WE .Young.People.See.Nature is an exchange project for young people ( 15- 17 years old). They use a camera to learn to look at nature. By looking at it in a different way, young people discover that nature isn’t boring at all!
Not just nature
Of course the project is about more than just nature. The project started in 2006. It is an exchange between The Netherlands and Poland. WE (West – East) refers to that. Teenagers can learn to look at each other, their culture and their habits by using a camera. No matter how old you are, it is always important to open up to other people and their stories. Dutch people are prejudiced against Polish people, and the other way around. The European Union is getting more important, so it’s not a bad idea to get to know each other.Since both countries belong to the European Union it’s not a bead idea to get to know what unites us instead of what makes us different and build bridges between the countries
The idea of the exchange is the same every year. Ten Dutch pupils and a few adults go to Poland where they meet 10 Polish pupils and a few adults. They are taught about photography, European cooperation and projects like the Natura 2000. We use a lot of examples for this, no regular classrooms. It’s more than the lessons you get in school. You learn about Biology, Geography, English, Sociology and History. And the kids really like it!
Of course many photos are made when the pupils are exploring. At the end of the day you have the choose your two favourite pictures and present them to the other pupils and teachers. Together you choose your photo of the day. It’s not scary to talk in front of your group. You have made a lot of new friends. When we go home, at the end of the week, it’s often very emotional. We really miss each other, that is until the next exchange. Then the Polish group will come to The Netherlands. That is something to look forward to!
We use a lot of examples from which you cab learn outdoors and a lot of “hands-on”learning activities. Therefore, we don’t need regular classrooms.
Taking photos is a way to record what you have seen. We guide the way you look at things. Everyone makes great progress after all the exercise and lessons. We always make a book with the best photos.
English is the language we all use.
More countries can join the We -Young People- See Nature-project. It is possible to have an exchange with more countries. Getting to know each other is not only good for Dutch and Polish people, but it’s a good idea for all European countries.