Unity_in_Diversity_Logo

WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT AND UNIQUE,

BUT WE HAVE COMMON TRAITS AND WE SHARE VERY SIMILAR HOPES AND OBJECTIVES

ALTOGETHER, WE MADE “UNITY IN DIVERSITY”



Photo_Altogether_mod

 



THE VENUE: LIEPAJA, 16-24/04/2016

Unity_in_Diversity_Liepja_Lake_Big

The long wooden platform in the northern part of Liepaja Lake, bringing to a small turret for a fascinating panorama of the surrounding nature.

Liepaja is a city located in western Latvia, on the Baltic Sea. With a population of about 72’000 inhabitants, it is the largest city in the country after Riga and Daugavpils.

It is known as “the city where the wind is born”, being renowed as the windiest city in Latvia, as confirmed by the presence of the largest wind power plant of the nation.

The Trade Channel, which connects the Sea to Liepaja Lake, divides the city into a northern part, known as the New Town, mainly having residential and industrial areas and a southern part, known as the Old Town, hosting the administrative and cultural buildings and the main leisure areas.

At the seaside, Jurmala Park, with a total area of about 70 ha, is one of the largest planted parks in Latvia.

For more information, please see http://www.liepaja.lv/page/22

 

 



Youth Exchange: Juvenile Non Formal Learning

Unity in Diversity was a Youth Exchange project funded by the EU Erasmus+ Programme (Italian, English). As reported in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide (Italian, English), “Youth Exchanges allow groups of young people from at least two different countries to meet and live together for up to 21 days. During a Youth Exchange, participants, supported by group leaders, jointly carry out a work programme (a mix of workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, simulations, outdoor activities, etc.) designed and prepared by them before the Exchange. Youth Exchanges allow young people to: develop competences; become aware of socially relevant topics/thematic areas; discover new cultures, habits and life-styles, mainly through peer-learning; strengthen values like solidarity, democracy, friendship, etc. The learning process in Youth Exchanges is triggered by methods of non-formal education. The rather short duration makes the involvement of young people with fewer opportunities appropriate; as such a Youth Exchange offers an international mobility experience in the safety of a group with the possibility of having an adequate number of group leaders to take care of the participants.



OUR ITALIAN TEAM

The Italian team was composed by five participants. Beatrice (Bea) and Davide from Pesaro, Carolina Maria Vittoria (Carol), Domenico (Dodo) and Mattia (Tia) from Fano. They are all members of Sentinelle dell’Energia. Moreover, Carol, Dodo and Tia are also members of  Noi Giovani Fano juvenile association.

This is a photo taken at the Liepaja City Council. Together with the Italian team there is quite all the Romanian team. At the center of the group there is Natalja Vecvagare, External Affairs Coordinator at the Liepaja City Council. From the left, there are Davide, Carol, Dodo, Tia, Nataljia Vecvagare,  Luana, Madalina, Gabriel and Bea.

Nataljia provided us a great presentation about Liepaja and its opportunities. Carol, Dodo and Tia noticed that Liepaja shares a lot of things in common with Fano and they manifested their interest for becoming sister cities and to collaborate each other.

 



PROJECT TIME ACTIVITIES

project_time_activities

The activities took place throughout 7 days, from 17/04 to 23/04, 2016.

Hereunder, you can find a brief resume about all the performed activities!



DAY 1 – Knowing each other

As usual, the first day is devoted to better know each other, starting right from our respective names. Moreover, we knew the fears, expectations and needs from all the participants.

Adding to this, in Unity in Diversity we also had a presentation from the Romanian participant Delia, relating to the Eramus+ financing Programme.

Hereunder, you can find a more detailed description of the activities performed during the first day.

name_game_mod

The “name game”. In order to quickly learn our names, we made one “name game”. We made a circle and each participant had the task to say her/his name and to make a gesture in order to characterize herself/himself. At each participant turn, the person had to tell the names and to repeat the gestures of all the participants who preceded her/him in the game. What else to say, funny and challenging!
Two_Truths_One_Lie_mod“Two thruths, one lie”. In order to start to talk and to better know each other, we made this game. Each participant had to write two truths and one lie about herself/himself and then she/he had to talk with other participants trying to guess which was the lie and which were the truths. During the game, participants sharing one or more letter of the name had also to write them in a paper of the other paticipant. Nice and funny!

