Come join us for the opportunity to buy some work by Mr Doodle and emerging local artists, and support the arts in Ashford. Thanks.
Ashford Young Artists
Come join us for the opportunity to buy some work by Mr Doodle and emerging local artists, and support the arts in Ashford. Thanks.
Ashford Young Artists
Bauhaus Café CIC were thrilled to realise their dream of a youth exchange to beautiful and little-known Georgia for young creatives, again generously funded by Erasmus+.
The name was ‘Mind My Art, Would You?’ and was aimed at youths aged 18 to 30 from disadvantaged backgrounds to help support them to take their creative talents into employment.
Excited, yet dubious they came together as groups across eight countries; Georgia, Azerbaijan, The Ukraine, Cyprus, Turkey, Armenia, France and of course the UK and many met their participants the first time just before the trip, forging what they didn’t know then, would become some significant and lifelong friendships.
The French and UK team met on the plane and shared a hair-raising bus journey from the airport to Kobuleti. Strong bonds started forming immediately. The two groups arrived in the small hours in darkness to a lovely hotel on The Black Sea (that wasn’t black at all!). Each participant was allocated to a single sex room for three, each from a different country, so the interculturalism started from the outset.
Next morning, the new friends awoke to a miserable wet day but were astounded at the breath-taking views from the roof top dining room of The Black Sea to one side and snow topped mountains to the other. Waiting for the groups from the other countries to trickle in from near and far, the French and the English (later affectionately known as the ‘Frenglish’!) had the opportunity to explore the town, its markets, its multitude of thrift shops and of course the bars and cafes. The Georgian locals were absolutely delighted to come across the Western Europeans in their little town, eagerly taking selfies with them and inviting them for free shots of Cha-cha, the national brandy. Dances and music were even performed to the young people in shops, markets and bars amongst great hilarity and laughter.
In dribs and drabs the other groups arrived at all hours of the day and night and the job in hand was ready to begin. We had lots of icebreakers and energising games and everyone was encouraged to mix with different nationals fully. The lingua franca was English, but some participants struggled with this in the beginning, but as confidence grew and inhibitions dropped, the language barrier broke down. The talent grouped together in that building in tiny Kobuleti in modest Georgia was jaw dropping. There were artists, poets, photographers, musicians, actors, writers and much more. To have them all together in one space, especially as the inhibitions broke down, was truly electrifying.
The sun suddenly came out, the streets dried up, flipflops replaced boots, jetlag was slept off, the mood hit sky high, the sound of laughter, music, pen scratching, lenses clicking, and poetry filled the air and the youth exchange was well underway.
Workshops were diverse, interactive, creative and fun. They were run by different countries and were adapted to the needs and the wishes of the participants. Once everyone had integrated and talked about their fears and expectations, we launched into a wonderful day learning about social inclusion and multiculturalism especially in the creative arts. This was led by the Armenian group and it was fascinating to hear from all the different countries and the different approaches there towards the creative industries. Comradeships were quickly being formed and in between the activities there were regular impromptu trips to the close by beach where the common sounds were of waves crashing, laughter and music.
Every country was expected to put on a ‘cultural night’ where they were to immerse the other groups in their home land’s traditions, beliefs, costumes, history, dance, politics, art, music and of course food and drink. We were not disappointed and indulged all our senses night after night with delights and experiences from Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, The Ukraine, the Frenglish and of course Georgia. Georgia’s night was the climax as host country and we were taken to a local traditional restaurant where different dishes were continually brought to us and we were plied with Georgian wines (one of their major industries) and drinks. There was a toastmaster who led the feast known as a Tamadar and the eating and drinking was very structured by him. The atmosphere was celebratory and then we were wowed by a young Georgian girl who floated around the dance floor like a swan as a Georgian young man danced around her in what seemed like a seduction ritual. Imagine our surprise when another young man leapt onto the dance floor out of nowhere and competed with the first for the attanetion of the ‘swan’!
Other workshops included how to attract the media, successful social media use, PR and marketing, vlogging, blogging, making vision boards and so much more delivered by Bauhaus Café CIC trainers. Everyone learned a lot from them, but they were not the most valuable of the whole experience, it was the networking and interaction between the different creatives from all cultures and all walks of life. Friendships were made for life, confidences were boosted, resolutions made, and lives were changed.
