Blog Archives

2 Years Breaking our Couches!

Break The Couch team blowing its second candle on the 11th of May 2014.

All this 365 days we were working on different levels, in different projects and most of the time from different countries. Greece, UK, The Netherlands were some of the bases of our team. We did several things and we want to brag a bit about them, if it is ok with you.

It's fun to be two

In May 2013, we celebrated together the first year of Break The Couch. Having the experience of one year full of dreams and plans we entered to the second year of our life. The Second year we have to say that it was a bit more demanding but also rather fulfilling. We can say we are kinda multitasking since we end up having several projects and for some of them you are not even aware of. Most of them though, you already know them so, we can just count them: Read the rest of this entry

Being Special

Few thoughts from Olga Karageorgiou, Greek participant of the Youth Exchange “Generation Y: Between Dystopia and Utopia” happened in Olde Vechte Foundation between 1-12 February 2014, in Ommen, The Netherlands.

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Living in a country with more that 50% young unemployed people and having applied unsuccessfully more than 50 times for a job, I never felt special in my life. At least I didn’t feel that the others considered me as someone special. Coming to Olde Vechte for the exchange “Generation Y: Between Dystopia and Utopia” the people that showed us around asked us this very question: ‘Do you feel special?

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Alliance Video Project

This video is dedicated to the short term international voluntary projects, known as “workcamps” the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organizations organizes since 1982 with the vision to promote peace, intercultural understanding and active participation!

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“GENERATION Y, Between Dystopia and Utopia” Youth Exchange, February 2014, The Netherlands

Application procedure for participants.

Generation Y pic 1

One last spot available

Dear friends,

We are happy to announce that the selection of participants for the GENERATION Y, Between Dystopia and Utopia youth exchange has just started. Break The Couch is the Greek partner of the training.

GENERATION Y, Between Dystopia and Utopia is a Media Youth Exchange program developed and organized by the Small House Productions.

It is happening between 1st-12th of February 2014 (excluding traveling days) in Ommen, the Netherlands, in the group-accommodation buildings of Olde Vechte Foundation and it is funded by Youth in Action.


For the GENERATION Y, Between Dystopia and Utopia Youth Exchange we are looking for 5 young people from Greece (18-30yo) that will travel to the Netherlands and during this 12 working days they will have the chance to work in an intercultural environment on how to work by media and be an example. This is a youth exchange about you, us and media. It will involve storytelling and it will bring in front the power of example. We believe everyone has a story to tell – and now more than ever young people should stand as an example for past and future generations. From personal stories to the story of a generation.

We invite youngsters from Greece that they are motivated to make a difference in their community or their surroundings through media and the power of example. If you are interested in working with video, photography, storytelling and exploring cultural diversity then this exchange is most probably for you.

Olde VechteIn the project, the 5 Greek young people will meet and work with youngsters from the Netherlands, Croatia, France, Lithuania, Romania, Latvia and Turkey.

For more information and application forms click the following links:

Generation Y Info Pack
Generation Y Application form

if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us at BreakTheCouch@gmail.com

This project is funded by Youth in Action and participants have to cover 30% of their travel expenses and 50€ of the participation fee. Accommodation, food, program costs are 100% covered.

Yia NJI

“New Mountain” Basic Synergy Training, January 2014, The Netherlands

Application procedure for participants.

New Mountain logo small

Selection is over

Dear friends,

We are happy to announce that the selection of participants for the NEW MOUNTAIN training has just started. Break The Couch is the Greek partner of the training.

NEW MOUNTAIN is a Personal Development training or else called Basic Synergy Training.

It is happening between 19th-30th of January 2014 (excluding traveling days) in Ommen, the Netherlands, in the group-accommodation buildings of Olde Vechte Foundation and it is funded by Youth in Action.

Olde VechteFor the NEW MOUNTAIN training we are looking for 5 young people from Greece that will travel to the Netherlands and during this 12 working days they will have the chance to learn by experience about themselves. The main theme of the NEW MOUNTAIN is “How to Create fulfillment in a jobless economy” and we invite youngsters from Greece that they are unemployed or threatened by unemployment or they are not satisfied with their job to participate in this training.

In the project, the 5 Greek young people will meet and work with young people from BulgariaCroatiaHungaryLatvia, Spainthe Netherlands, and Romania.

