Programme & action: Erasmus+ Youth, Key Action 1: youth exchange
Venue: Brentonico, Italy
Dates: 13—21 September 2021
Please read the info-pack.
Participating countries: Italy, Czech Republic, Denmark, Portugal
Hosting organisation: MAVI Association
Czech team: Beatriz Minkovová (GL), Almaz Davletshin, Soňa Juríková, Viktor Škopan, Martin Koreček, Simona Prchlíková
,,Change? Climate? Oh, yes… Climate change!” Understanding of these words put together won’t take a long time for most part of the western world in a very short time. Such topics like climate change, environmental problems, global health issues, loss of biodiversity, surplus of waste and similar topics are getting more and more discussed. We cannot be surprised about it if we look around us and think of what the world looked like and what it looks like now. We, who attended an youth exchange by Erasmus+ called “Young Voices For the Planet” are on one side quite young to recall times back in the 50s, yet we are old enough to understand that climate change and issues attached to it are a serious problem. And real. That’s why more than 20 young people met in Brentonico, a lovely mountain town in the north of Italy, and were there from the 20th to the 28th of September in 2021.
Who were the participants? Enthusiastic, adventurous, clever and fun people coming from all parts of Europe! The countries of their origin were the Czech republic, Denmark, Italy, Romania, and Portugal. Coming from different places, we had different experiences with climate change, its impacts, and different understanding of it. Thanks to this project that put us together, we could share our own thoughts, ideas, and different perspectives, which was really enriching and beneficial for all of us. There were more activities where we could learn about each other’s differences but also about the similarities. The thing we all had in common was that our governments should do more about climate change. They should take real measures, introduce new laws and punish for not implementing the measures or reaching the set goals because even though we have many international agreements, signed countries don’t always fulfill them. It was especially interesting to hear this from the Danes, as we all had thought of this country as a good leader for others in the topic of climate change. They said that the country was doing a lot but they felt it could do much more. And a Czech team was maybe even more surprised about the fact that their politicians actually get punished when there is a problem discovered about them!
Besides discussions, we watched many videos, f. e. about participatory video, to understand what is it ’cause another topic of this project was also media and it was our goal to film our own video. Our Erasmus+ group created a project called “Green Caffé” which was prepared in a local park. We had benches, printed photos, drawn banners and coffee, of course! The participants were divided in their national teams and were given a specific topic. The topic of the Czech team was “The Climate Change and Food”. We created a set of questions that, later on, we asked the local people. Our organizers and participants from the Italian team helped us with translation but sometimes it wasn’t necessary, as the Italians we interviewed could speak English! This project overcame our expectations as we had thought not so many people would come and talk to us but they did and were very aware of this topic.
During this youth exchange, we also took a tour of a local farm, its facility, and a shop. After we saw dried herbs, a laboratory and a (very expensive) bag of saffron, we also had a tour in a surrounding area with Italian professionals, who shared their knowledge not just about the nature there but also about local history which is connected to the First World War. On the way, we were lucky to visit a local brewery which served us their own beer! It was… Well, very nice!
This project, its people and the ones we talked with during our time in Italy, gave me (and I believe to others too) HOPE, that humans are not indifferent and unconcerned about our planet and the life on it and that we actually care and will do better! Hope was also a name we gave to a tree we symbolically (but also for practical reasons) planted together. I hope that both “Hopes” will grown and get strong!