As young Naomi Houlton, photographer from Ashford said, “I was nervous in the beginning, but we had a few days to bond; we were all there for the same reason albeit from different cultures. I have grown hugely in self-confidence. When I went back to my day job, they said I was a ‘changed woman!’ “
Bauhaus Café CIC is planning another exchange in the Spring with the same participants called ‘Six Months On.’ Here we will see how everyone has progressed in their chosen creative career following ‘Mind My Art, Would You’ climaxing in an exhibition and concert. Each member is already receiving ongoing support from Bauhaus Café and we know for example that Ashford based Naomi is doing some voluntary photography work, entering competitions and so on; definitely moving towards a paid career in photography. She has also appeared in local media. Boris MVD, from France has set up social media to platform his art and has had a successful exhibition. The success stories are pouring in and we are expecting many more. This exchange really has had a huge positive impact on so many.
If you are interested in getting involved in Bauhaus café and/or youth exchanges, we would love to hear from you.
Please contact us on email@example.com and prepare to change your life!
We are grateful to all photographers present at the project for all the wonderful photos here and on our social media sites.
By Helena Maltby, Project Coodinator
More from Betsy, our CEO, in the next few days. She will be talking about Georgia and why you may want to consider visiting and how our Georgian visit changed so many lives for all the partners involved.
From the 20th May to the 29th May, I accompanied a group of 6 young girls aged between 13 and 15 to a Youth Exchange on the subject of sports, to Orkelljunga in Sweden, funded by Erasmus +.
The Exchange was organised by Hello Youth Sweden and involved young people from France, Italy. Turkey and Sweden. The venue was the stunning Standhem in Orkelljunga.
Our time consisted of workshops, sports, making friends, learning about different cultures and lots of time to explore and make use of the lake for swimming and canooeing, playing basketball and table tennis in the sports hall, playing beach volleyball as well as a visit to Helsingborg.
So we made new friends, had a wonderful time, learnt a lot and experienced sunrise at 3:30am and sunset at 10pm. The weather didn’t let us down, it was warm and sunny most days, making it warmer than Ashford and some other European cities, which was pretty surprising. I am sure that the young participants will always remember their trip with fondness. We would like to thank our hosts Hello Youth Sweden, and Charlotte in particular, and all the young people in Sweden who helped, organised and worked with us on the project as well as the youth Leaders from France, Jerome; Italy, Goivanni; and Turkey, Esra. It was great to spend this time getting to know you.
To finish off, here’s an interview of the UK team. It was shot at Copenhagen airport in a very limited space so beware. Hope it will inspire you to go on a Youth Exchange this year, it may be that we won’t have any opportunities after Brexit so make the most of it, you won’t regret it.
Thanks and maybe see you soon on an Exchange. Betsy
Bauhaus Cafe CIC have an opportunity for 13 to 17 year olds interested in sports for a Youth Exchange in Orkelljunga in Sweden, in partnership with Hello Youth Sweden. Hello Youth (HeY) is a Swedish NGO which would like to promote active citizenship and participation of young people in all aspects of society. They encourage young people to participate in European projects as they recognise the immensely powerful way they are able to help young people people to improve themselves.
The Exchange will take place from the 20th May to the 29th May and young people will pariticipate in sports activities outdoors and indoors. If you or someone you know likes canooeing, horse riding, creative drama, circus skills and other meaningful activities please share this with them.
The project will;
– Empower young people through sport;
– Increase young people’s awareness of the importance of actively participating and
increasing a healthy lifestyle.
– Increase the knowledge of gender barriers in sports and segregation towards the
participation of young people in certain sports.
– Increase young people’s knowledge of refugee young people through inclusive sports
– Participants will learn how to organise their own learning, how to communicate, plan
and work in a team with people from different backgrounds and experiences, improve
their soft skills.
The project will involve young people from France, Turkey, Italy, the UK and Sweden from diverse and challenging backgrounds.
The young people will be staying in Orkelljunga for the duration but a cultural visit is organised. This is where participants will be staying:
All travel, accomodation, food and activities are covered but a participation fee of 25 Euros per participant is required for the project.
Bauhaus Cafe CIC are the co-ordinating organisation from the UK and we are open to applications now.
For more information please contact us HERE.
Thanks. The team at Bauhaus Cafe CIC
Where are the places on your travel list?
What if you could see them for free, meet people from all over the world and learn a little at the same time?
Run by Erasmus+; there is more than just the chance to travel, make friends and learn (or share!). The trips and the experiences that you can have can be completely life changing and defining. It might be stepping out of a comfort zone, doing something you never dreamed you could or even just finding a new perspective and view on life. These Erasmus+ projects are about more just travelling in distance, they are about travelling to a brand-new experience and maybe even a state of mind.
