„Bare Feet – Open Mind“ was a youth exchange organized in 2008. It took place close to a small village in north of the Czech Republic Jindřichovice pod Smrkem. The village is typical by it’s multicultural composition of inhabitants and by many ecological projects and activities. The exchange took 10 days and we had 25 participants from the Czech Republic, Austria (Caretaker), Hungary (Artists of Life) and Slovenia (OE Skala).
The main ideas of the project were
- to experience and search for natural, sustainable and responsible lifestyle and identity through living in the countryside
- to become aware of continuity between causes and consequences of our everyday behaviour, particularly consequences for nature
We stayed on a meadow sleeping in teepees and forest, using water from the spring, cooking on fire, bathing in a small river. We had the opportunity to perceive nature via all senses and become aware of different aspects of our everyday life like food (its origin, preparation, taste, quality), time (rush,biological rhythm, perception of time), community (responsibility for others, sharing, getting to know people with whom I live).
We organized a „neighbourhood meeting“ with people from the village at a local school. Both our participants and local children prepared a part of the programme. We spent the evening talking and dancing with people who grew vegetables and baked bread we ate all the week.