Back To The Roots
Date du début: 1 févr. 2016,
Date de fin: 31 juil. 2016
"Back to the Roots" is Erasmus+ Youth Exchange that took place from 23 April - 1 May 2016 in Croatia in a small town Samobor. This Youth Exchange gathered 24 young participants from United Kingdom (organization Dojo.org.uk), Czech Republic (organization Tmelnik), Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (NGO SFERA Macedonia) and Croatia (Outward Bound Croatia). As modern EU population is moving too little and neglecting obvious hazards of so-called modern lifestyle, results are showing growth of overweight and obese population. This leads to increased level of general health risks and shortened life span. The human cost of these trends is unacceptable. The budgetary and economic cost is also severe. With this exchange, we educated European youth to see the benefits of healthy lifestyles, including being more physically active and eating more of natural and healthy food. Project participants were young people from different European perspectives, living both in rural and urban areas, in order to improve and balance their views on healthy lifestyle. Main goals of the project were to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and healthy diet by making use of biological diversity that surrounds us. This exchange thought its participants how to actively improve their health and general lifestyle by teaching them the lore of using wild plants, i.e. various herbs, along with being physically active in the outdoors. During the program they explored local flora (hiking by foot and cycling by bikes) - surrounding area of nature park Žumberak Samoborsko gorje and visited people who produce herbal products and organic food (honey, wax, blackberry wine) in continuation with long family tradition (SUBAN botanical garden). Skilled Outward Bound instructors, team leaders and partners (biologist from nature park that presented biological diversity, geology and cultural heritage of nature park, guide in RUDE mine, biologist from the State institute for nature protection, guide from local SCOUT club) supported the participants during the activities. Methods used were direct lessons and practical workshops, peer-learning, sport outdoor activities and non-formal education methods. Participants were actively involved in learning and sharing their experiences and customs and they actively contributed to the project. During the program a workshop about most popular herbs used in Europe took place where each participant presented a herb and what they researched about it – this was collected and gathered in a booklet named “Back to the herbs” that is available on the project web-site: backtotheroots-samobor.weebly.com and was published on SALTO-YOUTH (https://www.salto-youth.net/downloads/toolbox_tool_download-file-1405/back%20to%20the%20herbs.compressed.pdf). Handbook gathers info about usage of most popular herbs in Europe, it contains description, visual images of the plants, preparation tips, usage in daily life and some recipes. It is created to be available to all young people and others interested in healthy lifestyle and usage of different herbs in their daily life. In the last days of the program participants worked on developing a social project idea in their national teams – project that would be organised in their local communities in order to encourage healthy lifestyle and use of herbs in our daily life. Ideas of the projects involved organizing outdoor (school in nature) for kids (Czech team), including local kids and youth in the mountaineering (Macedonian team), making new products of herbs based on newly gained knowledge (UK team), improving the tourism structure and making educational signs for the path that leads up to the castle ruins of Samobor and using the garbage in creative and artistic way – but they partly managed to implement their idea as they organized a big action of cleaning the path and nature around old town (Croatian team). Follow-up activities of each team are available on project web-site. By implementing these activities, participants developed self-initiative and they have put in practice what they learned during the program. Also, this way the impact of the project was spread wider in local communities of participants and had a long-term benefit on both participants and other beneficiaries involved in the project and follow-up activities.
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