Who Are We ?

mangues séchées Solafrika is a non-profit organization that works with values such as solidarity, ecology and non-formal education.
Concretely, we have various kind of activities :

- The support of local cooperatives in West Africa, especially in Mali : a cooperative that dries mangoes with solar energy.

chantiers jeunes - The organization of workcamps for teenagers who have social difficulties. These workcamps are organized in our place in Ariège (France) during each holiday period.

tomates du jardin - An ecological and educational garden were we grow fruits and vegetables that we eat during our activities.

toilettes sèches en loc - The rental of ecological systems such as dry toilets on local events (festivals, weddings, etc.).

clowns erasmus - European projects : the organizing of youth exchanges and training courses within the Erasmus + program.

We have been working on European projects since 2010. We organize each year 3/5 youth exchanges or training courses. We work with over 20 different countries all over Europe and above!
In 5 years, we organized 20 European projects with the Youth in Action and Erasmus + program. We welcomed more or less 400 youngsters from all over Europe !

If you are interested in taking part in one, you can contact us on this email address : solafrika@yahoo.fr

Here you can read a summary of our past european projects !

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Practical Ecology III

MA group From the 3rd October to the 15th October 2017.

After having done a training course in 2015 named “Ecological work-camp technical leading”, we would like to go deeper into three specific topics that participants and our team think the most relevant : ecological construction, bio-agriculture (way of living and gardening), and outdoor activities.

We lived 13 intensive days in Pyrenees training course about ecology.
25 people involved were from Hungary (Pandora), Germany (IBG), Slovenia (Metta), Spain (Biodiversa), Greece (AlterEgo), Austria (Neront), England (Moulsecoomb) and France (Solafrika).

This training course allowed participants to discover natural ways of building, cultivate and lead out door activities.

- Eco-construction with professional instructors
clay oven ; we learned how to build our own oven with basic materials : clay, straw, sand
wooden terrace ; how to create, arrange and build a terrace
coating ; we experimented several techniques on different supports ; with clay sand and straw/ with lime and sand ; also how to use pigment in mix.

- Eco-agriculture : We were hosted by two farmers who explained to us their approach and allowed us to experiment how to cultivate living soil. Showing us the steps from soil preparation to harvest
Diversified agriculture and collective housing
Animal drawn

- Outdoor activities with a mountain guide :
3 little expeditions in Cousserans’ mountains, spending one night in the mountain to realize what is important to think and bring for this kind of activity.

Aims :
- share techniques in each topic with youth workers to raise young people’s awareness of a healthy way of life
- share methods for organizing a journey
- promote active citizenship by everyone’s involvement.
- favour intercultural exchanges
- mantain international partnership, reinforcing ties with associations which work on the same issues.

These experiences gave us the opportunity to leave our comfort zone, which is not always easy. Sharing skills, methods and points of view for human connexion with nature, to become more aware of our way of consumption, and to find concrete tools to improve living together.

A booklet has been done by the participants, it will be available soon !

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Express Out Loud ! Youth In Action

EOLYIA group From august 22 nd to september 1st in Bédeille.
25 European participants, coming from : Czech republic (EYCB), Macédonia (CID), Hungary (Kontiki), Estonia (Continuous action,) France (Solafrika).

Following training course with the same name in june 2016.
This « Youth in action » version allowed young people from different social and cultural backgrounds to act in the street in a fun and creative way.

Aims :
- to allow young people with less opportunities to take part in a social project
- to to discover local life through encounters with local population (multicultural, intergenerational) thanks to actions in public space.
- to make public spaces a space for citizenship
- to promote comunication with others and self expression
- to develop local and European partnerships

The collective life, with cultural evenings, enabled us to appreciate Macedonian Moussaka, Czech Bramboracky and Estonian soup (Hapukapsasupp), Hungarian Letcho. On their side Europeans participants tasted French conserve of duck and several varieties of cheeses.

During the exchange Europeans discovered the local life of Couserans through; one public shouting in Lasserre, a local market in Saint-Girons, a music and theater festival "Move en Salat".
The activities we worked on and presented in the street were; Flash mob, word carriers and clown, enabled young people to try out the organization of collective actions promotting solidarity and co-operation. A strong means to discovere and to express one’s self aming to create social link, the time of an action in the street.

They relived these experiences, one day in Toulouse, enriched by other activities: silent disco music, free hugs, games on children playground, free massage, new games as clowns and another question for the word carriers: “What has been your most life changing experience?”
To try out various body and emotional means of expression to connect with others in an energy of free sharing.
The watchword: to create a positive link with people and to bring joy.

Carried out by dynamic and cheerful teams, this exchange created beautiful meetings as many seeds sown for new projects to come.

