"The young minds solving climate change". YE in Berlin, Germany | 10 - 19 March 2022

Updated: May 13

Project Name: Youth Exchange “The young minds solving climate change”

Activity: Youth Exchange in Germany for 4 participants and one leader from our organisation. During this Youth Exchange young people will be able to learn and discuss about climate change and what we can do about this. They will have a chance to exchange their experience while learning also how to avoid risk situation for their career.

Youth Exchange: 10 (arrival) – 19 (departure) of March 2022

Place: Berlin, Germany, All participants will be accommodated in 5-8 rooms in the centre of Berlin.

Participating countries: Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, North Macedonia, Serbia, Portugal, Italy, Germany Target group: A total of 5 participants should make up the whole group - 4 + 1 leader of a national group with an age limit of 18-30 year

Profile of the participants: Youth activists, Youth leaders, Volunteers, Students, Interns, Eco activists


Project summary:

Numerous studies show that the EU is facing natural disasters that will change its life cycle and limit its normal functioning. A number of pollutions have a negative impact on the normal life cycle and normal activities of EU citizens. Climate changes poses a great threat to the quality of life in the EU and is a major threat to human health and their normal functioning in society. The EU faces a major challenge in raising public awareness about climate changes and educating citizens about greater environmental protection. The younger generations have a great need for education and improvement of their personal habits. NGOs can play a major role in the process of educating young people in the field of environmental protection and will be able to provide training and additional education. Young people can improve their habits by organizing campaigns to protect the environment, rational use of water in households, use of bicycles, rational use of public transport, energy efficiency in homes, waste reduction, rational use of plastics and other ecological actions for the promotion of the Green EU. Young people need to be educated and motivated to participate in Eco workshops, activities and actions to promote environmental protection solutions and tackling climate change and global warming.



Participants reports for the whole dissemination and ACPELIA team


The Young Minds Solving Climate Change

Berlin 10-19 March 2022


I am writing this report, to describe my experience as a participant of the Erasmus+ Youth Exchange project ‘The Young Minds Solving Climate Change’ in Berlin. The project was organized by the non-profit organization Copernicus Berlin e.V., and I participated as a member of the Cyprus team, sent by Acpelia, a non-profit organisation located in Cyprus. I will give a brief timeline of the activities we have been involved, as well as my overall thoughts about this experience.


Timeline and activities:

March 9, Wednesday

Our journey started on the 9th of March, two days before the first activities of the project. As a result, we had a full free day (Thursday 10/3). We travelled from Paphos and arrived in the evening of Wednesday to Berlin. After checking in our hostel, we had some time to go to Alexander Platz for a short walk and to have dinner.


March 10, Thursday

Since we had a free day until dinner, we decided to book a walking tour. We had the chance to get the first good taste of Berlin, visiting several significant historical and architectural landmarks, such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Museum Island, and the Berlin Cathedral amongst many others. After lunch, we visited the East side gallery with the famous graffities on the Berlin Wall. At night, we had dinner in the hostel, and we got to know some of the participants of the project from other the national teams.


March 11, Friday

This was the first day of the project, which started with some enjoyable games (e.g. human bingo) aiming to get to know each other and memorize everyone’s names (around 35 new names). Then we had time to express our thoughts, fears, expectations, and contributions regarding the project. In addition, we were assigned with a secret friend, a common game in Erasmus+ projects.


After lunch, the organisers talked to us about the project, as well as other Erasmus+ Key Actions, informing us about different ways in which we can participate to help our communities through European programmes (KA1, KA2, KA3). We then had some time to reflect and exchange our thoughts about the first day, and after dinner, the first -of the 2- intercultural night of this Youth Exchange was organized. Italy, Portugal, and Germany presented their organizations, some facts and traditions of their cultures, and then we had the pleasure to try some food and drinks from the countries which presented.



March 12, Saturday

On Saturday, we started with some fun energizers and then we had the ‘Mission Impossible’ activity. We had to complete 12 tasks such as taking pictures with 10 local people and asking them their names and professions, writing hello, how are you, and thank you in all languages spoken by participants within the project, and creating a collage picture of 10 pairs of socks of different colours (which was my task).

In the afternoon, we split in 3 different teams, and we had a city hunting game around the city. Each of the groups had to go to different spots around Berlin (such as the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall). Later, we had time to reflect, realising that the activities helped us build trust, bond, improve our communication, cooperation within the team, and leadership, while also creating new memories.

After the activities, we had free time, so I decided to visit the Neues Museum in the Museum Island. I had the pleasure to see a large and impressive collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts, including the famous bust of Nefertiti.






March 13, Sunday

Following another energizer, we went to a park nearby and shared ways in which we could become more eco-friendly, we talked about green habits each of us has or is planning to adopt, and discussed about actions/initiatives we have participated aiming to have a positive impact on the environment. The discussion was very interesting and fruitful, as people from different backgrounds had diverse approaches, ideas, and experiences regarding a common issue.

Later, we split in 3 groups, and each of the groups had a set of different questions concerning the topic of climate change. We had time to discuss within the groups and then we prepared a few talking points relevant to the questions, and we presented them to the rest of the groups.

After lunch, we split in 6 groups, and each group received a set of questions regarding the environment. Just like the previous activity, after our in-group discussion, we had to briefly present our answers and talking points to the rest of the groups. Then, we had a brief reflection about the activities of the day, appreciating the rich and diverse opinions, points, tips, and eco-friendly habits which people shared.



March 14, Monday

This was a free day, so we had the chance to organise our schedule on our own. It was recommended to visit Potsdam, a beautiful city close to Berlin. Some of us visited Potsdam, where we saw the Sanssouci Park, an impressive and luxurious complex of palaces and a beautiful garden, dating back to the 18th century. Later we went for a walk in the picturesque city centre, as well as the cosy Dutch quarter. In the evening, I had the chance to walk around central Berlin to view the historic buildings by night, and later we went to Kreuzberg to try the local beers.


