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July 02, 2018 / by /

"Breathe In" in Racha

International Training Course „Breathe in”- was implemented in Racha, Georgia from 18th till 30th of June ,2018. “Mosta Y.E.C.” from Malta and “International Centre for Peace and Integration” from Georgia were official organizers of the project. And thanks to the emergence of social media as the increasingly dominant mode of information dissemination, we are glad to share the details of the project and our positive vision with wider society.

The project was divided in two stages. First part was held in Mosta, Malta where participants took the theoretical knowledge. During the second stage participants had a chance to camp and hike in Racha region and use the theoretical knowledge in practice.

“Breathe in” was Erasmus + project aiming to promote a healthy lifestyle among youth workers, trainers and leaders coming from the EU and EECA region. The program aimed to foster youth workers’ competencies in planning and implementing outdoor activities related to good practices of a healthy lifestyle.

The training course was based on non-formal education principles and were prepared by qualified trainers, to share maximum of their experience in outdoor activity’s field, in order to help participants to use gained knowledge and practical skills in activities, which were held throughout the project.

The project gathered up 28 youngsters from Malta, Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Portugal, Lebanon, Georgia. The main aim of the project was to promote the healthy life style, develop skills for hiking and camping. During the project theoretical sessions participants learned about resources what nature provides, how to use and orientate in topographic map, how to calculate hiking distance and time, how to build and choose place for tent, how to pack backpacks, how to provide first aid treatment in the wild nature.  Trainers were providing participants with many teambuilding activity’s in order to help participants get to know each other and make stronger connections between them. Activity’s like living library, Erasmus + informational session and cultural evenings gave participants opportunity to share their own life experience, learn about Erasmus + possibility’s and concept and get to know other cultures.  Besides theoretical sessions and activity’s in the camping area participants went for 5 hikes (four 1-day hikes and one 2-day hikes) Hiking was guided by qualified hikers and participants learned about hiking technique, group dynamics, obstacles and of course enjoyed astonishing landscapes.  

In frame of the project, we had invited guest speakers from different institutions in order to give a possibility to project participants get to know and understand situation from local governmental and non-governmental departments.

Mariam Archvadze, Chief specialist of environmental education, from “Lepl Environmental information and education centre” was visiting us with Natia Tskhovrebadze, Specialist at Forest Policy Division, and Papuna Kapanadze, Specialist at Forest Policy Division from “Biodiversity and Forestry Department The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia” to talk about the general condition of biodiversity of Georgia, and the local on-going projects about the environmental protection. One of the main purpose of the visit also was to share information about Georgian fauna and flora with project participants. During the session the big interest in participants was about nature diversity in Georgia and differences in resource management comparing to other countries. The session was organized in a non-formal method, integrating participants with questions and answers.

At the end of the session, participants received the informational brochures in English and also personal contacts from guest-speakers in case of additional questions or future cooperation from their countries to Georgia.

Giorgi Chogovadze, Head of the Administration, From Georgian National Tourism Administration visited the project to introduce tourism development in Racha region and in Georgia in general, he also talked about and future plans. Participants also had chance to ask him questions and receive information. Different media channels (TV, Social media) disseminated the project with their visit.

Members from the Georgian group were: Ani Kokhtashvili, Beqa Bukhrashvili, Gocha Gelashvili, Tamar Bulbulashvili, Tamar Pilauri, Toka Arabidze. Georgian group members comments:

Tamar Arabidze: I feel lucky that I was one of the participant of this project which gave me an opportunity to challenge myself in real hiking situations in gorgeous nature. it was exciting to meet so many different personalities from different nationalities with all their background and experience who were open anytime to share their knowledge. Well organized theoretical and hiking part and also situation at the camp side helped me to solve the problems which I had during the project time and now, after this project I feel more confident to go for hiking.

Jana: The project - Breathe in - for me personally was the most beautiful and unique project which I have ever participated. Living together with 8 different nationality 13 days in the mountain area, share a tent, eat, live and hike together was an experience which I will never forget. I was able to see all the mood changings of the people in a completely natural environment.  I wish that I can attend in future the same kind of projects.

Artis Kundrats: Practical and theoretical skills and knowledge what I have gained according to outdoor activities and healthy life style during this project raise up my awareness and potential in outdoor activity field. Project was also really great opportunity to challenge myself, learn about other cultures and establish new contacts. During almost 2 weeks in the nature with qualified trainers and organizers I realized that going out of comfort zone can make life lasting impact.  Thank you!