Page 1

ECO CULTURE United Societies of Balkans

Founded by Youth in Action

What is the project?

Eco culture The program Eco-Culture is a 3.1 action whose aims are bringing together European and Caucasian youth groups cofounded by Youth in Action Program. The basic axis on which the program was developed is the cultivation of the economy through ecology concept and vice versa, the raising of awareness of ecological consciousness and the creative and economic management of recycling materials through arts and crafts as well as contemporary technologies. At the same time, the participants, among whom there will be youth people facing fewer opportunities, will be informed about the work opportunities provided and created through applications and good practices of green economy. Additionally, through the program, the youth participants will be helped with issues like prejudice and stereotypes, in order to develop a way of thinking as well as a behavior free of negative effects and non-edifying concepts.

the 48 participants will gather together in creative workshops as those of wool, candles/wax, sculpture/art, creative writing/ photography, puppets/dolls, for which they are going to use recycled materials and through which they will develop essential skills in order to transform useless materials into pieces of art and culture. In the same framework of activities, informational meeting will be also held. Its thematic will involve informing and educating the participants about biological, bioclimatic and green practices in general, which are able to provide solutions to the major problem of unemployment. At the end of the program, these young participants will present the workshop results in a festival which will be organized exactly for this purpose and during which young people of the local society will participate. All the above will be implemented through the use of creative workshops, presentation and methods of non-formal education.

What is USB? The United Societies of the Balkans (U.S.B.) is an active civil society organization in Thessaloniki with a regional focus, as its name suggests. It has implemented several projects during its 5 years of existence, all of them related to youth issues in Balkans and Europe region. For more details you can visit our web site and you can also find us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn) Twitter / USBngo

Participated What is the project?


PALAIOS PANTEL Palaios Panteleimonas (Greek: Παλαιός Παντελεήμονας) is a mountain village of the former municipality of East Olympos, which is part of the municipality of Dio-Olympos, in the Pieria regional unit, Central Macedonia, Greece. Palaios Panteleimonas is located 43 km from Katerini and it is just 6 km from the village and beach of Neos Panteleimonas, where there are also many possibilities for accommodation, dining, entertainment and tourist information. Τhe view of the Thermaikos Gulf from the area, is unique.

The path to the village and the surrounding area is rich of fauna of the lower Mount Olympus, with forest of chestnut, oak and arbutus. You can also watch the summer of cultural events of the International Olympus Festival of Castle of Platamon. The access is made via the National Highway and the railway station of Neoi Poroi.

An exceptionally attractive old village with wooden beamed houses whose overhanging upper rooms and balconies mark out its singular character. Situated at a height of 700 m. on the slopes of Lower Olympus it affords unique views towards the Thermaic Gulf and beaches of South Pieria.

LEIMONAS In the summer months in order to enjoy the time you spending there, you might want to attent the annual Festival of Olympus in the Castle of Platamona

In the central paved square there is a venerable plane tree, the old church of St. Panteleimonas, the old school house which has been restored and some very good traditional restaurants serving tasty food and refreshing drinks. A short distance from the village there is an environmental school, the only one in the area. The narrow pavements wind round the village, allowing you to see the stone houses and picturesque buildings, where you can find local products and folk art. The road climbing to the village winds its way past rich forests with chestnut, beech and arbutus trees in abundance as well as the rich flora and fauna of Lower Olympus. This area is the perfect place for those adventurous souls who enjoy paragliding, off road motoring in 4 wheel drive vehicles and mountain biking or just the quiet pleasures of walking in unspoilt forestland. In the summer months you can go to one of the many shows put on as part of the annual Festival of Olympus in the Castle of Platamona.

Agna Where did The Agnanti Hostel is in the traditional village Palaeos Panteleimonas Pierias at an altitude of 650 meters, on the slopes of mount Olympus. It is situated at a distance of 90 kilometers from Thessaloniki and 400 kilometers from Athens. It is a traditional stone hostel with cordial rooms and homelike hospitality. The location of the hostel is unique and provides its guests possibilities for excursions and explorations of Olympus Mountain and its beaches. It represents an ideal residence destination for families with children, couples and in general for persons seeking a calm family environment. The Hostel operates during all the year.

anti we stay? The hostel built on Olympus Mountain, using local stone and wood, in a perfect harmony with the local environment. You will enjoy the lavish breakfast with the traditional homemade dishes in our courtyard or in our living room with the large wooden windows and the unique sight view on Mount Olympus or the Thermaic Gulf and the beaches of Pieria. All rooms have been lined with wood, we have dressed them with lush warm cloths and carpets and have supplied with all comforts: TV set, independent heating, fridge, a modern fire safety system, comfortable wardrobes, bathroom and all indispensable accessories. We aim at your enjoying an absolute serenity and reinvigoration and to feel that some friends offer you their hospitality in their mountain house‌ The hostel is available for all seasons and remains open during all the year.

