Eco Life Youth Exchange

In a world shaped by centuries of evolution, the concept of community remains deeply ingrained in the fabric of humanity. From ancient tribes to modern cities, the dynamics of communal living have transformed, yet the essence of common unity endures. This was the central theme explored during our recent Youth Exchange, held at the serene Catfarm Community.

34 participants from various corners of Europe gathered from October 6 to October 20, immersing themselves in a rich tapestry of workshops, activities, and discussions aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of sustainability, cooperation, and cultural diversity. Guided by the ethos of Catfarm and supported by international volunteers, affectionately known as the “Cats,” our journey of exploration and discovery unfolded amidst the tranquil surroundings of Poussan.

At the heart of our exchange lay a profound focus on natural building, particularly the art of dome building. Throughout our time at Catfarm, participants engaged in hands-on experiences, learning the intricacies of constructing structures using locally-sourced, sustainable materials. From understanding the principles of design to mastering the techniques of cob, straw bale, and earthbag construction, each moment was a testament to our commitment to eco-friendly living.

As we reflect on the objectives set forth for this exchange, it becomes evident that we have achieved significant milestones in raising awareness about pressing issues such as climate change and renewable energy. Through engaging workshops and thought-provoking discussions, participants developed critical thinking skills and gained practical knowledge in household maintenance essentials, from electricity to plumbing.

One of the highlights of our exchange was the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the experimental way of life embraced by the Catfarm community. From witnessing off-grid living solutions to participating in hands-on activities such as building domes with natural materials, each experience served as a catalyst for personal growth and environmental stewardship.

Central to our journey was the spirit of community and collaboration. Living alongside the Cats, participants became integral members of the Catfarm family, embracing concepts of consent, boundaries, and holistic community living. Through shared meals, communal work, and meaningful conversations, bonds were forged, transcending cultural barriers and fostering a sense of interconnectedness.

The workshops and activities offered a diverse range of experiences, from exploring greener ways of traveling to practicing non-violent communication and embracing a vegan lifestyle. Each interaction deepened our appreciation for the interconnectedness of all living beings and reaffirmed our commitment to becoming eco-responsible citizens of Europe.

As we bid farewell to Catfarm and each other, we carry with us a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to effecting positive change in our communities. Our exchange may have come to an end, but the seeds of inspiration and empowerment that were planted during our time together will continue to flourish and bear fruit in the years to come.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the participants, facilitators, volunteers, and partners who contributed to the success of this program. Together, we have embarked on a journey of transformation, guided by the principles of sustainability, cooperation, and unity.

As we look to the future, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to cultivating change, one community at a time. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming projects and initiatives as we continue to champion the values of community, sustainability, and youth empowerment.