Our work camp has finally started!
The groups from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary and Germany met last week in the sunny Walberberg with a very positive attitude. After a warm welcome, we spent the first afternoon getting to know each other and playing funny games. As the Jugendakademie Walberberg hosted the closing event of the Una Rock project on Saturday evening, we had the chance to enjoy a live concert.
On Sunday morning we discussed about the agenda and expectations, as well as the camp rules, whereas in the afternoon teambuilding activities helped the group understand how to work and collaborate together.
The whole Monday was dedicated to different workshops, such as dealing with diversity, cooking and creative upcycling. The youngsters were divided in two small groups and, as a result, one of them prepared a delicious dinner, whereas the other created a very original Ewoca Twister out of an old bed sheet to play together in the evenings.
On Tuesday the work in the garden began: the idea of this year was to build a bare foot path in the Jugendakademie. Together with the group we went through the whole process step by step, including how to share tasks, which shape to give the path and what kind of materials should be used to fill it. The afternoon was dedicated to workshops on consumption sustainability and human rights. In order to have a general idea of the surrounding area and nature, the group was involved in orienteering to find the nearby lake in the woods.
On Wednesday the group went to visit Cologne and discovered some nice places of the city center through a city rallye. Unfortunately the weather was not perfect to sightseeing, however everybody enjoyed the stay out!
The further we went with the realization of the foot path, the more interested youngsters were: Thursday was entirely dedicated on working in the garden and preparing the shape of the path. First of all the group had to take the trees from the neighboring area to use them as edges of the path. Only then they could start to cut them in smaller pieces to build a border on the sides.
On Friday morning the group went on digging the ground and realizing little by little the shape of the path.
In the afternoon a workshop about coal exploitation took place, in order to make the youngsters aware of the problems and effects which derive from the exaggerated consume of coal. This workshop was particularly useful when it comes to our next excursion: the Hambach coal mine in NRW.
The second week started with a very interesting excursion to the huge open air mine in Hambach, used for lignite.
Here is some information taken from Wikipedia:
Begun in 1978, the mine’s operation area currently (as of 2011) has a size of 39 km², with the total area designated for mining having a size of 85 km². It is the deepest open pit mine with respect to sea level: the bottom of the pit is 299 metres (981 ft) below sea level, the deepest man-made point on the Earth’s surface.
With the help of a guide we explored the rests of one of the most ancient forests of the planet (12,000 years old), the Hambach forest, extremely reach in biodiversity and home to hundreds of species. Nowadays only 1/5 of it remains, as the rest has been destroyed by the exploitation of the coal mine.
The view of the mine is a nightmare, if you think that before the whole place was covered by green nature..
Back to the Jugendakademie, there was still work left for the following day: the path needed to be shaped a little more, but it was done quite quickly. Then, another important step took place: what kind of materials were to be used in order to fill in the path? The group sat all together and had very nice ideas for each section!
So the time to finish the path has arrived! On the last two days we had an official presentation in front of the public and a couple of local newspapers came to write an article about it. Everybody was extremely satisfied of the work done. Here are some pictures:
The last day has come: some more minutes to walk once again on the path, take the Youthpass and hug everybody. What a great experience!
All the best to everybody! Thank you all!