How Armenians experienced Murter and our exchange.
Read the experience of Meline, Hayk, Mariam, Lilith and Grigor, our Armenian team, who took part in youth exchange “Youth 4 C – Youth For Marine Environment” that was held in Murter from 7th till 16th September 2018!
“First of all, let me thank you for this opportunity. I can gladly say that the project met all my expectations and even more. I got what I expected:
- Deeper knowledge on the topic
- Intercultural exchange
- Research on issues and solutions
After the program, I felt that I had a lack of knowledge on this topic. I think this kind of projects are extremely important for information flow since society has a lack of information with no realization of it. I personally think that we should localize some of the workshops and ideas since in our country the information flow is more restricted. Thanks to Ivana and her inspiration I willingly will take a part in that process.
I have always been interested in the protection of the environment. I used to think that I know enough for an involved citizen. However, this project broke that illusion and showed how badly, actually, nature needs us. Now I know that it’s not enough just to be informed. You should be involved and try to involve (not force) more people, show them what’s going on around them. Moreover, the project helped me to discover the issues of the marine environment. Previously I couldn’t say that I was so involved in protection specifically of water resources. Now, I can gladly say that I and my friends have already organized two events of lake cleaning since I came back from Croatia.
Now, I can be more reasonable during the debates. I can be more confident offering events and projects on this topic to local NGOs.
The program was very useful, since there are always many things we don’t have any idea about. During the sessions we learnt that plastic is almost everywhere, even in such things we didn’t imagine it could be. For instance, plastic can be found even in our clothes. When we wash our clothes, the plastic reaches oceans, seas and other water resources. This plastic, then, gets into the animals’ organisms. And by eating different types of fish, the plastic gets into humans’ organism, as well. For me the project was useful. I gained lots of new information, different skills and another wonderful experience of intercultural communication. Since this was my first trip by airplane, the trip to Croatia helped me to overcome my fear towards airplanes and flights, to become more independent and find solutions to various problems that one can face when being abroad.
During the project some of us visited the local school of Murter and . We introduced to the pupils of third and fourth grades the problems the water environment is facing, made a performance for them and taught them how to make paper bags which they can use instead of plastic bags. This was very interesting and informative not only for children but also for me, since I liked the idea of making a paper bag and using it when going to supermarket. When we were back to our session hall, Ivana told us that one of the children said this was the best day during his school years. This really means a lot to me, and I know I work wasn’t in vain.
The information learned during the project is always in my mind. Since then every time I brush my teeth, I turn off the water, I don’t the light in the rooms turned on and things like that. But the information I gained is not only for me. I also encourage my friend and acquaintances to be more caring towards nature and save it for the sake of all the humanity.
The games and demonstrations that the organizers chose were really very interesting and impressive. But as I have already mentioned, we were mainly speaking about the plastic issue, which was a bit disappointing for me, since I hoped to discuss the issue of scarcity of water resources and find together some solutions.
The cinema hall were we held our discussions and sessions was a bit far from the hotel, and it was tiring to go there for twice a day. However, starting from the third or fourth day we went there only in the morning and did the second part of the timetable in the Reflektor buffet, which helped us to save time.
This program means a lot for me. The program gives me opportunity to know marine problems to see what happens with sea. We are far away from sea and sometimes we think that this is not our problem, but because of this program, when I saw pollution when I learnt lot of things about other countries I understood that this is one of the urgent problem in the World. And now, after the program I feel that my personality has changed. Now, when I see something which is destroying our nature I am not being just a passive person who is not fighting against it. No, now I pit against first of all plastics and everything which is polluting nature and destroying marine life. But the other part of this program it is new friends from other countries. I can’t explain how much I am happy to know them, to meet that kind of people. I got inspiration and motivation for my future, which is the most important thing for me.
I hope we were also good representative as Armenians. We tried to do our best of sharing our knowledge and introducing our country in foreign country. I like us, because we were really good team. We were always together, discussing, evaluating and doing everything together. Sometimes even fighting, but we became a family, where family member can fight but after a few minutes we forget and start to laugh on something. I miss us.
If I had a chance, I would like to do a workshop-training about plastics and how to solve that problem in Armenia. Because we are using plastics too much and we don’t understand why this is problem. We are not speaking about that problem, so now when we already know and see the results of plastics we should share our knowledge with youth. Our water is a gift from nature, we should save it.”