Wax is a natural material, used by man throughout hundreds of years. During eco-culture, the participants had the opportunity to learn the history of candle making, the capacities of this material, to produce not only artificial light but also pieces of art, how to melt and use the material with safety, how to mix colors and aromas, how to use molds (made of plastic, metal, silicone) to produce multiple copies, how to shape bigger complex candles using glass, stones, dried plants and how to use wax to produce prototypes of sculptures, among others.


Maria Petkova Desingning and preparing candles

Dimitris Alep Candle making procedure and designing





Artlandis is the most fine art oriented workshop (5 days duration) amongst those scheduled to take place in Eco Culture youth exchange. The workshop includes the creation of artworks with the use of simple and recycled materials (newspapers, ribbons, natural materials). Participants of the workshop will have the opportunity to familiarize with fine art approaches towards aesthetics and practice alike.

We will explore the artistic inquires of the participants and help them express their creativity (for this reason we will define the daily content of the workshops in combination to the ideas and needs expressed by the people who will sign up for it) in connection to the content of the youth exchange which, on the one hand, deals with green thinking and, on the other hand, with intercultural and humanistic values.




Fo tin iK ar am ou zi


Creative writing could be any writing that goes outside the bounds of common and normal forms of discourse identified most by the use of literal and figurative language. Creative writing hones our abilities to clearly express our thoughts enabling us to have an in-depth improvement of our skills. Undoubtedly creative writing can lead us to a creative reading as well. Photography, on the other side, reflects a point of view that an artist hides inside which is ready to bloom! In this workshop we will boost our skills both in writing and photography, combing in this way, two forms of art that may be seen irrelevant to each other. Expressing our thoughts through writing and expressing our life aspect through photography and vice-versa, we will feel the purification of our inner soul! Are you ready to see yourself through your lens and pens?


Woolie Wool workshop provides the participants the opportunity to experience wool processing and its different phases. Participants will come in first-hand contact with one of the most “common� but also special materials used all around the world! You wear it! Now you can really get to know it! -The workshop will be processed wool from sheep. -Washing and carding -Dyeing wool and yarn with natural dyes -Construction Felt (felting) jewelry and decorative objects with needles and with water and soap -Weaving yarn improvised child looms -Construction handicrafts thread



Doll’s dance is a workshop about the construction of handmade dolls. Using simple and ecological materials, the participants will design their own custom made dolls, along with the instructions of the facilitator. From the general conception to the finalization of the doll’s look, participants can gain insight and knowledge about dolls and their dynamics either as ornaments or toys. -Show the story of the doll -Marionette dolls, doll seniority: Dolls by clay -Traditional dolls -Dolls with various materials (garbage, e.g. plastic bottles). -Scarecrows (team work).

NATURAL BUILDING While all these different countries and cultures come together, we will analyze one common characteristic that connect us all, this is the ground that we step on. So during this seminar we will learn together how to use the clay for building naturally based on the most ancient technique (cob). Also we will approach sustainable design and recycling issues. The seminar circle will and by applicating everything we learned, in to small scale projects such as: bench, wood-fire oven and 1:1 scale wall models.

Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages.[1] The Green Building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.

Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources Protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation. A similar concept is natural building, which is usually on a smaller scale and tends to focus on the use of natural materials that are available locally. Other related topics include sustainable design and green architecture. Sustainability may be defined as meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Although some green building programs don’t address the issue of the retrofitting existing homes, others do. Green construction principles can easily be applied to retrofit work as well as new construction.

1st Days ys First days were full of name and “know each other better� games. Participants through enjoyable games learnt about each others names, interests, studies, countries, dreams! Now... they are ready to work as a team!

Fun Times!

Workshop Time!


All the names contributed to the project as a trainer -Aris Parashou is the president of U.S.B the hosting organization of Eco Culture. -Fotini or Luci-Claire Salvador / She is the creative writing + photography facilitator. -Dimitris Alep and Maria M Petkova / Candle making workshop facilitators. -Spiros / Green building / Eco house and presentation -Anastasia / Woolie Wool & doll's dance workshops -Anna Kelermenou is the project assistant. She is the artistic touch of the project as the facilitator of Artlandis. -Giorgios Melissourgos/ Dimitris Alep/ Maria/ Anna/ - Presentations





CASTLE PLATAM The Platamon Castle (Greek: το κάστρο του Πλαταμώνα) is a Crusader castle (built between 1204 and 1222) in northern Greece and is located southeast of Mount Olympus, in a strategic position which controls the exit of the Tempe valley, through which passes the main road connecting Macedonia with Thessaly and southern Greece.[1] The tower (donjon), which overlooks the highway, is an imposing medieval fortress.

