Making the Future

Making the Future

Making the future

Youth Exchange 9-18 September 2022 in Melegnano, Italy

EKO is happy to announce that one more amazing youth exchange has been successfully completed. The project “Making the Future” united 21 young participants from Greece, Italy and Spain. It was coordinated by the Italian organization Praticare il Futuro, and took place in Italy from 9 to 18 of September 2022.

The Youth Exchange was implemented in Cascina Manuale (Lerma) & Rocca Brivio (Melegnano), two graphic sceneries located in the northern part of Italy. 18 youngsters and 3 group leaders, in total 21 participants from the 3 Mediterranean countries were involved in the project that was hosted by the Italian NGO ‘Cooperativa sociale Praticare il futuro’.

The project was focused on promoting a fair relationship between humans, consider the importance of respect and connection with nature, believe in the transmission of those values to younger generations, but also – which was a primary objective of the project, from the educational point of view – on understanding the importance of active citizenship and corporate culture, respect for diversity in all its forms. The use of methods and tools proper to non-formal education was characterized by a strong practical sense.

During the exchange the participants learned how to recognize, analyze and express the deeper emotions aroused by the recent pandemic situation and to explore the various aspects of the current crisis. More specifically they achieved to work on the following topics: 

  1. 1. Analyze and reflect on the current situation, through simulation and role-playing games. Practice in problem posing and problem solving, giving the occasions to design and create concrete tasks.
  2. 2. Design individual and collective actions to transform reality and give tools to measure those actions effectiveness over time.
  3. 3. Rediscovering the will to measure oneself with others and to discover one’s generative potential, increasing the sense of effectiveness, self-esteem and ability to affect reality in a critical and competent way, to contribute to giving humanity a more sustainable and happy future.
  4. 4. Introducing permaculture as a model to re-design our life and society in a sustainable way and create regenerative systems
  5. 5. Creation of an event for the local community in Melegnano based on the social values of Erasmus+, diversity and solidarity created as a result of the project
  6. 6. Experimenting some group facilitation methods to increase the sense of belonging to a group which can create a sustainable community with a deeper attitude rooted in the ethical values of social justice, inclusiveness and fairness: working on group processes, decision making, co-participating, conflict transformation and emotional management.

In addition, during the project all young participants and leaders had the chance to:

  1. a. getting to know each other and creating a community during the Cascina Manuale trip
  2. b. getting to know folk and touristic Italian places such as Cascina Cappuccina, Cascina Manuale, Milano, Bologna, Melegnano and Rocca Brivio during activities and excursions
  3. c. getting to know the Italian culture and the local reality of Melegnano city and also all working members and their everyday tasks in the farm and during their the Italian partner

The competences that they developed during the exchange were:

  1. – how to take care of animals (donkeys and horses) and also the veggie garden (permaculture style)
  2. – develop their sense of responsibility and creativity
  3. – manage and organize intercultural events, including promotion of their own customs
  4. – working together in an international team

The participants shared their opinions about good practices and other ideas or approaches they are using during their everyday life in order to minimize their carbon footprint. All days started with an energizer that would boost the participants energy so that they can have the most of their good temper during the sessions. After that it was time for the daily activities that were focused on the topic of the project. The days ended with all the participants spending time together and having intercultural nights full of fun, cultural knowledge, folk music, traditional dances and flavors from different parts of Mediterranean Europe.

The project was a unique experience for all the participants of the Greek team and made them reflect and develop themselves in a way that they became more socially aware and responsible for themselves and the nature. Maria, EKO’s leader along with the young participants Sofia, Kostis, Eftychia, Filipos, Dimitris and Stathis contributed the most to the project and have created such unforgettable memories from this experience and all came back full of intense emotions. EKO is very grateful for all the Greek participants and especially for Dr. Maria Psychogiou, for having participated in this project and being the leader of the Greek team with such a success. Also for giving the opportunity to youngsters to participate in such an impactful project for their first time ever.

Special thanks to all the beautiful people of ‘Praticare il futuro’ and especially to Sabrina and Giuliana for working hard and making this project such a unique experience and with a tremendous impact for all participants!

Muchas gracias – Ευχαριστούμε πολύ – Grazie mille!