Youth Exchange 'Snapshot to Environment'

Youth Exchange 'Snapshop to Environment'

When: 10-17 June, 2013; APV 1-2 May, 2013

Where: Stepanavan, Armenia

Who: Stepanavan Youth Center (Armenia) and YEE

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Description:

The youth exchange 'Snapshot to Environment' aimed to connect 35 young people from 6 European Union and European Neighboring (EECA) countries with the aim to provide space to discuss global environmental challenges, their local impact and work together to create tools for raising awareness on those issues in their communities. The tools of YE were photography and video that promoted creativity among participants, created an encouraging space for youth to freely express, share opinions and learn from each other. Environment being universal was the platform for promoting peace building and active citizenship. Participants shared experience, developed knowledge and skills on environment, water and sustainable development issues. The project engaged and empowered them to advocate and participate in solving local environmental issues. Methods used included taking photos in communities, creative presentations, simulation, discussions, workshops on quality in photo/video making, street photography, etc, developing skills in eco-campaigns, event management, etc.
The project culminated with outdoor exhibition in Yerevan where selected photos were shared with larger public - through photos transferring concern and the message of participants to locals.
Follow up activities will be stressed on - organizing local exhibitions, online exhibition, publications with photos, etc.
The 8 day youth exchange took place in Stepanavan, Armenia. Youth and Environment Europe (Czech Republic) was an applying organisation and  coordinated the project and Stepanavan Youth Center (Armenia) hosted the project.

Impressions from participants:

"The "Snapshot to Environment" youth exchange totally met my expectations for three main reasons. First, I learnt a lot about environmental issues in participating countries and got inspiration not only for my personal life but also for some local projects. It actually inspired me to make several changes in my approach to the environment. Second, the diverse group of participants was very enriching. Sharing, networking and socializing enhanced my understanding of other cultures. Last but not least, I have improved my photo taking skills which I will be using in my daily life. Thanks
a lot for this wonderful opportunity, I enjoyed it a lot!!!'
Katarína Pauličková, Czech Republic

'It was an amazing project. We learned from each other which environmental issues are in our countries, share the photos, learned about different countries, had practical skills, how should be the good photos and videos, and how we should make it more impressive and useful, and as a final result we had exhibition in Yerevan park. It was 8 memorable and useful days. Thanks to all.'
Lilit Mkhitaryan, Armenia

'Armenia and the project was just amazing, all the organization - I guess it couldn't be any better. We were always listened, asked for our opinion. Not only I learned a lot about the other countries of the project, but improved my Russian, English and communication skills overall, as well as got an inspiration to keep exploring environmental field and sustainable lifestyle.'
Sandra Voldina, Latvia

'Our project in Armenia was just perfect! There was a good mixture of different kinds of activities: photography and enviromental questions, evenings of cultures, personal activities, lections and non formal conversations. As a result a lot of new skills and impressions, new friends and knowledge. No, really I left Yerevan with a tears in my eyes! Also I want to say words of gratitude to organizing team: they did everything to help us! Thank you!'
Anya Pestova, Russia

'I attended such a project for the first time, so I had no idea what it would be like. But I was really impressed by the whole project, by the inspiring group of people we had and by Armenia itself. It gave me a totally new perspective on photography and environmental issues in other European countries that I do not know so well. I really appreciated not just the official programme but also the fact that all the participants were sharing their own experiences. It was very enriching and I really enjoyed it!'
Lukas Kosner, Czech Republic

'I would like to send a big thanks to all organizators of "Snapshot to Environment" . The organization was perfect! I totally enjoyed this event and I absolutely recommend all people who are interested in environmental issues to take part in such projects. In Armenia there are hospitable people and marvellous landscape! When it comes to the project, I really liked workshop on photography and presentations about ecology and nature. I learnt a lot of them, for example how to reduce my ecological footprint or which problems have other countries and how they try to solve them. Finally, I would like to mention, that there was a perfect group of people too!'
Karolína Večeřová, Czech Republic

'Snapshot to Environment' happened to be useful for me because of the possibility to make new contacts with eco-activists from different countries and to know about their environmental issues and the ways of their resolving at first hand. Besides it was interesting to have collective practice in photo and video making and editing. Perhaps it would be better the next time to invite more professionals in the sphere and invent some more tasks for the participants to motivate them and let them gain more practical experience. I consider photo and video in the context of ecological activity to be a fruitful idea worth developing. It's also a great idea to suggest the participants a week of collective ecological way of living during the project. It's eally inspiring!'
Maria Gurscaia, Moldova

'It was my first youth exchange and I'm really impressed. Project was perfectly organized, I gained a lot of new skills, program was really interesting. I met many nice people from different countries and had a great experience in communicating with foreigners. I am very thankful to the organizers for such a great exchange, and I am very glad that they presented me Armenia.'
Mihna Natalia, Moldova

'Well, this project was just perfectly organized. I was participating in many exchanges, and this one actually is one of the best I've been to. Program was very interesting, workshops were very useful, and accommodation was OK.
I finally learned how to make normal photos, learned more about environmental issues in different countries and met nice people with whom I'm still in contact.'
Artur Panov, Estonia

"First time at Youth Exchange. And here in front of me opened a new world! Stunning Armenia and the new people from six countries. Everyone is different, with its own customs, traditions and culture. In the beginning I did not know, that we'll become so close during 8 days, and that in the end will be so hard to say goodbye. I am thankful to the fortune for the fact that all we met under the welcoming skies of Armenia.
I hope that the fortune in the future still gives us a gift and we will meet again. I love you all my dear Friends!"

Serghei Mardarii, Moldova

Objectives:

  • share opinions, approaches, experience, and exchange information on environmental situation and issues in Europe
  • promote positive impact on youth work at local level and youth active participation in the addressing environmental issues
  • develop skills in photography and video making, giving tools and developing skills to demonstrate concerns and issues
  • develop creative solutions in voicing opinions, concerns and increase effectiveness of young people to address issues
  • establish contacts and strengthen cooperation between European young people
  • promote better understanding of cultural diversity, to provide a chance to experience cultural diversity
  • develop and promote friendship, mutual understanding and harmony among European youngsters

Participating organisations:

  • Stepanavan Youth Center, Armenia
  • Youth and Environment Europe, Czech Republic
  • Gutta-Club National Center for Children and Youth, Moldova
  • RNGO for development of volunteering 'AYA', Russian Federation
  • Association Radi Vidi Pats, Latvia
  • MTÜ Tartu Armeenia Pühapäevakool Maštots, Estonia

Information:

Funders:

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