March 15, Tuesday

Following the energizers we prepared as a national team, we split in four different groups. Each group had to choose a topic about the environment which was discussed during the previous days, and prepared a short but informative video. The topic of my group was recycling, in particular returning the bottles in order to receive a refund (usually around €0.25 per plastic bottle), as well as explaining the different colours of glass-recycling bins for bottles. After lunch, we presented the videos made by each team, we discussed what has been presented and had time to reflect. Later in the afternoon, we walked from our hostel to the Topography of Terror Museum, while on our way to the museum, we visited important attractions of the city, like check-point Charlie. The museum was very informative about the political situation in Germany prior to, and during World War II.



March 16, Wednesday

In the morning, following the morning energizer session, we got in our national groups. Each group had to talk about three practices taking place in their home countries, which have a positive impact on the environment. Each team prepared a poster and then presented it to everyone. After this activity, we visited Futurium, a wonderful museum about the future of technology, human society and the environment.



March 17, Thursday


On Thursday we had a debate in the form of roleplaying. People were given different roles (mayor, journalist, citizens, workers), and we had to debate each other regarding a scenario that was given to us about a factory polluting the air of the town. Some people had to play the citizens protesting about it, while on the other hand, some had the roles of mayor, vice-mayor, and journalists of the -controlled by the mayor- media, supporting the function of the factory. In addition, the workers of the factory were trying not to lose their jobs in order to secure their income. The debate was heated but thoroughly enjoyed, as it showcased the difficulties of becoming more eco-friendly when it is not the most profitable approach financially.

Then, we were split in four groups randomly, and each group was given a scenario regarding situations related to the environment, such as a harmful activity for the environment (forest fire cause by humans), and green habits (riding a bike instead of driving a car). In the afternoon each team presented a short play based on the scenarios they received. After dinner, we had the second intercultural night, with Poland, Bulgaria, Serbia, North Macedonia, and our team presenting. It was a wonderful night, with people experiencing new cultures, traditions, and food.




March 18, Friday

This was the final day of the project. We talked about the project, what we learnt and what we can do as a follow up, dissemination either digital or face-to-face. The German team gave us more information about their organisation and its actions, and they also showed us how to use our Youth Passes to enrich our CV and LinkedIn accounts (improving future job perspectives). Then we received our Youth Passes and we found out our secret friends. After lunch we had free time, which we spent socializing, and at night we went out for a final drink as a team.



March 19, Saturday


We packed and checked out, and finally returned home after a wonderful 10-day adventure in Berlin. The project was stimulating, enjoyable, and creative. As it was described earlier, people from different countries and backgrounds had the opportunity to gather, meet, discuss about a topic which interests them, while they also had time to socialize, explore Berlin and learn about foreign cultures. It was a wonderful experience which generated knowledge, countless precious memories, and -hopefully- friendships.


Reports from participants

Anastasios Kyriakou
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Despina Kofinakou
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Vasiliki Christofi
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Download PDF • 2.42MB
Nayia Koui
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Neovi Michael
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Download PDF • 2.46MB

Objectives:


- Improving the competencies of participants in the field of environment - area climate change

- Greater motivation for active participation in open society and participation in processes for environmental protection against climate change

- Greater personal public awareness of young people to protect their environment

- Increased motivation for future EU cooperation


The needs:

The needs for realization of this youth exchange are:

- Need for education of young people in the field of environmental protection and the process of understanding climate change

- Need for promotion of activities for education of youths such as: travel green, smart water consumption, buying green products, increase personal awareness of energy protection.

- Need to improve the personal behaviour of young people in the environment, acquire responsible habits and raise personal awareness for environmental protection

- Need to promote participants with fewer opportunities and bring them closer to EU values, cultures, programs and work trends

- Need for organization of activities for promotion of national practices, creation of new links for international cooperation, promotion of opportunities at national level and needs for organization of environmental actions


4youngsters (ages 18 - 30) +1 leader (no age limit) from our organization will take place to the program. Travelling food and accommodation all are payed from the program (For an application you must be member of our organization, if you want to apply for membership you can go for the application to the link: https://www.acpelia.org/be-a-member


The needs:

The needs for realization of this youth exchange are:

- Need for education of young people in the field of environmental protection and the process of understanding climate change

- Need for promotion of activities for education of youths such as: travel green, smart water consumption, buying green products, increase personal awareness of energy protection.

- Need to improve the personal behaviour of young people in the environment, acquire responsible habits and raise personal awareness for environmental protection

- Need to promote participants with fewer opportunities and bring them closer to EU values, cultures, programs and work trends

- Need for organization of activities for promotion of national practices, creation of new links for international cooperation, promotion of opportunities at national level and needs for organization of environmental actions






Information about the activities:

Non formal education activities through will be promoted green EU habits and action for rising eco awareness – ice brakers, energizers, debates, city hunting game in Berlin, cultural visit, presentation of new Erasmus+ and Youth pass, workshop, eco drama, intercultural night, reflection time and follow up activities.



The detailed Info pack you will receive by 3rd of February.

Main deadlines:

Deadline for participant selection – 10th of February

Deadline for travel arrangement – 20th of February


All countries will create Career Development Clubs and continue cooperation.


Aplication for Interest of Participation: https://forms.gle/whvqwnQPrQZ53LYn8

If you want to be a candidate of our program please complete the application form and don't forget to complete the membership form if you are not a member of our organisation. Link for completing the application of membership: https://www.acpelia.org/be-a-member


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