Peace and understanding
through travel and hosting

Servas Youth Eco-Camp in Italy | August 2023

Hi everyone! Sebastiano speaking - or writing - here!

I am 21, I am Italian and I’ve been member of Servas for seven years now. I am writing this small article/presentation/report/whatever, to tell you about a beautiful experience which took place in the end of August, precisely from the 20th to the 25th of the month.

The premise is that we wanted to create something for the youth, something that could gather a nice group of under-30 Servas members from all around the globe. Therefore, a little group of young people from Servas France and Servas Italy, alongside with some international friend from Turkey, decided to create a Servas Eco-Camp in the mountains around Cuneo, Italy. What does Eco mean? Well, that’s easy! We tried to reduce our impact on the planet, by cooking only vegetarian meals, moving ourselves walking and discussing about our planet’s future with some experts.

The response was amazing! Almost thirty people from several different nations decided to spend some time all together, learning from each other, getting closer to each other and, most importantly, sharing experiences with each other. The activities were various and interesting. We called someone who could tell us a bit more about “partisan” activity, and we walked around the area to explore the places of world war conflicts, that now became places of peace, at the boundaries between Italy and France. We did sports and walks. We had a very interesting workshop with the friends of ClimateFresk about the challenges to our planet, the climate crisis and the necessary changing of our daily habits we have to operate if we want to change something.

But to me, the most important thing was creating something that could last. Relations that could be a beginning for an international web of Servas Youth. And I think a very promising stepping stone was placed in this camp, because everyone of us has noticed that meeting each other as young people from different places makes us closer. As youth, we share the same hopes, the same issues, sometimes even the same stories. Isn’it wonderful to meet someone who comes from the other side of the world and realizing that the difference you thought there would be between the two of you vanishes as soon as you start talking?

At the end of the camp, with a little bit of sadness in the eyes - as always when something you really like starts to end - we made other two important things: first we gathered, as organizing team, feedbacks about every aspect of the camp, to be even better next year; second, we talked about Servas from our own point of view, sharing our visions about the association, trying to see ourselves in it in the next years. A very interesting exercise for our mind.

On the 25th, we had breakfast all together for the last time and cleaned the house before saying goodbye. It was a week full of laughs, of talks, of ideas and experiences.

Let’s do it again. smiley

Sebastiano Forresti, Servas Youth Italy