The booklet !
Group Facebook : "Out Express train loud - innate Youth Action"
On the website of our czech partner (EYCB)
Recording by "La Colporteuse" for the emission “Sème ta culture”, diffused on the radio “La Locale” the 93.7 in Ariège (starting from the 27min25)

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MA group In June 2017 we’ve organized a Youth Exchange about discrimination and disabilities.
Thanks to our partners EQUA (Spain), EYCB (Czech Republic), Continuous Action (Estonia), and DKI (Slovénia) 27 young people between 17 and 30 years old have been able to live a diversity of abilities during 10 days in Cadalen (South West of France).
Participants have been living and working together, thinking, discovering others’ cultures, living in a healthy way, in Solafrika’s spirit.

We have discovered many activities that made us experience diversity and think about discrimination.
First we participated in a two-day forum theater workshop with Adèle Floquet, and we put it in practice some days later at the local school with the children.
We discovered the use of the Joelette, a tool allowing people with reduced mobility to hike, helped by two persons minimum.
We have discovered African dance and djembé as a tool to get to know and accept others.
A workshop on Sign dance has been proposed to the participants by Lucie Lataste from the « Sign dance » troupe. We’ve practiced the European anthem restyled by the troupe, using sign language.
To end we led a day to think about discrimination, prejudice, stereotypes, using non formal education (games, moving debates, etc.)
In between activities we went to the music festival in Albi, the main city around, we danced in a traditional ball and we visited the local market of Rabastens.

The objectifs we intended in this project have been reached. These were :
* including youngsters with disabilities in society as well as developing tolerance and cooperation between European youth from differents backgrounds, possibilities and capacities.
* Promoting a healthy way of living, by simple and healthy food and outdoor activities.
* Encouraging participants’ creativity, critical thinking, having initiatives in the groupe dynamic.

A booklet has been done by the participants that you can read just here.

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Your Body Is A Voice II !

YBIAVII group From the 14th to the 24th of May we explored our different body languages. This youth workers' training course took place in Ganties where 27 European people coming from 7 different countries experienced contemporary dance, theater and singing.

This training course was possible thanks to the participation of our partners : GEYC – Romania ; EYCB – Czech Republic ; CID - Macedonia ; RCM - Poland ; Continuous Action – Estonia ; TheatrEct – Cyprus.

We worked in close collaboration with the following artists and trainers :
- Angélique Danguy, who introduced us to contemporary dance
- Hélène Laffont, singing teacher
- Maria Varnakkidou for the theater from the organization TheatrEct.

The training went like this :
- Two days of contemporary dance : we discovered the different movements (using only one part of our body at a time), different levels in the dance (up and down…), the rythm of our own body and the one of others’. We worked on selfconfidence and trust in others. To end, the trainer asked each participant to create their own choreography that we included in a general performance.
She also taught us the « Pina Bausch walk » that we performed later.
- Two days of theater : the participants were asked to bring an object which had no sentimental value for them. With this, Maria made them work on the communication they can have without words between their bodies and the objects. In addition, exercises like the mirror or improvisation allowed them to be into the final performance with the « view point » from Anne Bogart, where participants had to be connected to each other, by being attentive, respecting the personal space of everyone and their own rhythm.
- One and a half days of discovering our voices and learning some polyphonic Gascon’s songs. You can hear them on those links : here ou here !
The trainer allowed everyone to find their own voice, rythm and to get rid of their complexes when singing.

In order to highlite the performances learned, everyone participated in severals shows :
* A Pina Bausch walk in Toulouse,
* A performance mixing the three artistic disciplines at the Ti'stival de Castillon,
* A performance for Ganties’ residents.
* And workshops with the children of Ganties’school.

The objectives of this TC have been reached, by allowing access to culture to everyone, using the expression of our bodies and reusing these techniques as youth workers. And sharing the practical tools that we did in a booklet that you can find here. We also did a video on the performance done ; click here to see it !
Happy reading !

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Your Body Is A Voice !

YBIAV group This training course on the topic of the relation to the body through the cultural, physical and artistic activity of contemporary dance, took place in Ganties (in a gîte and the village activities hall) in the South of Haute-Garonne, in September 2016.

It has gathered 25 youth and social workers of diverse ages and genders (dance and theater teachers, futur teachers, occupational therapist, educators…) who had come from 7 different countries – including France with Solafrika – sent by our partner organisations European Youth Center Breclav (Czech Republic), Continuous Action (Estonia), Group of European Youth for Change (Romania), TheatrEct (Cyprus), Center for Intercultural Dialogue (Macedonia) et Regional Center Młodzieży (Poland). The training has lasted for 10 days, during which the participants have lived, worked and functionned collectively, locally and healthily in the usual spirit carried by Solafrika.

