Youth Exchange in Armenia

Originally posted in summer 2014

youth exachnge amernia

Look East Wild Earth volunteers took part in an Eco Photo youth exchange project held in Stepanavan, Northern Armenia from May 30 to June 7.

Funded by Youth in Action and hosted by the Stepanavan Youth Centre, volunteers Tamara Gray, Nick Baily, Giulia Cardoso and Matilda Becker joined 24 other volunteers from Armenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Georgia, Italy and Belarus.

The aims of the project were to get participants to share knowledge, experience and expertise on environment, water and sustainable development issues, using photography as a medium for communicating and raising awareness. The project involved discussions and presentations on environmental issues, workshops on photography and intercultural evenings and culminated in an exhibition of photographs from the project in the centre of the Armenian capital, Yerevan.

All the Look East Wild Earth group were fully engaged in the project. On the first day Giulia led a workshop on the basics of photography, and later Tilly, Nick and Tamara (all recent graduates in environmental sciences) led presentations and shared their expertise in environmental issues.

Matilda said “The project catered for all levels of photographic experience. I found the experience of group learning very motivating and engaging. It enabled me to create a foundation of knowledge of photography which I can now apply to my own photography.

“It developed my understanding of how people in non-Western European countries might visualise and address issues in a way that perhaps contrasts with how individuals in the UK would. This enabled all groups to benefit from the experiences of others in different regions in Europe.

“The project was an incredibly enjoyable and engaging platform through which to discuss and begin to address issues important for the international community. The proactive and positive attitude of all participants of the project was inspiring and lays the foundation for a continuation of exchanging ideas and solutions across borders.”

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