We also had another name game and an energizer, allowing to create the right atmosphere for the participants!

Fears, expectations and needs. The participants drew and cut from paper drawings of dresses, skirt and socks, inside which they wrote their fears, expectations and needs respectively. The facilitators from the project, Dusko and Kate from Sfera non profit organisation reported which about the main fears, expectations and needs from the participants.

MISSION (IM)POSSIBLE AND ERASMUS PLUS PROGRAMME 

In the afternoon, the Makedonian participants organized the game “mission impossible!”. All the participants had to complete 13 specific tasks within 15 minutes! They comprised to make a group photo, to collect 20 different socks, to make name tags on the rooms, to dress one person in 20 shirts, to make the talles chair tower, to write a poem about the project, to write a motto of the project, to make a language board with useful phrases, to give everyone a hug and other similar challenging submissions! Finally, we worked in groups and then presented the three Key Actions of the Erasmus Plus Programme.

Mission_Impossible_mod Mission_Impossible_2_mod Erasmus_Plus_mod

So, that’s the end of the first day, what a busy day!



Day 2 – Photos and Barter Game in Liepaja, Differences between cities, town and villages

Photo_Lesson_mod Tickets_Cities_Towns_Villages_mod
Fotoromanzo_mod Fotoromanzo_7_mod

During the second day, we first had a quick lesson teaching how to make goood photos. Then we went out to the city centre for a photography session and for learning about the charachteristics of cities in Liepaja. Duing the walking around, we also made a very funny game, which was the “exchange the objects” game. This game starts with some objects of minor economic value that each team has to exchange around the city with other objects trying to obtain the most valuable set of objects at the end of the game. It’s impressive how many valuable things you could obtain, people is really generous!

Differences between cities, towns and villages and “fotoromanzo”. In the afternoon, the participants discussed about the differences between cities, towns and villages in their respective Countries, with the help of the facilitators. It was interesting to notice how some Countries still maintain strong and rooted rural towns, while some others had experienced a stronger shift towards the realities of towns and cities. The topic was firstly addressed with a game prepared from the Latvian participants and based on sentences put on papers, that the other participants had to attribute to cities, towns or villages. Then the same argument was addressed by the Italian game of fotoromanzo. Each participant Country had to prepare a tipical fotoromanzo describing their national context for villages, towns and cities, or a particular aspect from them.


That’s all for the second day! Let’s go to the third one!



Day 3 – Grassroots games and traditional dances from our Countries, First Intercultural Evening

During day 3 we started by presenting the games we played at the courtyard when we where young. Each Country proposed their own games and allowed all the participants to try them. Among the others, we played at “campanone”, finding that this is a common international game!

grassroot_games_1 grassroot_games_2 grassroot_games_3

In the afternoon, participants then taught traditional dances from their own Countries, resulting in pleasant collective engagement in

group dances with traditional songs.

dances_from_countries dances_from_countries_2 dances_from_countries_3

And… during dinner, we had our first intercultural evening.

That’s the evening when Countries present themselves, usually describing the most interesting places to visit, together with some particular aspects from their culture. And… after that, people share their own traditional food and drinks!  The first intercultural evening was that of Latvia, Poland and Romania.

intercultural_evening_1 intercultural_evening_2 intercultural_evening_3

We have almost passed half of the project activitites, let’s go to the fourth day!



Day 4 – Exploring Towns and Villages near Liepaja, Second Intercultural Evening

In day 4 morning, we explored places near Liepaja, in order to visit small villages and natural places and to better understand the peculiarities of Latvian villages and how they differ from town and cities.

 

in_the_autobus in_the_village
village_house at_the_seaside

In the afternoon, then, Italian and Romanian teams had a meeting with the external affair coordinator of Liepaja city Council, who presented the most valuable and interesting places to visit in the city, described the events which take place during the year and highlighted the recent project aiming to promote energy efficiency and green mobility.

liepaja_city_council_2_small liepaja_city_council_5_small
liepaja_city_council_4_small liepaja_city_council_small

During day 4, there was also the second intercultural evening! This time, the involved Countries were Italy, Makedonia and Lithuania. Thanks to Dodo, we prepared really good dishes that were appreciated by all the other participants. Moreover, we offered sweets and some drinks like limoncino, that were really prized too!

intercultural_evening_9 intercultural_evening_7 intercultural_evening_7

So, we are approaching the end of the project. What about last three days? Let’s continue to read and discover it!