There are hundreds of these opportunities happening across the world, just waiting for you to apply. This is where we come in, The Bauhaus Café CIC. We are an accredited organisation with the connections to send volunteers to these projects and adventures! The placements are fully funded; which means your travel, food and accommodation are covered. As an organisation we are very excited to be able to share these amazing opportunities with amazing people like you. Even better, for that you will earn a Youth Pass. A Youth Pass is a EU qualification recognised by employers and Universities.
A little more about Erasmus+. Find more at their website https://ec.europa.eu/:
“Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget of €14.7 billion will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain experience, and volunteer abroad.”
Tempted? Go on, you know you want to. Here are just two projects:
There are many more and you can find out about them HERE.
If you are on a gap year, or would like to take some time out to volunteer abroad for 2 months to 12 months, and learn new skills, get to know other cultures, visit places you’d never imagined you can go to, then you need to talk to us. This is not a holiday though but a learning experience and you must be fully committed to working with the host organisation and contribute to their daily work. All your expenses will be paid, and you will get some pocket money too.
Dave Horn went to Cyprus on a Youth Exchange with Bauhaus Cafe CIC. The trip changed his life in ways he can’t describe. He will be volunteering again soon and he is currently looking for opportunities. Meanwhile, he’s busy writing poetry, organising and running open mic nights and inspiring others to write. You can read his blog HERE.
The Team at Bauhaus Cafe CIC.
From 22nd March to 25th March, the Bauhaus Cafe CIC participated in a planning meeting for a Youth Exchange in Sweden from 20th May to 29th May.
The journey to Sweden was adventurous and interesting. We landed in Copenhagen airport and took a train to Helsingborg and then a bus journey to Orkelljunga. We found both the Danes and the Swedes extremely polite and pleasant, they made every effort to speak English and help us buy our tickets and find our transport. On the journey there, we came accross the French team who will be joining us in May and travelled with them the remainder of the way. It was great to get to know them.
Our accommodation was extremely comfortable and luxurious, located among lakes and nature and surrounded by typical Swedish homes. The lakes were still frozen but the scenery was awesome and an inspiration for creating. Our host Thomas was a really charming man, the food was home made and nice, we even tasted Swedish pancakes. It’s amazing how environmentally conscious Swedes are, there were even recycling bins in stations and all around each town we visited.
We visited one of the most stunning shopping centres we have ever seen and guess what other Store was next to the centre? Ikea of course.
However, both Sweden and Denmark are very expensive even to British standards. A salad, coffee and water set me back £15. A visit to Copenhagen on our way back home allowed us to see some of the stunning sites of the city. Again, buying a souvenir or shopping come at a very high cost. Copenhagen city centre only houses designer shops and we certainly couldn’t afford shopping but made the most of the colourful architecture of the seaside town.
The Youth Exchange is organised by Hello Youth Sweden and is for 13 to 17 year olds. The project will be taking place from the 20th to the 29th May and the topic is Sports. If you know any young people interested in sports or already participating in sports, please encourage them to apply for this once in a lifetime adventure as soon as possible. There is participation fee of 25 Euros but all else is paid for, including flights, accommodation and food. All they may need is a little bit of pocket money. For more information, and details of activities and programme please contact us HERE.
Thanks. The Team at Bauhaus Cafe CIC.
We would like to wish you all a happy New Year filled with love, happiness and health.
This year has been a difficult one on so many levels. We’ve had to move yet again and leave so much behind us, say goodbye to so many of our lovely artists and makers, and start again, but we have taken so many great memories with us. Here are some of the moments we cherished.
Throughout the years, we have worked with so many talented local people. We hope we have helped many of you and that you have taken some good memories with you too, as we have. We’ve seen so many of you go on to do extraordinary things with your life, and we’re proud to have been part of that journey. We’ve also grown and learnt a lot from you all so thank you.
We’ve made new friends, we’ve travelled and have grand plans for the year to come. We will be planning more arts and photography classes, we’ll be involved in many more youth exchange projects abroad, and we will be working with wonderful people here at Ashford Volunteer Centre with some amazing new projects planned.
We’re still here and are always happy to help if you need support and advice with your creative projects and businesses. Just because we’re tucked away in an office doesn’t mean we’ve left the town. This town is as much part of us as we are are part of it. Help and support each other as much as you can. After all, no one can do it alone. Be mindful as people are going through things you may not be able to understand. Everyone has a story, be kind to each other.
Love and blessings to you all. The Team at Bauhaus Cafe CIC