The participants got the occasion to discover contemporary dance with Angélique Danguy, dancer (Dorsalis company) and contemporary dance and flamenco teacher in the Comminges, at the 3A School, but also the job of occupational therapist with Britta, an Estonian trainer working with visual and hearing impaired children.

After 3 days of workshops with Angélique, the participants have been brought to exercize their creativity and new competences by setting and performing themselves a dance performance, that they had the occasion to show to the audience of the « Urauquoises » - a music festival in Urau – who welcome the beginner dancers troup with benevolence and much interest, and also to the inhabitants of Ganties.
After Britta's workshop about the work on the relation to the body with heavily impaired children, the watching and studying of artistic performances, debates and reflections on the topic of body and pedagogy, the participants also created and organised body langage workshops for the children of the village school.

The objectives of this TC have definitely been reached ! They were about :
- personal development : to be more at ease with one's body means more confidence, fulfilling and blossoming...
- cultural discovery (discovery and initiation to contemporary dance as an intercultural practice and art),
- development of creativity,
- raising awareness about the importance of the improvement of one's way of life (foodhabits, sport and physical practices, fight against stress...),
- development of expression and facilitation tools, thanks to facing actual situations and intervention of professionals,
- development of competences for a collective, democratic and healthy functionning all along the training course.

A movie/pedagogical booklet on the dance performance realised by the participants and the pedagogical aspect of the project, for the participants and all the interested persons to used is currently in progress !

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Eco-WorkCamp Technical Leading

EW groupe Eco-workcamp technical leading was a training course that took place from the 24th of november to the 4th of december thank's to the Erasmus+ program.
For this Solafrika rented a house in Ste-Croix Volvestre to face the cold pyrenean winter, that came late this year, but that didn't stop us from lighting the fire every day ! So we were based in Ste-Croix Volvestre for most of the activities and we travelled to Solafrika's place for the practical workshops.

Our objectives were :
- To improve competences and to share good practices of a leader and a technical leader of educative workcamp,
- To discover and to promote ecological practices,
- To experiment technical leading on ecological workcamp,
- To share methods to adapt a workcamp to several publics,
- To practice « living together ».

We gathered partners and participants from Ukraine, Macedonia, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Germany, Great Britain and France. There were 25 of us ( trainers included ) to exchange, debate and experiment on how to lead work-camps with teenagers using ecological methods.
It was a very rich training course, we were lucky to have amongst the participants a lot of people with experience in the field of youth training and facilitating a group dynamic.
We used cooperative methods to define what being a technical leader is and how we can adapt our methods according to the youngsters we are working with. To add to the debates, observations and discussions we created an on-field activity in order to allow everyone to experiment being a trainer working with children or teenagers with specific “issues”.
It was a very intense 10 days with a lot of perspectives for future partnerships. This training allowed participants that are implicated in youth training to profit from Solafrika's wide experience in facilitating work-camps with teenagers, for others to experiment, try , learn know-how skills and competences in working in the youth training field. The course fulfilled Solafrika's objectives and allowed an inter-cultural exchange from witch will flow new partnerships, friendships and new projects.
Thank you to all our partners and all participants for these moments of exchanges, for the group's caring and for the kindness of all participants.

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Alternative Communication

AT groupe The training course «Alternative Communication », led thanks to the Erasmus+ program, took place in Bédeille from the 28th September to the 9th October 2015.
This course gathered 24 participants from 7 European countries: Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Czech Republic, Italy, Cyprus and France.
The aim of this course was to give tools to the participants on the different means of communication, to live in a more attentive society.

The trainees worked and reflected on:
- the clown activism and theatre,
- a campaign of advertisement against advertisement,
- creation and presentation of forum theatre scenes with the organisation TheatrEtc,
- rôle game on the topic of interculturalism,
You can know more about the activities by reading the beautiful booklet that the participants did during the training course.

These twelve days were really intense and rich in exchanges, discussions, debates about several topics. But, mainly, a really strong link was created so the group dynamic helped the exchanges among all the participants. This course allowed the participants to discover tools on the different means of communication, in order to live in a more attentive society.

Thanks to all of our trainers and participants for this beautiful energy shared.

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What's In Your Plate ?

AT groupe The training course «What's in your Plate », led thanks to the Erasmus+ program, took place in Bédeille from the 25th of August to the 1st of September 2015.
This course was gathered 22 participants from 7 Europeans countries: Austria, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Portugal and France.

