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News from 'Snapshot to Environment' Youth Exchange

Snapshot to EnvironmentDo you think a camera in your hand can make a difference? Do you believe that people from different countries think and feel the same way? Are you worried about your ecological footprint?

Come and see!

We were 35 people from 6 different countries who gathered in the town of Stepanavan surrounded by beautiful Armenian mountains. We had 8 days to learn how to raise environmental awareness using creative tools, such as photography and video making. The project was funded by Youth in Action Programme of the European Commission.

Before coming to Armenia we were supposed to take pictures, prepare presentations on environmental topics in our countries and also to find a creative way of introducing our cultures to the others.

Snapshot to Environment2

The 8 days were filled with exciting activities and workshops. We started with the city discovery game and many of us got invited to the locals' houses and experienced the famous Armenian hospitality. Then we developed practical skills in photography and video making and tried to come up with creative solutions to various ecological problems. Trips to Lori fortress, Gyulagarak Botanical Garden, Lake Sevan were organized to practice these skills learned and for showing the results in the final exhibition, but at the same time helped us to discover more about Armenia. The evenings were dedicated to cultural interchange. Highlights include a demonstration of an Armenian wedding, a traditional Latvian celebration of the midsummer night, Russian stencil art, Czech cuisine, Estonian dances and Moldavian songs.

The peak of our Youth Exchange was the photo exhibition in Lovers' Park in Yerevan. It was a mixture of photos taken in our countries before the project and during our stay in Armenia. For the exhibition the group voted 50 pictures out of 450 presented.

Snapshot to Environment3Here are some testimonials of the participants.
Lidia from Russia said: "It was a really great experience to participate in this project. I learned a lot about sustainable lifestyle and nature protection. I understood how to make my life eco-friendlier." Adriana from Slovakia added: "It was wonderful to learn about activities that are organized in other countries. It provided me with a lot of inspiration for some local projects." Ella from Latvia said: "This was a great experience, because through the camera we learned to see not only surrounding environment but also each other and the world we live in!"

We are now all leaving Armenia with new experiences and skills. We are going back home motivated to implement in our local organizations what we have learned and we are ready to promote green lifestyle and cultural diversity.

Anna Pestova, Katarina Paulickova, Daria Prokakhina

Read the description of the project here.