We say: “Let’s do it!”.
O.N.G. Argonauta once again hosted a Youth exchange, this time on the topic of marine environment protection. Youth exchange “Youth 4 C” was held on island Murter in Croatia and hosted 40 young people from 8 countries: Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Serbia, Italy, Portugal, Latvia, and Croatia. Our “youth for sea” exchanged their knowledge in sea protection, they transmitted some problems currently happening in their countries and they gained some skills to protect the sea and the water either through education, innovation, information, or cleaning actions.
The wishes of the organizer and the participants were to “knock down” the classroom walls and to expand their knowledge and skills to reach the local community. In nine days, our youngsters showed how much you can do when you have a strong will, some support, the inevitable motivation and synergy.
They made a mural in the kindergarten Pčelica (“bee”) in Murter: one side of the wall shows the sea that we all know and love, full of life, while the other side shows fish and seaweeds replaced by car tires, bottles, plastic bags, toothbrushes…
Our youngsters also participated in a cleaning action in the port, where they were shocked with all the trash they found: old jackets, shopping carts, boxes… In just 2 hours of beach cleaning, they found so many cigarette butts that this encouraged them to think about the alternative solutions they could offer to smokers on the beaches. Encouraged by the results, they also included one more cleaning action in their campaign. “We need to know that we have done something with our hands” participants said.
Furthermore, they participated in the organization of the projection of award-winning documentary “Plastic Ocean”, which was open to all those interested. During the organization of the projection, youngsters could experience first-hand how difficult it is to reach people and encourage them to change!
However, changes are possible, so they designed four Blue Campaigns named “Let’s do it”. Two educational campaigns were implemented in the primary school, where children learnt how to be a “planet protector”, as well as how to make decorative bags from old paper and thus reduce waste. The third campaign was of informative character: our young people were trying to inform local traders and people about over-consumption of plastic and encourage positive change. The fourth campaign aimed at capturing a promotional video by shooting interviews with passersby about sea pollution, as well as to invite people to join the cleaning action organized by our youngsters. “Let’s do it!” is the name of the e-manual that will combine all the steps to make a blue campaign, according to the knowledge and experience of the participants.
Our participants also designed the concept of some motivational and encouraging stories for children with a focus on the preservation of marine environment. These five stories have proven to be an excellent foundation for creating a children’s publication, and the organizers are looking forward to its release.