On the menu we had workshops about :
- Screening of the documentary « We feed the world » and the string game, followed by debates and discussions,
- Thinking about collective cooking (with Pascale, a cook in a school nearby),
- Discovery of permaculture (with David Witzeneder of Neront),
- Wild plant and seed bombs workshops,
- A "Disco Soup" with the « Free Zone » of the Saint-Girons market,
- Slow Food intervention.

You can know more about the activities by reading the beautiful booklet that the participants did during the training course.

These 8 days were really intense and rich in exchanges, discussions, debates about several ecological topics. A really strong link was created during these 8 days so the group dynamic facilitated exchanges between all of the participants. This course allowed the participants to discover a lot of tools to improve their ecological impact regarding their own alimentation but also tools to make the youngsters aware of this issue.

Thanks to all of our trainers and participants for this beautiful energy shared.

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Stand Together For Tolerance

AT groupe The training course «Stand Together for Tolerance », led thanks to the Erasmus+ program, took place in Montbrun-Bocage from the 16th to the 26th June 2015.
This course gathered 24 participants from 6 Europeans countries: Lithuania, Estonia, Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal and France.
The aim of this course was to give tool to the participants to fight against discriminations, starting by questioning our own prejudices and stereotypes.

The trainees worked and reflected on:
- Prison (with the organization GENEPI),
- our relation with the Roma community (« reading » of living books with the organizations : Défi LocaCité and Rencont'Roms Nous !,
- Discover and practice of handisport, sports for people with disabilities,
- Gender issues,
- Role game about a migrant's journey,
- Creation and presentation of forum theatre scenes.
You can know more about the activities by reading the beautiful booklet that the participants did during the training course.

These ten days were really intense and rich in exchanges, discussions, debate about several topics. But, mainly, a really strong link was created during these ten days so the group dynamic helped the exchanges among all the participants. This course allowed the participants to discover a lot of different tools to fight against discriminations but also to ask a lot of questions about our representation and slowly to build a more tolerant world.

Thanks to all of our trainers and participants for this beautiful energy shared.

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Alternative Thinking

AT groupe This training course « Alternative Thinking », lead thanks to the Erasmus+ program, took place in Bédeille from the 25th of September to the 5th of October.
This course was gathering 25 people from Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Estonia, Slovenia, Italy and France.
The aim of this training course was to make the participants discover different way of action in the society. We also worked about the European citizenship. The purpose was to allow the participant to express their opinion, be listened, discover new point of view, discuss...
During 10 days, the participants were lead to think about a lot of different topics with differents tools :
- activism clowning,
- role game around collective behavior (the island game),
- initiation to a collective non violent action,
- thinking and creation of citizen projects.
The citizen projects were in the hands of the participants. In this way, many topics were discussed :
- ecosolutions in a town,
- how to understand all the information that we receive everyday,
- a place where marginalized people can live in,
- the promotion of the use of cannabis in different industries.
These ten days were really intense and rich in exchanges, discussions, debate about several topics (from the world issues provoqued by GMO's, to the question of the Russian minority in Estonia). But, mainly, a really strong link was created during these ten days of meeting where the group dynamic permited the creation of a strong link between all the participants. Their citizenship, European and worldwide, was for sure reinforced ! Thanks to all of our trainers and participants for this beautiful energy shared. I hope that one day you will realize your citizen project !

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Practical Ecology II

PEII groupe This training course « Practical Ecology II », lead with the new Erasmus+ Program, took place in Bédeille from the 22th of July to the 1st of August.
During 11 days, 23 participants from Spain, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia, Poland and France were gathered to discuss, exchange and also deal with the ecological subject.
The aim was to wake awereness of participants of the importance of a healthy way of life, respectful of the environment, and to promote this idea in the youth field.
The participants were trained about ecological sanitation, the importance of insects in the ecosystem, making is our ecological cleaning products, eco-building, the discovery of wild plants, etc.
This training was created to give practical tools to the participants so that they can re-use them after.
The participants were initiate to :
- clay brick construction,
- wood roof construction,
- clay oven construction,
- solar cooker construction,
- economical wood cooker construction,
- wood water heater construction,
- creation of recycled earrings (with caps).
For all of those activities, the participants had to write a technical booklet, that you can read here here !
This training course was really intense, because each person added to the group a real dynamic and found his place in this exchange. A beautiful group dynamic was born, and made this training course a time that no one will forget !
Thanks to all of our participants, and our trainers : Terr'eau, Dès 2 Mains, Anne… !

