THE THEME OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION GETS PRACTICAL IN PARTICIPANT COUNTRIES
It has been almost a year since over twenty youth workers from seven European countries came to Tramonti to participate in the project “Together, diverse, outdoor” — a seminar in the open air on the themes of diversity and inclusion. The participants were so inspired during this time in Tramonti that they did not let it to become a history. The experience they had gave them an inspiration to act on the ideas heard during the seminar even until this day. Let’s look at the very practical ways participants developed the ideas of diversity and inclusion in their home countries.
🇱🇻 L A T V I A 🇱🇻
“Bēgļu kurpēs” – a simulation game about being in the shoes of refugees. It was organized in Riga on the 15th of June and was the first attempt to try out this game. Participants were young people from different places in Latvia. A place nearby the city center, which is run by an NGO who maintains slum areas in Riga, was chosen in order to better represent ruin of all kind in human life. The game lasted for about 3 hours and involved 3 main phases: “normal” life of families and getting into the given roles; perplexity after the changes in a situation, which required to leave the “normality”; and settlement, which was the end of the simulation game.
The simulation game was a great way to teach children about huge social issues of our time – the refugees. Children not only got into their shoes physically, but also emotionally since they seemingly were disturbed by their outdoor environment to which they were brought and became very curious about this social phenomenon and started to ask questions “why?”.
What kind of dance fits countryside?
The activity was taking place in a countryside – a small village called Ladezers and unified a very diverse group of people: 3-year olds to 83-year olds, people with elementary school education and people with PhD degree in philosophy; locals and guests from UK, Norway, Estonia, Lithuania and USA. The activity became a huge success and took place on a regular basis. The main idea of the activity was to become one with the environment while in a movement – dance, create dances, perform, solve choreographic puzzles, try to notice small details in an open space, try to become one with the space etc., get to know each other, share food, play around and hug.
The organizers were very happy seeing people coming back, remembering the previous experiences, behaving freely, feeling no more tension in the mixed group, unusual artistic activity or collaboration with people of different generations.
“It is very satisfying to see people who usually stay at home show up at our events. We gain their trust that this is not a one-time thing but a lasting relationship. The rumors about us spread really fast in the village and even the ones who haven’t been here yet know a lot about us. Maybe they will come next time. We are very excited.”
Another way Latvians build upon the ideas of diversity and inclusion was a 2-day hike, which was meant to develop youngsters’ team-building skills outdoors. During the hike youngsters walked 25 kilometers, had to build tents and cook food on fire with the help of each other, were involved in various orientation games in the forest.
🇪🇸 S P A I N 🇪🇸
Wonder what Gymkhana is? It is a Spanish way of teaching the youngest to know and immerse themselves in the culture and traditions of their towns through riddles, sayings, contests and other activities. During Gymkhana the values of respect, integration and teamwork are reinforced. It is a great reminder that all of us are born free of prejudice and that diversity enriches.
🇵🇱 P O L A N D 🇵🇱
Hometown through the eyes of others
Inspired by a great time in Tramonti, the Polish team organized a walk around their hometown and shared stories about their rich multicultural and religious history with a younger generation. Children, teenagers and other participants listened to the stories told by older participants about their perception of the town when they were young, exchanged ideas about the future of the town as well as touched the topics of social inclusion and diversity and how it could be promoted on a broader scale.
🇮🇹 I T A L Y 🇮🇹
What’s that animal?
In order to develop the ideas heard during the seminar “Together, diverse, outdoor” even further, the Italian team organized 3 different activities to teach children about the main characteristics used to describe different groups of animals. The activities involved children from the secondary school of Tramonti and took place during the School camp in Acarbio’s headquarters.
The first activity consisted of an imitation game, where each child had to select a card with a name of an animal and imitate it. Then the children had to associate themselves with the animals of the same kind and form groups together. Four groups were formed: mammals, reptiles, fishes and birds. During the second activity children were divided into 2 groups and given images of invertebrates. They had to separate the insects from other invertebrates and learned how to recognize insects. The third activity was an insect hunt. Each group was fastened with a wire and they had to find 5 different insects in the Acarbio’s yard. After the hunt children spent some time describing the insects found and then each group made a drawing with a description of one of the insects found.
The children really enjoyed the activities and learned a lot about animals and insects!
🇧🇬 B U L G A R I A 🇧🇬
Getting to know Bulgaria
Inspired by their time in Tramonti, the Bulgarian team organized a national social program, which involved forming groups of international medical students who came to Bulgaria for one-month clinical practice. The idea behind this activity was not only to present Bulgaria and all its beauty to them, but for it to become a social gathering where they can meet local medical students as well as students from other countries.
“We showed that we could all get together in harmony, despite our differences and we integrated together beautifully. “
The River Festival
Another Bulgarian initiative is called The River Festival. It is a collective project that has taken place over the past three years. The project aims at bringing together different communities who reside in the city of Svishtov. Svishtov is a historic city by the Danube river, which has unfortunately seen a dramatic population decline in recent years. Therefore, the main idea of this festival was to keep the city alive and to show the younger generation that they can have an impact on this towns’ future. The festival was a huge success and brought together more than 100 participants.
🇨🇿 Czech Republic 🇨🇿
Mosaic of natural materials
Inspired by the seminar in Tramonti, Czech team organized a program for school children. The main concept of the program was to discover the diversity of nature and compare it to the diversity of society. Children were mixing up natural materials (in the beginning the materials were split by type) to build a nice mosaic – multicultural society.