“Together for our environment” is a project that started with 46 young, active, eco-friendly and motivated people from 6 different countries, such as Macedonia, France, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania and Spain, on January 25th as part of the adventure on the island of Reunion and it last till 5th of February 2016 .
Volunteers centre Skopje had 7 representatives on this project .
It is said that no great story starts by eating salad at a dinner table. Well this story is not an exception.
The project was divided into 2 parts and two different areas of the island. The first part of the project was adventurous and realized in Cilaos, the mountains, and the second part of the beach, the breathtaking Le Saline Bains in the Indian Ocean.
The purpose and reason for this trip was the project of the Erasmus + Youth Exchange “Together for our environment.”
This project is part of an active citizenship and environmental protection through a selective process for waste collection. It was a great opportunity to engage youth activists in the process of recycling and reducing waste. Besides recycling we also talked about air pollution and the consequences arising from it, electromagnetic exposure, and the advantages and disadvantages of genetically modified food.
Journey to Piton des Neiges
Still an active volcano with breathtaking view all around us, complemented by beautiful sunset above the clouds. To climb the highest point on the island and the Indian Ocean it took us 2 days. The first day we arrived at the mountain lodge at 2600 m. altitude where we had lunch and rest. During the evening we relaxed and enjoyed observing the stars and the Milky Way, with a sole thought that we are in the southern hemisphere of the Earth, more than 9000 km from our hometowns.
Early in the morning we set to welcome the sunrise on top of the Piton de Neiges at 3071. Finally! After 8 hours climbing, pain, fatigue … The sunrise and the view from the top was amazing! One of the best experiences of my life. The view of the sun coming far on the horizon really makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. From the moment I saw the first sunlight, I realized why people climb the highest mountains, even when they put their own lives at risk. Then we got back in Cilaos with unforgettable memories and we were ready for other activities in an open environment.
The second part of the project was implemented in the coastal town of Le Saline Le Bain in the Indian Ocean. We had the opportunity to explore the island to find out how the locals take care of the island and the waste that arises, how people recycle and do they preserve the environment in which they live. We were able to see how every supermarket has recycling bins, as well as the walk paths in order to preserve the natural environment.
The organizers’ goal was to acquaint the participants with the island as much as possible and experience the different lifestyles of the local people who live there. During sessions we discussed to reduce waste, reuse and recycling. We were divided into intercultural groups where everyone shared experiences of their countries and provided new ideas and solutions to begin with selective recycling in our environments.
At the end of our trip we talked about the positive and negative experiences that we experienced on the island of Reunion, as well as planned goals and their achievement during the project.
Finally, the project and the trip to Reunion were a unique experience that I recommend to everyone. So get involved in active citizenship, be green and protect the environment.
The project was organize by the French organization French International Cooperation Organization –OFCI with the support of the Erasmus + program.
Nikola Stankoski – Maja Nevchevska Stankoska