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DisABILITIES groupe This Training course was the first of the year 2014. It took place in Solafrika's farm from the 15th to the 25th of June !
3 countries were there : France, Estonia (with the organization Continuous Action) and the Czech republic (with the organization EYCB). Although there were less participant that it should have, the mood was very good, and the learning about disabilities was really interesting.
The Goal of this project was to increase the inclusion of disabled people activities of the youth field and society in general.
During their stay, the participants have done many activities.
To start, they have discovered during two days the theater of the oppressed. The first day was a lot of games (get to know each-other, trust game, etc.). This day allows to create a good group dynamic. During the second day the participants created 4 scenes of “picture theater” all about disabilities. Those scene were played in front of kids from a school nearby. As always, the kids surprised us by they cleverness and tolerance.
After those 2 days full of emotions, we had a handisport initiation ! The participants discovered, with the help of Cécile, our sport teacher, different sports adapted or created for disabled people : adapted volley for people in wheelchairs, blowpipe, adapted archery and torball. Thanks to the city-hall of Martres-Tolosane for the gymnasium !
We had the luck on this exange to have an occupational therapist coming from Estonia participating, who during one day, explain to us what her job was. The morning was theoretical and about understanding different handicaps, physical, mental and psychological. During the afternoon, Britta created several practical exercises were we were put in the situation of disabled person. One other participant was suppose to guide the disabled one. In these exercises we learned the good gestures and positions in those situations. Thank you Britta !
Then, we went to a work place were mental disabled people are working. The director and some of the workers explained to us the functioning of the place. To finish the visit, we eat in the restaurant where disabled people are working !
During the end of the TC, the participants have done a moving debate, a blind dinner, a meeting with different organizations linked with the handicap.
This TC taught us a lot of practical and theoretical knowledges. But also, how to live together with differences in our society. Thanks to the participants and our partners for your kindness and good mood !

You can read the booklet done by the participants during their stay here !

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Melting'Potes Groupe

Melting'Potes, It was a long time since we wanted to make link between our differents activities in Solafrika. Mainly to involve the youngster, that we received usually on our workcamp, in international project. It's now done !
The youth exchange last one week and was hold in French and Arabic ! Indeed, our partners were from Belgium (La baraka) and Marocco (Safar).

We received 16 youngster from 16 to 21 on the place of « Chemin Faisant »(a partner organization: http://cheminfaisant.jimdo.com/) from the 26th July to the 1st August 2016.

Concerning the activities, each organization hold one activities :
- a video workshop : the yougster created a short film from scratch. You can see the result here,
- a peint workshop,
- a birdhouse building workshop.

The youth exchange also allows the participant to unconter the local environment by visiting a local market and doing outdoors activities. And of course a really nice intercultural exchange with cultural evenings and debate on the notions of « Culture » and « Identity ».

You can see here, on a short video, the atmosphere and some activities of this Youth Exchange.
And you can also read the booklet created by the participants during the exchange here !

A bit short but intense ! It's the beguinning of a new adventure that will probably be continue, we will see…
A big Thanks to Catherine and Fouad from « La Baraka » and to Mouna and Zak from « Safar » and of course to all the beautifull participants !

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Citiz'Action Groupe

The exchange "Citiz' Action" which took place from the 30th of November to the 9th of December has just ended !
It took place in Ercé at the cottage La Comté, with a wonderful view on the snowy Pyrénées !
Six countries took part to the exchange : France, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Bulgaria, and Estonia.
This exchange about the european citizenship, and the different ways of action young people have at their disposal to act, have been full of exchanges, different points of view and mutual discoveries !
The participants have worked with the organisation « Merci qui ? » on diverting advertising campaigns, to reflect about the place of advertisement in our society, and about the citizen ways we have to get away from it.
We have also visited the CREA (campaign of requisition, mutual help and self-management) squat in Toulouse, which hosts and helps undocumented immigrants.
We had the pleasure to welcome the trainers of « La Locale » the local radio of Saint Girons, who lead the participants in the creation, recording, and montage of a radio show on a topic of their choice. This program will be broadcasted on La Locale's waves, and it'll be very soon podcastable on their website and on ours !
Besides, the participants had the whole morning free to go to Saint Girons market, and had the chance to discover the crafts and local products of this beautiful Ariège before visiting the medieval city of Saint Lizier.
Finally, the last morning has been devoted to a workshop about the complementary currencies, their goals, and how to concretely use them.
This exchange has been really rich with discussions and argumentations about the project's topic. Plenty of points of view have been exchanged, alternative ways have been approached, and during the cultural presentation evenings we've been lead to discover the way each country lives, creates, eats, dances, and sings !
As soon as the radio show is finished we'll put the link online !