For more information and application forms click the following links:

New Mountain_InfoLetter
NewMountain_ApplicationForm

if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us or the organizers at the email: newmountain.exchange@gmail.com

This project is funded by Youth in Action and participants have to cover 30% of their travel expenses and 50€ of the participation fee. Accommodation, food, program costs are 100% covered.

Yia NJI

Finding a New Mountain in the Netherlands

“NEW MOUNTAIN” Preparation meeting

New Mountain logo smallAs you might already know  Break The Couch team decided to get involved in several European programs. All of us as experienced youth leaders we feel that Breaking the Couch is coming while traveling, experiencing and meeting people from other cultures and other countries.

This summer we started with the Youth in Action exchange named Levers of Change and now it is the second time that we are involved in a Youth Project in the Netherlands.

This time we are are involved dually in the project with the name NEW MOUNTAIN which is a Basic Synergy Training. Our role is double because not only we will bring 5 youngsters from Greece to participate, but our member Panagiotis is one of the three main trainers of the project.

But what is Basic Synergy Training? The Basic Synergy Trainings started and developed in the Netherlands by Olde Vechte Foundation and they are Personal Development trainings. The main theme of the NEW MOUNTAIN is “How to Create fulfilment in a jobless economy” and we will invite 5 youngsters from Greece that they are unemployed or threatened by unemployment or they are not satisfied with their job to participate in this training.

From the 14th to 16th of October 2013 already selected participants of the project visited the Netherlands and specifically the Olde Vechte Foundation. During two full working days they had the chance to get introduced to basic media skills. Vasilis, who is member of Break The Couch and participant of the project shared with the rest of the participants some of his media skills. For 2 days participants were busy with media input and assignments. Soon we will post some of the results in our facebook page..

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The NEW MOUNTAIN project will take place from the 19th to 30th of January 2014 and 5 young people from Greece will travel to the Netherlands and during this 12 working days they will have the chance to learn by experience about themselves and focus on how to create fulfilment in their lives.

In the project, the 5 Greek young people will meet and work with young people from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Spain, the Netherlands, and Romania.

NM

All the participants of the APV left satisfied and happy looking forward for the Exchange. Very soon there will be more details and information about the preparation and the exchange.

Stay tuned cause the information letter and the application form are coming

This project is funded by Youth in Action and participants have to cover 30% of their travel expenses and 50€ of the participation fee. Accommodation, food, program costs are 100% covered.

Yia NJI

It is suddenly all Greek to me again

Workcamp #3, Pentalofos, Kozani, Greece.

φωτογραφία (20)Waking up in the northern part of Serbia at 5:30am and knowing that you have to drive through the whole Balkan peninsula its not what you want to do everyday. Again driving in 3 countries and now not always in highways we experienced for 13 hours a bit of the balkan nature and of course taste.

Destination was Pentalofos a small village on the most mountainous area of Greece in the middle of Pindos mountain range 84km from Kozani. Entering Greece we had very mixed feelings, it felt like we reached the end of a roadtrip from the Netherlands till Greece. However the trip was not finished since we had to drive through the mountain range for 2hours. To make ourselves more comfortable for the last part we made a stop to experience Greece. Specially for Panagiotis was kinda obligatory since he hasn’t been in Greece for 8 months. Traditional Souvlaki in a local restaurant and Iced Cappuccino (Freddo Cappuccino) gave us the strength to drive uphill without any nagging.

Arriving in Pentalofos we got really overwhelmed from the accommodation of the Youth Center and it was really what we wanted for a proper sleep.

It is the 7th time that the village is hosting a workcamp and all the locals are really familiar with the presence of international people walking with shovels and hoes early morning in the narrow streets of the village. The last 6 years volunteers are taking care of several manual works. Keeping the tradition the volunteers this time were involved in the cleaning and opening a path which is leading to a chestnut reservoir, taking part on the renovation of a historical building, living in a monastery for 3 days and assisting the monk, refreshing old works done by previous workcamps and many other big and small projects in the village and the surrounding area.

Workcamping in Greece

The group of the participants was coming from every side of the planet. Mexico, Belgium, Korea, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Czech Rep., Italy, Poland, Slovakia, France and of course Greece. During our stay there we had the chance to experience 2 very interesting evening activities. Due to one of the biggest religious celebrations in Greece on the 15th of August there was a folklore festival in the nearest village 2km away from Pentalofos. Volunteers visited the village and had the chance to listen live folklore Greek music and taught by the locals, how to dance. The second night the volunteers invited the locals in their place and they had arranged many surprises for their hosts.  They arranged a big intercultural evening where they were presenting their countries speaking in Greek! They also cooked traditional food from their countries.