Day 5 – Visiting Karosta and Typical Dresses and Clothes from our Countries

 

day_5_1 day_5_2 day_5_3 day_5_5
day_5_7 day_5_8 day_5_9 day_5_10

During the morning, we visited Karosta, a Liepaja district in the northern part of the city, which “was constructed in 1890-1906 as a naval base for the Russian Tsar Alexander III, and later served as a base for the Soviet Baltic Fleet […]  The base is of tactical importance due to its central location in the Baltic Sea and the fact that it does not ice over in winter. Built on the bare coast it consists of a large man-made harbour including a large breakwater and inland submarine warren. The army headquarters include czar-era mansions used by admirals, a palace for the czar (reportedly only used once), an impressive Russian Orthodox naval cathedral, as well as underground bunkers and abandoned storehouses. Soviet-era buildings include many rows of block housing. At its height Karosta was home to over 20,000 people.” (source wikipedia).

It was a beautiful experience, preparing the ground for one of the most creative activities of the project. Interested to know about it? Let’s have a look at what we did in the afternoon!


So, here we are with the afternoon activities. During day 5, we were engaged in the preparation of typical dresses and clothes from our countries, by simply using white and coloured paper, scissors, glue and colours! It was really a positive endeavour and the results were excellent! As Italian team, we decided to realize typical carnival clothes, since we did not have well known and peculiar dresses from our cities. In particular, Carol and Dodo were dressed like Pulcinella and Arlecchino respectively annd they were really nice!

Ater preparing the clothes, there was a parade and then each Country presented the story of the clothes they prepared. It was a very good experience!

dress_makedonia dress_italia arlecchino_details italian_team_dress
makedonia_team_dress romania_clothes all_countries_dresses all_clothes

sweet_cat

This evening we did not have another intercultural evening, but we took a nice picture of the sweet cat of the hotel!

 

 



Day 6 – Cooking Recipes from our Countries and Visiting the local hospice

Oh, we are approaching the end of the project. But day 6 is going to give us new beatufil experiences! Indeed, during this day, the participants were first divided into mixed teams comprising people from different countries, and then were engaged in the preparation of typical dishes from Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and Makedonia. Also this time, we got excellent results! It was fantastic to cooperate together and to learn how to prepare new meals. Among the other, I personally participated in the preparation of the Polish pierogi. It was very good!

preparing_meals_1 preparing_meals_2 preparing_meals_3 preparing_meals_4
preparing_meals_5 preparing_meals_6 preparing_meals_7 preparing_meals_8

But the most pleasant activity was what we did in the afternoon after having prepared the dishes. Indeed, we went to the city hospice and we served the meals to the local elderly. We also sang with them traditional national songs from our countries. It was amazing to see how we could make other people so happy with just few things and by sharing our simple time and experiences!

Unfortunately, we do not have pictures from the hospice, but I can assure it was one of the most pleasant time of all the project!



Sixth day maybe was the most beautiful day among all the project, what a good experience!



Day 7 – Presenting the sending organisations and farewell party

presenting_organisationsSo, finally we reached day 7, that is the last day. I won’t spend too much words, just to say that during this day we mainly presented our sending organisations and we tried to reason on how to organize the follow up activities and how to collaborate in future projects. I will not report too many pictures neither, just one as a resume from the activities.

During the evening, we had the final party and then we all prepared for leaving the next day.

We made a very nice job guys, thanks to all!

Davide



Conclusions and remarks from Davide of the Italian group

It was the first time for me as a youth leader of an Italian group. Accordingly, I met many difficulties in making sure that all the things went well. And this let me down a little bit. But at the same time, I am grateful to all the participants for the help, support or also lessons they gave me, the major one being that no matter what Country you come from, no matter what are your beliefs and cultural habits, there is always the possibility to create unity in diversity! 🙂