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Art'Up Groupe

The project 4.3 « Art' Up » took place from October 1st to October 10th 2013 in Bédeille in Solafrika's associative farm ! Ten days with 23 participants : Romanians, Czech, French, Portuguese, Polish, and Estonians !
The topic of this training course was to explore different kinds of art, and for the participants to become able to use them afterwards in different contexts and with various audiences.
The participants have then discovered the « Theater of the Oppressed » (a tool based on participation for conflict resolution), they've sung, and more precisely they have experienced the sound-painting (sign language which allows to give life to a musical composition in real time), they've painted and created a collective work of art...
We have also been to Toulouse to visit the «Musée des Augustins», and we have experienced the difficulty of photography at Saint Girons market.
All these exercises and new knowledge have been highlighted for the pupils of Fabas primary school, a little village next to Bédeille. We've presented them all the works we had created during this training. For the second time, children have suprised the group by their wit, tolerance, and intelligence !
One more time, the creation of the group dynamic was a success ! All the participants have proved an intense and caring mind opening, and we have shared beautiful moments all together !
The short film about the presentation we have made at Fabas primary school is now available here !

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Practical Ecology

Practical Ecology Groupe

This European training course took place from July 15th to July 25th at Solafrika's associative farm, in Bédeille (09).
During 10 days, 23 young people from Romania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Portugal, and France came here to think together about how to be more respectful of the environement in the everyday life, and learn how to make different kinds of economical energy systems or systems that have a low environmental impact during the construction.
Therefore, the participants had the occasion to be trained to the making of : bread ovens with clay and straw, economical wood cookers, a dry toilet cabin and a cooking system functionning with biogas.
We also reflect on the environemental impact of our travels, and to put this thinking on practice, we went by bike to an organic farm, to visit it and exchange with the farmer.
During this training we could also do a pottery and a land-art workshops, and a discovery walk to get to know local edible wild plants.
One of the aim of this training was also to create a group cohesion that would allow and encourage solidarity and other cultures discovery. The aim has been reached : all the young people have been enthusiasts and curious during the cultural evenings organised by each group !
Besides, the participants have created a « technical booklet » that summarizes every building step of the economical energy systems and the different workshops they've taken part in during their stay.
You can download the technical bnooklet right now ! Click here !

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Handi Change II

handi Change Groupe

The Youth exchange « Handichange II » took place in Bédeille, in Solafrika's associative farm, from the 15th to the 25th of June 2013.
During 10 days, it got together 28 young people from Slovenia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France and Portugal. The project has developed further to our first « Handichange » project, which had got together deaf and hearing impaired as well as able young people, and had raised a lot of enthusiasm among our partners and participants.
This time we have chosen to face another type of disability : visual impairement.
Blind and visually impaired young people have integrated the group of young Europeans. All along the project, the activities managed to create a strong group cohesion. Participants have been kind and understanding toward each others, listening and humor were the keywords of this stay of 10 days.
We could discover and practice the Theater of the Opressed, a participative tool which allows to emphasize society problems and to try finding answers together with the audience. Four sketches were created on the disability topic and the problems a disabled person can face in the everyday life. Those four sketches were performed for the children of Fabas school, who surprised us with their seriousness, their wit and their kindness.
The other activities made us face directly the situation of a visually impaired person : horse riding, thorball, cecifoot, dinner in the dark, visit to an organisation in Pamiers which wortks on the topic of visual impairment...

The movie made by Anne Gardes during this exchange is now available here !
And there is also a french version !

To contact our great friend and director, go on her Viméo page !

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Local solutions for Global Development

« Local Solutions for Global Development » wanted to be a laboratory of experiences and knowledge. This project has given to young people the occasion to talk about different kinds of alternatives related to the global decreasing and to experience a few of them. We saw how important it is to have a personal development which tends to a maximum of autonomy, to be able to create a Union, a Solidarity which is as global and intelligent as possible.
This project was about the Local Alternatives promoting an awareness and encouraging a more sustainable and united project at local, national, european and international levels.
The main objectives of the project were : creating a group dynamic favourable to solidarity and cooperation ; promoting reflection about the local alternatives and imagining them at a European level ; creating an information and diffusion medium that deals with experimented and/or discussed alternatives during the exchange.
Therefore, during this exchange we have shared craft methods like making breads, jams or preserves, also tested how to create cosmetics, and how to make bread ovens, solar dryers, etc.
Afterwards, we have gathered all these technics in a booklet settled by the participants during their stay.
This booklet is a summary of the exchange for the participants but also a medium of information available internationally (written in english) for all kind of audiences.
Download here the book right now (English version only!) :Little Steps for Bigger Changes
This project took place from June 19th to June 29th 2012 in Bédeille, a little village in Ariège. It has gathered 20 participants and facilitators from 3 countries of the UE (or applicants for a membership of the UE): Turkey, Czech Republic, and France.
You can already upload the string game here!

