The BRIDGES teenage group of Thessaloniki, organized a voluntary action of cleaning the beach of Aretsou on Wednesday 21.10.2020, with the support of the trainers and volunteers of ANTIGONE and ARSIS NGO.
The young participants are unaccompanied refugees and migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Roma from the area of Dendropotamos, and Greek youth from the western part of the city, where the poorest neighborhoods are. In their BRIDGES activities, they decided to join forces, go beyond the narrow boundaries of their own area and take action in an area located at the eastern part of the city.
As very correctly the youngsters mentioned, there is no western and eastern Thessaloniki, because the city is one and belongs to all of us.
ANTIGONE’s trainers coordinated a game on environmental awareness at the beginning of the activity, in order to connect the whole voluntary event to a horizontal sustainable lifestyle that needs to be adopted by all. The teenagers split up in groups of three and cleaned the beach from plastic and other light waste.
The initial thoughts was to invite local youth and the local authorities, NGOs, etc. to join the event. However, due to the pandemic measures, only some representatives of the local Municipality of Kalamaria were able to come and meet the teenagers. Indeed, the Deputy Mayor of Cleaning, Green and Recycling of the Municipality of Kalamaria, Mr. Stylianos Matsaridis, visited the BRIDGES team, discussed with the participants, learned about the project and expressed his ideas of further activities with local teenagers as well!
In the day’s closing, the participants enjoyed the result of their voluntary action, the beauty of the clean beach. Taking care of the city and its nature all together, was a beautiful experience for them, making friends and “building bridges”.