14 participants from 9 European countries (Georgia, Moldavia, Italy, Turkey) spend 6 weeks in Tramonti to learn more about Italy and the Italian culture, environmental sustainability and how to take action and make small but impactful changes.
In workshops they learnt about concepts like the ecological foot- and handprint, recycling and waste separation, upcycling and candle making, gardening and the tradition of sour-dough-making and how to make bread out of it. They created mini ecosystems in jars and designed their perfect and ecofriendly future city.
To take action the participants did numerous clean-ups all over Tramonti and cleared paths of vegetation. Additionally, the group designed signs and put them up in cleaned up places to spread awareness amongst locals and visitors and to prevent future litter pollution.
Another mayor goal for the project was painting the walls of a classroom in the kindergarten in Gete where the participants stayed during their time in Tramonti. Under the direction of tattoo artist Miriam (What is her last name?) they learnt how to draw friendly, cartoon-like characters, developed their own ideas, arranged them, and put them on the walls to create a welcoming and warm atmosphere for the children attending the kindergarten.
Meanwhile, a part of the group was challenged with painting a fence at a school in Polvica. The tasks included clearing the fence of vegetation, brushing the fence to make the surface smooth for painting, putting a layer of orange ground coat and lastly applying the final colour pattern of green and white by turns.
Not only did the participants experience living as a community which included sharing rooms and being responsible for cleaning and cooking for everyone, but they also experienced living in the community of Tramonti and contributing to local and traditional events like the Medieval parade and the Wine festival.
For the wine festival, which is a celebration of local wines and food, the participants helped to prepare the traditional food by pealing and cutting countless potatoes, onions and tomatoes together with locals. During the festival they were responsible for the removal of waste and helped in giving out wine and food.
For the parade the participants were given handmade traditional robes of the time of the battle of Sarno (1460) where soldiers from Tramonti helped to rescue their king and where named Nobels in return. For decades now, the people of Tramonti celebrate the parade by dressing up and doing a medieval reenactment where everyone acts according to their costumes. The Make it Green participants felt honoured to be part of this local tradition and accepted in the community.
One of the most important parts of the experience was cultural exchange. To get familiar with the Italian language and to be able to communicate on a basic level, the participants took part in interactive Italian lessons. On the other hand, no efforts were spared when each of the participants hosted their cultural night to give the others a glimpse of what life in their countries is like. They prepared traditional food, played music, and taught dances and their language.
The time in this project was special and precious to each and everyone. A lot of things were learnt, a lot of experiences and memories made and a lot of friendships built.
written by: Hannah