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This youth exchange took place from the 21th to the 31th of May 2012 in Bédeille, a small village in Ariège (South west France). It has gathered 16 participants and facilitators of 3 European countries: Greece, Turkey and France.
The project entitled Afterwards has allowed the young participants to think about the becoming of things…What become my plastic bottle when I have thrown it away...And what about the peel of my banana and the charger of my mobile phone? One big question aroused: what can I do for this world where everything is disposable and where we throw things away without much further thinking…
During this project we have approached the problem of the production and treatment of waste…here and there.
The main objectives were:
- raising awareness about the production of waste in Europe and in the world and the consequences it has,
- giving topics and leads of refection in the aim of improving the management of waste and approach it in a different way,
- developing solidarity between young people from different countries about a world problem and encourage tolerance among different cultures.
To reach those aims we have organized various activities such as LandArt, a meal with the objective of producing no waste, discussions and debates around the management of waste in the different European countries…
We have considered and deduced various possibilities to re-use our waste and consider it differently.

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Handi Change

Our project entitled Handichange was also realized with the financial support of the Youth in Action program. Its main objectives were to raise awareness and share knowledge about disability and the way it is treated and managed in the different participating countries.
30 young people coming from Slovenia, Turkey, Poland, Italy and France took part to this exchange. Among them were a few hearing impaired young people who contributed to change and finally cancel the boundaries between disability and “norm”. During these 10 days spent in the cottage of Oustalous (Cabannes), form 12th to 22th April, those young people got the opportunity to get to know each other and deepen their knowledge of other cultures and to think about the importance of social integration and the values of communication.
Indeed, the exchanges between hearing impaired and hearing participants and the general difficulties of communicating with people of foreign cultures in a foreign language like English, have made of this exchange a particularly meaningful experience. One of the results of this experience is the satisfaction of being able to understand each other at the end, thanks to several activities, debates and the suitable state of mind. Among the activities, the making of a small movie allowed the participants to use their imagination and develop their creativity, while approaching the topics of inclusion and difficulties of communication.
Every European project in the frame of the YiA program is rich with meetings and discoveries, but in this one, the visit organized in the home for hearing impaired and deaf people of Montcalm has been particularly intense and meaningful. A day of painting workshop altogether was a very interesting way to make the most of the enthusiasm of our participants and the spirit of initiative of the home residents.
This project, which required a great effort of Solafrika’s team, has positively gone over all our expectations. At the end the cultural boundaries and the limit of communication had disappeared and the world of disability and the “normed” world had melted into one reality that we hope will be exported all around Europe!

Discover four short movies that have been realized by the participants during their stay:
-"Meeting in the corridor"
-"The distributor of language"
-"Interview with vampires"
- "Billy's dream"
Follow the little reporter link here!

And even better, watch online the movie (30 minutes) realized during this exchange… Don’t hesitate to contact us to know more about it! "WORD IS A SIGN"

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Living Together and Non Violence II

groupeThe project "Living together and nonviolence II" (Action 3.1 of the « Youth in Action Program ») is the second part of the project organized last year with European partners about the same issues (Action 1.1). It was meant to "improve the active participation of youth and develop in anyone's mind the notion of "living together" in the same world with all its different cultures, religions, etc..".
The main objectives of the project, in addition to promoting the exchange, cooperation and group dynamics among the participants, was to get young people reflect on discrimination and on "living together". Its practical aim was to regain control of these objectives by creating a tool to raise awareness on the theme of non violence.
The teaching aid created will serve for future awareness workshops. This media is suitable for use on a European scale, but also for our neighboring partners. It has been already tested during the exchange by the kids of the school of the village where the meeting took place. This youth exchange was held in Ercé (09) - France, at the « Gîte La Comté » that opened its doors for ten days from February 29 to March 10, 2012. It involved 26 participants and leaders from three European countries (Romania, Estonia and France) and two neighboring partner countries (Morocco and Serbia).

