzes about each nation, traditional songs, dances and food demonstrations allowed us to truly appreciate the diversity of our group.

Regarding our accommodation, we were located a few kilometres outside the city, almost secluded from hustle daily life. This tranquil setting provided us with ample opportunities to connect on a deeper level and explore the picturesque countryside during our leisure time.

Overall, our journey to Italy for the “ThisAbility” project was an incredible experience. Through engaging activities, meaningful interactions, and the embracing of diversity, we gained a profound appreciation for the lives of individuals with disabilities and their invaluable contributions to society. We will forever cherish the memories made and the bonds formed during this remarkable adventure.

Vojtěch Korbelík

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