The Contact 2 Participation seminar in Laguépie was meant to provide not just theoretical, but also a practical insight into the topic of Mediterranean cooperation. Our participants come from IVS organisations and mutual cooperation can mainly be established through concrete field actions.
On the third day, we wanted to get better acquainted with the projects of our host organisation, namely CITRUS. CITRUS gives an opportunity to young internationals to spend some time at their premises, to volunteer and learn more about themselves, the others, diversity of languages, cultures, etc. It is an opportunity to talk and exchange experiences between people with very diverse backgrounds all through working on a common, socially useful goal.
The municipality of Laguepie entrusted CITRUS an abandoned house in the outskirts of the town. In return, CITRUS has put their strongest efforts in repairing and adding additional components to the house which was in quite a bad condition. It is important to note that most work on the building and accompanying structures was done exclusively by volunteers. Only the initial plans were developed by professional architects. The workshop; garden; barn; those are just some of the structures they take care of.
We were kindly accompanied by CITRUS personnel that gave us more thorough explanations of their work. As a sign of appreciation, CCIVS was happy to give a T-shirt created as a part of our “Raising Peace” campaign, since the topics of peace building and promotion of pacifism remain inseparable from the ones of international cooperation and intercultural exchange.
After seeing the house of CITRUS, we were invited to visit a recycling workshop in the nearby village of Cordes. We had an opportunity to meet the employees of the facility who receive objects that would otherwise be thrown away. They repair them or use them as materials for making completely new things. Later we were invited for a presentation by the director of the nearby social centre.
In order to learn more about the surroundings in which CITRUS is working, the participants joined a study visit to the village of Cordes. Our guide from CITRUS explained the history of the city. It is a medieval settlement that has most of its initial architecture preserved, therefore attracting large number of tourists during summer months.
The third day of the seminar offered an excellent field study and a successful complement to theoretical learning in the preceding days. Judging by the reactions of the participants, it proved as an important part of the event.