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Back to the Roots

groupe This project, entitled “Back to the Roots”, was a “Youth Exchange”, action 1.1 of the European Program “Youth in Action”. It took place at « La Borieta del Prat », in the little village of Pratviala, in the heart of Aubrac, a French semi-desert high plateau.
This exchange was developed with the main aim to let youngsters from four different countries discover a rural area and its wild nature, in order for them to become aware of the Earth natural richness, but also to inform them about the environmental issues that concern it.
It was an occasion to question and investigate the rural exodus, its beginning, its causes and its consequences in this area, as well as the different approaches to the theme in each country, and on European level. Beyond the dialogue, the youngsters took also part in some rehabilitating works for the village, such as the repairing of a bread baking oven, which gave them the opportunity to learn some basic elements of eco construction.
For ten days, 20 participants coming from Turkey, Italy, Austria and France got together to exchange their different cultures and to discover Aubrac, its stories, its tradition, its costumes, its specialties and treasures hidden in the “Desert”. Furthermore, they got familiar with handcrafting and they shared a very simple life all together, in a healthy environment.
The results – once again- were fairly positive! Despite the fact that a very changeable weather put under pressure the great adaptability of the youngsters and their skills of living in a rather basic way far away from their usual comfort…

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Art For Eco Solidarity Tourism

Denis et EduWithin a project of eco-supportive tourism, Solafrika association took part in a bus’ reconversion and in its renovation. The project started in may 2011, when the bus was used to raise the awareness towards the theme of solidarity-tourism through the theatre forum, and also throughout the region of Midi-Pyrénées during specific workshops concerning: getting around by bike, saving energy, supporting structures of solidarity-tourism and green development.
The main objective of the European youth exchange was to help the elaboration of the bus in order for the youngsters to raise their awareness towards the theme of eco-supportive tourism, and therefore on the problems on a planetary scale.
The idea was to redevelop and decorate the bus by using some structural and mostly artistic skills that would promote the eco solidarity values in different languages : French, Spanish, English and Arabic. The choice of the multiple cultural contributions is to be read within the objective of making the bus a result of European citizenship. In fact, the final purpose is to let the bus travel around Europe and in Northern Africa the next years, in order to make people aware of this kind of tourism.
This project gave the participants the opportunity to reflect about responsible, ecological, fair tourism and about its positive effect both for the travelers and the hosts, in opposition to the massive tourism. Furthermore, it also developed their creativity, and let them discover a large part of the culture represented.
This multilateral exchange was developed in ten days, with 24 youngsters (with one leader for each organisation group) from Spain, Estonia, Turkey and France. It took place in the Lauragais, on the sides of the canal du Midi, in the buildings of the association “Lile”, 30 km away from Toulouse.
To learn more about the project you can also watch the VIDEO made by Ali together with the other Turkish participants.

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Living-Together and Non-Violence

TurquieThis project was developed to improve youngsters’ active participation and their ability of “living together” in the same environment with all their different traditional, cultural and religious differences.
The main objective was to build, in mixed group, some games and to think about possible animation activities regarding discrimination and non violence. This project took place in a rural area in the village of Lesponne, south to Toulouse and close to the Pyrénées, the mountains chain where the participants went all together for a daily walk.
The project lasted ten days and it involved 30 youngsters from Turkey, Estonia, Italy, Slovakia and France; each group was composed by five participants and one leader per group (except for Estonia that was represented by four participants, with an extra French leader to take care of logistics and organization).

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danse irlandaise Willing to take part in the Youth in Action Programme, we organized a youth exchange called “eco citizenship” in the Barousse Valley, in the Midi-Pyrénées region, for seven days during July 2010.
The project was multilateral and youngsters from four countries took part in it: French, Irish, Turkish and…Spanish? Well, no! .. they left us!
We based the project’s activities on the environment, so that they included discovering the mountains, orientation courses and other actions which would raise the awareness towards the themes of energy and sustainable development. Furthermore, we took part in the project of building low consume cookers willing to offer them to the refuges in the mountains so that everybody would feel involved.
Cooperative games, workshops and debates were the other instruments used to help the participants sharing their cultures and understand each other, so that the synergy of the group would be stronger. This exchange was developed in three directions: environment, citizenship and solidarity.

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Projet séchoir avec Fla-kultur

chantier fla-fulturOn August 15th and 16th, Julien Schira and Pierre Regnier, two members of Solafrika, gave their contribution to a European youth exchange organized by the Flakultur association in Cologne (32).
The principle behind the exchange is to let youngsters (between 16 and 24 years) from different countries meet each other and focus on a specific subject. On this exchange, there were four countries represented: Poland, Austria, Italy and France, and the theme they worked on was “recycling”. Solafrika presented the subject of lowering energy waste as well as the using of alternative sources. Two workshops were proposed: building of low consuming cookers and the creation of a drier for fruits and vegetables. In two days four small cookers, one big and one dryer were made. The main aim was to let each country group leave with a small cooker, the measures and the manual with the instructions. The big cooker was used to prepare the last meal all together, before being used as a demonstration during the festival d’Emmaus Montauban (82) in September.
These workshops, given in English for Europe’s will, gave the youngsters the opportunity of discovering alternative systems of cooking and drying, almost totally made with salvaged materials.

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