SOS – SEEDS OF SUSTAINABILITY

On May 21, the Polish group representing the association CIM Horyzonty composed of Paweł (group leader), Flora, Asia, Marta, Piotr and Karol went to the Italian town named Bari. There at 7 p.m. we met with other exchange participants from such countries as: Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain and Estonia. The organizers of the project Noa Philsalis and Rosanna Bellomo, took care of our arrival to the small town Puglia di Gravina where everyone could unpack their bags and relax after long journey.

On the first day of the exchange, the facilitators decided to integrate the group and set goals
and rules applicable to all participants. In the evening we met for the first time
in our reflective groups where we could share the impressions of this very pleasant day.

The second day was full of workshops related to the main topic of exchange. We learned how to make natural products for cleaning, cosmetics, as well as how to prepare by yourself almond dessert and Italian pizza with only few ingredients. Between practical classes, there was also time to discuss our ecological habits, during which people who were just entering to the subject of sustainable development could learn from their more experienced colleagues. After baking the pizza, there was time for dancing and singing until midnight.

On Friday, we were able to see the impact which we have on our planet. Each participant has calculated his/her ecological footprint (an indicator of the impact of the individual on the consumption of energy and natural resources) and took part in game and discussion on the effects of our daily activities. After dinner, Miquel, the owner of the property on which we were located, showed us how to grow vegetables and fruits without using chemicals and without wasting natural resources. He also told us about the traditions characteristic of this region of Italy. At the end of the day, each group representing their country had the opportunity to leave a souvenir in Gravina by  creating and decorating benchs.

May 25 was a long-awaited day for many people, because on saturday we went to Bari. First, we cleaned the beach, learning to categorize the garbage and showing that everyone can take care of the cleanliness of city by himself/herself. Later, each of us had free time to visit the city and rest.

On Sunday, each association could present itself and its activities. We discussed the ecology approach in our countries and how we can change it. Using materials available in our area, we created small cardboard wallets, and then we learned from our chef how to make Italian pasta. After eating dinner, each country prepared its position, at which we talked about our traditions, we treated traditional dishes and presented a song or a dance.

On Monday, we walked to the city of Gravina cleaning up the streets we passed through. After that we met with the mayor of the city and employees of the Gravina National Park and we could learn about their activities for the cleanliness of the city and ecology. After our return, the organizers prepared a special room for us, in which we had a reflective discussion on the exchange and our experiences.

The last day of the program focused on the summary of information gained during this intense week. We also learned about projects and concepts related to the ERASMUS plus program, which gave us the feeling that we still had other development opportunities. Until the evening, we were working on our own projects, which we have to prepare on our return to our countries, and later we spent a nice time at the farewell campfire.

29.05 was the day of departure. After breakfast, we said goodbye and everyone went their own way, hoping that we would meet again.

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