CCAFAF: Fun and Education (Tonia Christofi, participant from Cyprus)
Climate Changes As Fast As Fashion was both an educational and a fun project to be involved in. During the whole process we manage to get informed around the issue of Climate Change with a different approach which enabled us to understand and get concerned for the problem while we were having fun. The highlight of the project was the Youth Exchange that took place in Platres Village in Cyprus. Our team, as being the hosts, experienced this exchange in a different way. Our group leaders made the program, planned the activities and the details of our staying, and the rest of the participants of our team helped with the general organization of the exchange.
The main purpose of the whole project, as well as the Youth exchange, was to make participants be aware of the issue of climate change. During the days we spent in Platres, we got involved in a satisfied number of activities which fitted that goal. In the first activity, “Global Warming: Reality or Fake?”, a group leader from Cyprus presented the scientific views around the subject and then we split into groups in order to make our own research and conclude to our own outcomes which later we present. Another interesting activity was to calculate our carbon footprint. By answering a questionnaire, we had the opportunity to see into what extend we, individually, use carbon in our lives. One of the most constructive activities was the “Organization Group Work”, in which a participant of each country presented information about the problem of Climate Change in their country. Watching all the presentations made us see how climate change is a global problem and the differentiation in which it affects in countries around the world. “Moja Island” was another ‘game’, which enabled us to consider the variety of different energy options. The last project was the “From Local to Global”, which summarized all our actions and previous activities and showed us how individual environmental problems of each country became a single common problem known as Global Warming.
Besides these activities, we also had the opportunity to take the participants in the city of Limassol to visit the Water Museum and city centre, as well as to a nature path near campus for hiking and photo contest. Sports tournaments, traditional nights for each country, cinema nights were a few things that made us communicate with each other and build a relationship beyond the educational purposes.
As the Cypriot team we all agreed that this Youth Exchange was a lifetime experience for us since it made us concerned in relation to the Climate Change subject and awaked our environmental conscious. Our communication, presentation and organizing skills were improved and the most important, we had an amazing time with people that we barely knew but became friends in a place that we all loved. Marios Prokopiou, a Cypriot participant said that “Climate Changes As Fast As Fashion was an unforgettable experience. The whole project made me change my view for the environment and understand how important it is to respect it. The most incredible though, was the Youth Exchange. In one week I learned quite a lot of important information about the Climate Change issue around the world, had an amazing time with different people around the world in the heart of the Cyprus’ mountains!”. Another Cypriot participant, Alkis Asprogenous, mentioned that “It was the first time for me to participate in this kind of European programs, and I felt really bad that I never applied before! The people, the education, the food, the energy contributed to build a week which was a lifetime experience for me! Now I know that I will try to participate in these programs as much as I can”