CCAFAF (Lefki Nikolaou, Cyprus)

10/18/2014 20:08

It is wonderful to learn together with people from different countries. This is what happened at Platres, Cyprus between 24th and 31st of August. Ten persons from Cyprus Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia and Austria met in the heart of Cypriot mountains, in a camp place.

                The feelings varied when participants firstly arrives in the camp place. Some were excited and few other were worrying about their stay in the nature. Facilitators tried to solve each problem differently and at the end of the day everybody was truly happy and satisfied.

                Participants had their first meeting on the first evening of the arrival day. They wore their ties and they had their cocktails in order to get to know each other. The evening ended with dances and many happy faces.

                On the next day, they participates in ice breaking activities in order to come closer to each other and then they explored whether global warming is a reality or fake. Participants met with George Zittis who is a climatologist expert in environmental issues and they sum up their own conclusions. Groups of participants presented their arguments about the idea of Global warming. The debate run and at the end, participants concludes their own ideas. Zsusza from Romania said that she was amazed to learn that some governments present global warming as fake. Afterwards, each one calculated his/her carbon footprint and discussed about their results. This was a useful activity because they considered how their everyday actions and lifestyles affect the environment. This activity gave them food for thought and they could try to consider their future actions. The day ended with the Cypriot night. Music, dances, delicious food! Everyone seemed happy and satisfied.

                On the second day, participants presented the awareness posters for climate change that they created in their counties before arriving. Zsuzsa and Catalin from Romania said that they tried to present actual problems in Romania and try to compare them with other countries’ problems. Afterwards, all the participants were very excited, they spend their evening walking in the forest, in Kalidonia nature path. Florentina from Austria finds the photo contest funny. As she said ‘You look the things otherwise you don’t observe. She learnt many kinds of trees that exist in Cypriot nature. Zsuzsa from Romania also liked that there were names on the trees. Catalin felt like the nature in the train was like paradise. ‘In Romania there are not mountains like this’, he said.

                In the second international night, Malta, Austria and Romania presented easy and very interesting dances, traditional song and many kinds of food. Everything was so perfect and participants really enjoyed their time, they learnt lots of new things about those countries.

                Wednesday morning, Shakira once again informed us that the session was about to begin. Participants inhabited in the land of Moja Island and they tried to survive by using the right source of energy. Catalin thinks that it was a constructive idea and Zsuzsan learnt about new kinds of resources of energy. Liz from Austria finds the activity easy!

                In the evening participants spent their free time on participating in competitions such as basketball, volleyball, chess, backgammon. Liz from Austria said that it was a wonderful idea but they didn’t have the opportunity to participate in all the competitions.

                On Thursday, they were all excited, arriving in the water museum in Limassol. Then they spend their day swimming on the beach and walking in the centre of old Limassol. Silvia from Bulgaria went to the mall and she liked it a lot. She went also to the beach and it was really beautiful. Diana from Estonia liked Limassol and she thinks it was so hot like sauna! At night they ate the delicious food of Mr. Yiannis and they watched the film ‘Water World’. Ann from … finds the film very exciting and she was glad that she watched it.

                On Friday the participants were divided in groups and in each group there was only one participant from each country. That was an excellent idea which brought together all the participants of each team and created a bond between them. Participant discussed about the local environmental problems and created their own front page of newspaper. The results were amazing, they worked very effectively and they presented with enthusiasm their front pages. Liz from Austria said ‘I liked the activity very much because I worked with people that I hadn’t talked to before. We were really pleased with our work. It was good that the presentations were not too long.’

                The next activity was one step forward. Verena from … said ‘This activity was really hard. To be that different personality but you also could really see the unfairness of our society. I liked this activity.’ One step forward made people felt as they had never felt because they got in the place of other people.

In my opinion, because of the large number of participants, it didn’t help them to follow the conversation after the activity and most of they didn’t participate. This was a common problem in all the activities. With less people, it would be easier for participants to create bonds between them and also participate in the follow up conversations.

Next activity was the web of life. Participants created the web of life and at the end they observed their web being destroyed because of the human over activity in earth. This activity should be better implemented and the follow up conversation should be longer and include more feelings and experiences of participants during the activity.

The last day started with an amazing energizer followed by the youth pass presentations and the evaluation of the project. Then they received their youthpass and congratulated each other. They took photographs and at night, participants organized their farewell party and said goodbye to each other. It was a great experience full of new knowledge about the environment and about other cultures!