Important discoveries are the board of Hellenistic wall, that confirm the suggestion that on this position was the ancient Greek city Herakleion and the gate in the wall of the donjon. The core of the city Herakleion remains to be found, but it is posited that it is located on the northwest side of the castle’s hill due to shells and coins found during recent excavations.

The castle is at the location of the ancient city of Heraclia. The name “Platamon” appears for the first time in an imperial order of 1198 but, most probably, there was already a Byzantine castle there, since the 10th century. After the fall of Constantinople during the 4th Crusade in 1204, Platamon came under the jurisdiction of Boniface of Montferrat, king of Thessaloniki who gave it to the Lombard knight Rolando Piska. He is the one who rebuilt the castle on top of the old ruined construction.

MON We had a great trip to the castle and learned the history of it. Wasn’t it great view from the top of the castle?

The castle soon became Byzantine again. In 1218, it was captured by the despot of Epirus Theodoros Aggelos and after the battle of Pelagonia (1259), by Michail Paleologos of Nikea who later became the Byzantine emperor. The Turks captured the castle in 1385 and paid much attention to its maintenance because they needed the castle to control the strategically important area. After a short break between 1425 and 1427, when the Venetians managed to conquer the castle, the Turks returned and stayed until the beginning of the 20th century. During World War II, in April 1941, a unit of New Zealanders tried to defend Platamon but forced to leave after the bombardment of the castle by the Germans

International Night!

As a guy who spent 13 years of his life in a small village, I knew that ECO Culture was the perfect project for me. Indeed, it was. The whole process had a great start with the help of System&Generation’s wonderful staff. At the project, I had amazing memories and met really great people that I would remember for long years in my life. USB’s staff (Aris, Anna, Argiris, Photini, Dimitris the Magnificent, Spiros) was truly great and caring. As far as I remember, noone actually had even a single serious problem during the project. All thanks to USB’s great staff and their valuable efforts. In near or far future, I definitely would like to participate in any of your project. Thanks. For this amazing experience. Hope to be together again soon. *Screw your heart, Aris. I don’t wanna be in your heart. I wanna be together with all of you soon. With love from the caring arms of beatiful Polish women, Ahmet Serdar Karaca



FE BA From 31th of January till 10th of February Youth Association DRONI members Tata Beria, Gvantsa Mgeladze, Rusudan Chelidze and Nika Bakhsoliani have participated in the youth exchange “EcoCulture� organized by United Societies of Balkans in Paleos Panteleimonas, Pieria, Greece. The aim of the project was integrate and develop ecological and economical way of thinking, to train the creative thinking through art and new techniques, to promote YiA and European citizenship. The project took place in the ancient Greek village Paleos Panteleimonas, which was abandoned in 60s but then restored with the same, old technology.



The village lies right beneath Mt. Olympus, facing the Aegean Sea, so the view is breathtaking.Workshops were always interesting, and we had our chances to realize our imagination by making artworks, prints, dolls, candles, writing and even painting on the wall, which was made with the natural materials.What I would emphasize as the best feature of the project is the participants, all of them were unique, funny, smart and friendly, ten days were enough for us to make friends with each other.

Dedic Roxana / Romania Posa Bechenaru Ionela Romania

Sandra Garcia Cerrato Spain

Michele Belotto / Bulgaria Aurora Valentina Cavalleri / Bulgaria

Burak Dagli / Turkey

Enes Ozturk / Turkey Esin Kilic / Turkey


Irina Pandrea / Romania

Maurizio Novati Bulgaria

Irina Gherta / Moldova

Andrei Gaiu / Moldova

Alexandra Plumed DĂĄvila Spain AdriĂ Gutierrez Colomer Spain

Anna Latorre Beltran Spain Argiris Papadopulos Greece

Aleksandru Malenchi Moldova

Maria Lyubomirova Lyutakova / Bulgaria

Gusan Vict / Moldova Katerina Triadafilu Greece

Mariana Cononov Moldova

Ivelina Georgieva Koleva Bulgaria

Ciprian Georgian Dragomir / Romania

Elena Kaltsidou / Greece Tarigradean Angela Moldova


Ivanov Gadjanov Ase Bulgaria

Rusudani Tcelidze Georgia

Deniz Kobakci / Turkey Aylin Gulasik / Turkey

Nika Bakhsoliani Georgia

Gvantsa Mgeladze / Georgia

Ahmet Serdar Karaca Turkey

Giorgos Melissurgos Greece

Isaac Cano Escasany Spain Tata Beria / Georgia


Τel./Fax: +30 2310 215 629 Mobile: +30 6936 743 200

Alamanas, 9 Agios Pavlos P.A. 554 38 Thessaloniki Greece

- Center of Environmental Education of east Olympus - Culture Association of Neos Panteleimonas - Association of the Citizens of Panteleimonas


- Local authorities -All people who supported us on the project



Eco-Culture is a 3.1 action which aims to bring together European and Caucasian youth groups cofounded by Youth in Action Program. The basi...