“You can see great nature under the…”

International Youth Exchange
„You can see great nature under the dark sky”


Project description:

One of the greatest things we inherit from preceding generations is the Earth, the nature, the environment to which we get born, we live and thrive. It is, therefore, obvious that we ought to treat it with a greater care and respect than we actually do nowadays. The environment is what we will leave to the future generations. If it is healthy, they will be healthy and vice versa.

Quite a lot of people have started to take the conservation of nature more seriously than several years ago, they try to protect the air, the water, the forests, but they forget that protecting the sky and its darkness during the night is of a great importance either. The dark sky represents night, the period of the day when the earthlings replenish their energy. If it was not dark, most of the creatures on the planet would not be able to “recharge their batteries”. Dark sky is just as important as clean water, fresh air, and carbageless habitat, so why do we often forget to conserve it?
It is up on the generations of youth to take the responsibility for their environment as a symbol of their and their descendants’ healthy future. However, their ignorance and inactivity needs to be changed first before they take action. It is inevitable that they know that the future of the Earth is in their hands and that they know what steps to take in order to conserve the nature.

The project “You can see great nature under the dark sky” taking place in May 27th – June 5th in the area of Snina, Slovakia will show the participants the results of light pollution, it will provide them with a deeper knowledge about the light and water pollution and their prevention, it will arise enthusiasm to protect the environment and impose responsibility on them for their future actions towards their environment, it will provide space for exchanging good practices among participating countries regarding water and light pollution and will transform them into the future disseminators of a respectable nad caring approach towards their surroundings.


Aims of the project:

  • Raising interest and willingness to take part in conservation of the environment among youngsters
  • Promoting active participation on environmental issues, so that neglected environment is improved and well-kept environment is maintained.
  • Making NP of Dark sky Poloniny and water dam Starina more visible and promote them as positive examples of low level water and light pollution.
  • Securing sharing of good practices among participated organisations and to come up with solutions of the ever deteriorating state of the environment worldwide.
  • Showing the youngsters the possible future impact of their ignorance towards the environment.
  • Making youngsters more open towards differenc cultures, and promote multiculturalism.
  • Acquainting the participants with the possibilities of ERASMUS+ program and analyse the role of non-formal
    education in youth work.
  • Informing and educate youth in the issues related to light and water pollution.
  • Raising awareness about the NP Poloniny and to point out the bad practices of handling the environment.


About STEP:

Organisation STEP – Society for territorial progress was established in 2010 with aim of supporting our region Upper Zemplín, by developing young people living in it. We are active in the most eastern part of Slovakia, which is unfortunately known for high unemployment rate and outflow of young people, what causes rapid ageing of society. It is a poor region, where young people cannot find many opportunities for their development – and this is exactly the core for our activities as an organisation.

We are passionate volunteers in age 18-29 years and we do really care about our community. As students, graduates or employed people we come back home regularly and organize activities by which we want to enable young people to have more active life, to care (not only) about their social and life environment, but also about international topics and such to help them to grow both personally and professionally.

Our main themes of work are youth (un)employment, empowerment, social entrepreneurship, social inclusion and intercultural learning. We do use mainly non-formal methods, combining with features of formal and outdoor education – learning by experience.

More info at www.societystep.eu



Methodology used in the project was designed in a way that would cater for all the learning needs of the participating individuals as for their learning styles and preferences. Moreover, It will secure a smooth, purposeful and logical structure of the realization of the exchange leading to desired outputs and outcomes. The methods to be used will secure transition of theoretical knowledge obtained by presentations and observations into practice by means of experiential learning and hands-on activities. At the early stages of the project, ice breakers, name and orientation games will be used in order for the participants to break the ice, familiarize themselves with the venue and one another.

Secondly, team-building and group dynamics activities will serve as means of creating a strong, motivated,
functional international team able to deliver roles within itself, co-operate and solve the tasks at hand. As a main source of information will serve workshops, where participants will acquire new skills and knowledge by learn-by-doing tasks, field visits and presentations carried out by the organizing team and professionals. These activities include a short photography course, presentation of Erasmus+ and youthpass, visit and presentation of the workings of a water treatment plant, water dam and a bio self-cleaning swimming pools etc. In addition to this, energizers will be used to replenish the energy and maintain high attention levels between the sessions.

The imagination and creativity of learners, as well as their practical abilities will be tested during the activities as flash-mob choreography and bicycle model building. Outdoor activities such as hiking, geocashing associated with nature conservation, and observation of dark sky will bring about a healthy element of physical activity.

Last but not least, intercultural evenings and free time will complete the schedule of the exchange, they will promote multicultural learning, provide time to make friendships and possible future cooperation on projects or activities of any kind.



Project will be realized in a green recreational area of Sninské Rybníky (Snina pounds) in the outskirts of Snina. We will be accommodated and most of the activities will be carried out in hotel Vihorlat resort.
The hotel offers a nice, green, natural scenery, a small playground, and is situated next to a bio-swimming pool and two ponds. We will be staying in two / three-bed rooms, showers and toilets included in every room.

Moreover, the stuff of the hotel is most helpful and can accommodate all our needs regarding food, accommodations, and electric equipment.

In order to see the hotel and its premises use this link: http://vihorlatresort.sk/galeria/


Participants & Partners: 

Each of the participating organisations is supposed to send 5 youngsters (4 participants + 1 leader)
Slovakia – STEP
Bulgaria – The Change is in You
Hungary – Lélektér Foundation
Italy – Ciranda
Turkey – Çanakkale Koza Gençlik Derneği
Lithuenia – Tarptautinis bendradarbiavimo centras
And here is what our participants shared about the project:

“During the project “You can see great nature under the dark sky” we were participating in different helpful activities. Thanks to the organization and facilitators from “Step” we were able to enrich our knowledge about light pollution, saving drinkable water and electricity and so on.

All of the activities in the different workshops were carefully selected and divided according to the participants workload. We have the chance to enrich our practical skills, by our daily work in small and big groups, by the lectures and practical shooting with professional photographer, visit to the National Park Ribinky, visit to the eco-pool in Snina, visit ot one of the biggest dam in Slovakia and visit to the second biggest observatory in the country, accompanied with lecture and practical work.

Thanks to the good organization we have increased our knowledge connected with important topic as pollution the environment and living in a permaculture way. We also have the opportunity to share all of our knowledge and skills with the native people, by organizing a flash mob and presentation to our work during the project in Snina.

Inspired by this we decided to transfer part of the experience in our country (Bulgaria) also. Together with one more participant from Bulgaria (Eleonora) are working with children with disabilities so we decided that it is good to spread the awareness among them also, so they can be responsible and acting citizens. They were thoroughly familiar with the process of recycling and saving the nature clean. Through a different form (games and similar activities) they were all introduced with the meaning of the process, its importance and the way we are supposed to recognize the different materials. We made a few waste bins for lots for different kind of garbage and batteries. We attach the pictures below.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude towards the organization “Step”. It was an honor for us to meet such a responsible and conscious young people!”

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