The activists of the public organization Opora visited a youth exchange An Active Summer in Kuterevo that took place from 19-30 August 2015 in Croatia. During 10 days 25 youth representatives from Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Croatia were exchanging their ideas concerning activism, ecology, climate change issues and protection and preservation of nature.
An Active Summer in Kuterevo is the third and final part of a big project Mountains That Are Connecting Peoplewhich had already hosted exchanges in Kosovo and Bulgaria. Exchange program in Croatia took place in a picturesque place – a village Kuterevo, on the edge of mountain Velebit. The village is unique in a way that both people… and bears! co-exist there in harmony. The participants could observe bears, their habits and a lifestyle in the free time.
In the framework of the exchange, many enriching activities such as discussions and seminars about volunteering and environmental education, skype-meetings on environmental issues with famous activists, meetings with local people were held. Besides that, participants gave creative workshops on bracelet-making, massage techniques, and paper-flower crafting. The participants were particularly amazed by visiting two local craftsmen. They showed how local guitar-like musical instrument tamburitsa is made as well as demonstrated the process of making local shoes tsokliwhich are made from recycled materials.
A thirty-kilometer hike in the mountains deserves a special mention. The participants hiked for two days in the Northern Velebit, a part of the National Park of Croatia. From 1700 meters above the sea level everyone had an opportunity to feast their eyes on breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea, to dream and to talk to each other.
During the last three days, everyone was mostly committed to the development of the eco-movement and local areas: having divided in four groups, the participants painted patterns on benches and houses, translated the texts from an international food and climate change exhibition into their mother-tongue languages, created and filled with the content their blog about their youth exchange and brainstormed the future ways of the project development. Thus, it was decided to organize a range of events and activities in countries-participants related to the World Food Day on the 16th of October.
The leader of the Russian delegation, Azat Fattahov, higlighted that the main aims of such programs are, primarily, informal education, development of tolerance and friendship, and exploration of new horizons. It seems, the project in Croatia was not an exception.