The Youth Exchange aimed to create a common space to reflect on visible and invisible borders between communities that divide societies mentally and/or geographically in Europe. To do so, we brought youth together from various backgrounds and facilitated cooperation by creating experiences on a non-related topic which was environmental sustainability.
Forty-one young people joined the youth exchange. The group was very diverse with participants coming from rural areas, different ethnic communities, and cultural backgrounds. Some had videography/photography and social media skills, while others had experience in intercultural education. There were also some young people who were actively involved in environmental initiatives.
All activities were learner-centered and based on non-formal education. This allowed the participants to acquire new skills, learn, share ideas, and respect multiculturalism. By the end of the project, the group learnt more about eco-activism, green-entrepreunership, and the 4 R’s. They also developed their intercultural skills, explored and talked about differences and similarities in their cultures. By the end of the project a manual has been created
Good feelings and the beginning of a sustainable learning journey in the sunny mountains of Cyprus
The first day of the Youth Exchange ECO-Together in Cyprus has passed and the participants learned many new skills. Read on to find out about what we did during the first day!
- The day started around 8 o’clock with an amazing, delicious and nutritious breakfast. Many new faces, many new names to learn. About 50 young people from at least 8 different countries got to meet each other and play different name games.
Even though the sun shined so strong that you could barely open your eyes, we managed to remember (almost) all faces. One of the first activities we had was “a truth and a lie“. After that, we had an exciting round of speed dating, where we got to know each other a little bit better. Later, we enjoyed a traditional Cypriot lunch consisting of “gemista” (stuffed vegetables with rice), potatoes, olives, and chicken with beer.
- Anna from Catalonia and Katia from Ukraine feel positive about the first day. “I have a really good feeling. This is a nice group.”, says Anna.
The next activity was about expectations, fears, and contributions. To keep the energy level high, we danced on the terrasse and had to form letters, animals, and other pantomimic gestures. We talked about our group responsibilities, and that is why you have the honor to read this beautiful article right now!
- We did another activity to compare how each national team understands the meaning of environmental sustainability and we saw all the different perspectives. Our engineering skills got tested during the “egg challenge “. Almost all teams were able to save their egg from breaking from a 2-meter fall. Maybe there will be a national championship about throwing it from the balcony – stay curious we’ll keep you updated! 🙂
To find out about the Youthpass key competences, we did another activity; Some of us explored the village and took many pictures. To round up the day, a self and group reflection in national teams followed.
- Katia liked the egg challenge the most: “It was interesting for me!” Both girls, Anna and Katia, are looking forward to learning many new things: “I hope to get to know more about sustainability.”, says Anna, and Katia adds: “I’d also like to learn more about the 4R’s.”