The European Intercultural Festival 2014 cheerfully started at 9 a.m. on the 4th of September. It began with interactive info-day “Youth projects by “Erasmus+”: European possibilities for Belarus”. For 8 hours the consultant of the initiative “The Clearing House” Olga Khabibulina had been informing about the opportunities, provided by the European Union within the scope of this programme. The upcoming event arouse great interest even in the preparation stage – we had got more than 70 requests, therefore in order not to disappoint anyone 2 events were organised at once, and we think the participants couldn’t get bored - they had no time for it. The short lecture was followed by theatrical presentation of basic competences required for successful implementation of projects (that had been prepared by the participants as assigned by the coach), and work in groups for the concepts of possible projects. People were meeting each other, getting acquainted, communicating much and with pleasure – that is common practice for such events.
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In the meantime, after the excursion tour through the “5th Element” mall, equipped by the energy-efficient lighting system manufactured by Philips company, the participants of the interactive seminar “Green Office” had a possibility to learn about the European approaches towards energy efficiency used in everyday life. The experts from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), representatives of non-governmental organization “ECO project Partnership” and the main encouragers of the event - members of Association of European Business in Belarus expressed their opinion and shared experience on the point. The seminar covered the following topics: ecologization of offices, experience of commercial companies and real contribution of organizations to the environmental protection, energy effective lighting of office premises and reasonable waste management for offices. The photos are available here.
The first day of the European Intercultural Festival was finished by the drama movie “Welcome” directed by Philippe Lioret about the destiny of illegal immigrants in France. The film tells the story of Bilal, a 17 year old refugee from Iraq, who is trying to cross the English Channel from Calais in France to the United Kingdom in order to reunite with his girlfriend, but drowned and did not reach the cherished place. 35 people gathered to see the film in a cozy, informal room of the youth non-governmental organization “Fialta”. The film was followed by the discussion about the problems of illegal immigration. The participants of the meeting, mostly young people, talked about the reasons and motives that could force them to immigrate. The moderators of the discussion Kseniya and Alexander also raised the issues of stereotypes in relation to immigrants and imperfection of the legislation which is unable to react adequately to illegal immigration problem. Debates on urgent social topics are not a new issue for “Fialta”. This youth non-governmental organization focuses its activity on informal enlightenment of youth in the field of prevention of AIDS, drugs usage, human trafficking, and deals with communication, intercultural education and other vital problems in the contemporary society. “Fialta” shows the movie, followed by the friendly tea-party and discussion of the film in its office every Thursday.
More photos are available here.