By visiting this workcamp we actually finished the first half part of our filming for the Alliance Video Project and a huge roadtrip of 3000km almost came to an end. Next day early morning we drove back to Athens where we officially repatriated.

Our team is officially physically located in Athens at least for a week.
On the 23rd of August Vasilis and Spyros are flying to UK where they will film another Workcamp
On the 26th of August Panagiotis is sailing back and by car driving back to the Netherlands where he will meet Vasilis in Belgium to film in the Alliance conference and meet Spyros in the Netherlands to film the last Workcamp in Utrecht.

Our filming project is almost in the middle and we are really happy with the so far results. If you want to know more about the project stay tuned for the next workcamping experiences.

Photo album of this workcamp: http://on.fb.me/1agHk65

“Levers of Change” Youth Exchange – Preparation meeting

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Break The Couch team decided to get involved in several European programs. All of us as experienced youth leaders we feel that Breaking the Couch is coming while traveling and meeting people from other cultures and other countries. Therefore we decided to be partners on a Youth in Action 1.1 Youth Exchange program happening in the small town of Ommen in the Netherlands this August. The program is related with the usage of media and sustainable lifestyle and it is named Levers of Change.

From 26th to 29th of May, “Break the Couch” team had to be in the Netherlands for the preparation meeting. Anna Cheimona represented Break The Couch to the Advanced Planning Visit (APV).

DP1140694uring the APV were discussed the preparation and the program of the Exchange, the purpose and the objectives the conditions of the participation and the ways of the communication and promotion of the Exchange. The APV was very fruitful and successful and the participants of it had great communication and cooperation. The good atmosphere was very helpful and supportive for the great results of the APV.


The Youth Exchange will take place from 2nd to 14th of August 2013 and 5 young people from Greece will participate in order to learn more and share their knowledge about a sustainable behavior and how to communicate it to others through Media, with an active and attractive way.

In the Exchange, the 5 Greek young people will meet and work with young people from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania and Turkey.

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All the participants of the APV left satisfied and happy looking forward for the Exchange. Very soon there will be more details and information about the preparation and the exchange.

Stay tuned cause the information letter and the application form are coming

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“More Than A Marble Path” Documetary 2012

We have posted many things and media for our documentary “More Than A Marble Path” all this time like images comments and articles about the various projections. Now you can all enjoy our first documentary because it is available online for everyone to watch for free!

The movie is under this Creative Commons  License.

Description:

After 2 weeks of shooting in July of 2012 and 5 months of post-production the documentary “More than a Marble path” is ready. It is about 18 people from every corner of the planet who decided instead of holidays to travel at their own expenses in the small village of Isternia in Tinos island, Greece. Instead of spending 2 weeks on a sunbed with sunscreen they spent 2 weeks with a shovel and a rake. They wanted to join one of the hundreds of workcamps taking place each year around the world. The purpose of the program was to give life to a marble build path of unique historical importance that connects the village on the side of the hill with the sea and it was organized by the NGO Citizens in Action.

Produced by: BREAK THE COUCH team (Spyros Anastasiadis, Vasilis Dendrinos, Panagiotis Mamouzakis)
Directed by: Vasilis Dendrinos
Narrated by: George Siountas
Duration: 30′
Language: Greek-English-French
Subtitles: Greek, English
Production: Greece 2012 © BREAK THE COUCH

For all the latest News and Information don’t forget to visit the official website of the movie here.

News from the projection at the New Year’s pie of “Brotherhood of Tinians in Athens”

IMG_1682On Sunday (13 January 2013) the “Brotherhood of Tinians in Athens,” cut their New Year’s pie. With great pleasure, we accepted the invitation of their president, Sotiris Kourvaras to present there our documentary. He had been present at the “Vryssaki” and attended our first projection held there.

The cutting of the New Year’s pie was a pleasant surprise for us with an idea of Greek island traditions that have been pasted.  Children of all ages from 5 to 95, had come to see their friends, to tell the news, to have fun, to gossip and slowly all together, sat down to begin the celebration.

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