The youth exchange “Re-Imagine our waste with Entrepreneurship ” was an educational and hands-on project regarding recycled materials and how to use them in a creative and artistic way in our daily life . Participants had the chance to discuss and reflect on environmental issues and how the human behavior affects the environment. Our aim was to inspire participants to use this experience in an entrepreneurial way. The innovative creations can lead to their future career which will also help fighting the unemployment and in the long run it will improve the society crisis.
The project involved 48 participants from Cyprus, Austria, Lithuania, Italy, Portugal, Spain,Romania and Poland. It was particularly promoted to young people in rural areas as well as young people willing to explore the entrepreneurial path through hand-made and environmental friendly crafts. With this project we provided both theoretical and practical experience to inspire participants to explore alternative ways to employment. Thus our activities were based on hands-on workshops with career experts and entrepreneurs.
The overall objective of the project is to increase the knowledge of young people about how to use recycled materials and exchange good practices in the field of youth activities. Our non-formal education approach promoted the creation of environmental friendly hand-made crafts and at the same time promoted entrepreneurship as a way to fight unemployment. The youth exchange encouraged the participants to teach each other and experience the real multi-cultural Europe by comparing habits and practices.
All along the project, participants had several workshops on crafting metal, plastic and clothes. By learning how to use different materials and tools the group had the chance to develop competences on different techniques. Putting their knowledge in practice, they had the chance to develop their creativity and as a result the entrepreneurship skills.
There were different activities where participants accomplished in order to practice the above mentioned skills. One of workshops we held was that participants created constructions to improve the quality of life of people in Kannavia. After a walk they had in the village and a conversation with locals, participants came up with ideas. They presented those ideas to the group receiving more suggestions and at the end they design and implement their idea. Furtheremore, we set up a bazar where in smaller groups participants created their companies and products and try to sell them to the rest of the group, of course with fake money.
Another workshop that was held in Re-imagine, was the creation of a mural. In order to learn another creative way to use materials that are not useful for people anymore, we arrived in Nicosia city center and with the aid of Mati from the Caravan Art and Tesura Cyprus, we made a graffiti. The reason we chose such a busy area is to promote upcycling art and environmental best practices in a bigger amount of people.
Moving on, another result that came out from this project is that participants increase the communication in foreign language and established European friendships and network among them. In order to encourage intercultural dialogue and bonding, we organised intercultural evening. During that, participants had the opportunity to share and to learn some history, food or dances from each country using interacting methods. We also created a board where we wrote some basics words and phrases in all the participants’ mother tongues and it was visible in the venue for the whole duration of the youth exchange.
At the end of this youth exchange, we organise an exhibition in the main squere of Kannavia. We exhibited all the constructions, small and big, that were produced during the programme. We invited all the locals and our network from other areas. There, participants had the chance to interact with Cypriots and show them their new contructions and new skills. This exhibition was benefitial of the village as well. The locals had the chance to enjoy an exhibition and a morning with young europeans.
Overall, the knowledge the participants gained, the skills acquired, the contacts that made and the personal decisions they will take, are a crucial base from where the change can happen – in their lives and in the lives of people they will inspire.
Here you can see the Facebook photo album that was created for the youth exchange Re-Imagine our Waste with Entrepreneurship. On the top of this page you can watch the video that shows how participants have experienced the project and gained new skills and competence.
Here is the video from the creation of the graffiti in Nicosia city center: