Executive Director Gundija Zandersona shares how Kokoro Arts secured Taith funding for an inspiring staff trip to Cyprus in preparation for a youth exchange this summer in Latvia.
We are currently running the Here With Me – Storytelling With Movement project and within that, as part of our system development mobility, we went to Cyprus for 3 days.
We chose to send the 3 youth leaders, Kokoro Arts staff – dance and theatre practitioners – who are most closely involved in delivering all parts of the project.
Kokoro Arts applied for Taith funding to run the Here With Me – Storytelling With Movement project and the system development mobility was organised in collaboration with our partners in Cyprus.
Our main Cypriot partner and the host for our trip is Victoria Ioannou, a youth leader and a dance artist who works with local dance schools; Harris Dance Studio and Charis Savvas Dance Studio. During our trip to Cyprus, we got to meet the young people from these schools and deliver a dance and storytelling workshop. We also established a professional relationship with the head of one of the dance schools with the potential to collaborate on future youth projects.
Over the 3 days in Cyprus our youth leaders from Wales and the youth leaders from Cyprus worked through planning creative ideas for the main summer mobility in Latvia. We shared our skills which included filmmaking, choreography, creative writing, youth work, and safeguarding, and decided on how we can as a team pass them on to participants and also spent time trying out the ideas ourselves whilst reflecting and evaluating the process.
In total, we created 4 short films in various locations in Cyprus based on personal creative stories. We tested out some storytelling with movement and dance activities with a group of young Cypriots from Harris Dance Studio and Charis Savvas Dance Studio.
We visited picturesque places in Cyprus and have a much stronger understanding on where and how we could partner with youth leaders from Cyprus in the future on an even bigger scale.
Kokoro Arts has applied for Taith funding to lead a movement for health in an outdoors mobility project and we are planning on taking a larger group of participants from Wales to Cyprus for a busy week of outdoor dance activities. Now we have a good sense of locations we would use, accommodation and cultural differences we need to take into an account.
The nature in Cyprus was incredibly beautiful and inspired us to think of potential future projects that could be delivered there.
The dance school where we delivered our storytelling and dance workshop had an amazing community feel, they were proud of their young people, of their space and were very welcoming and eager to partner in the future.
It was a fairly straightforward process. We received support from BGC Wales staff with completing some of the questions and making sure our safeguarding policy is as thorough as possible.
From BGC Wales staff members.
Yes, we already have.
Definitely. It offers incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to young people from Wales.
I would say, if you struggle with the application or worry about practical aspects of delivery, you can always email the Taith support team. I feel like there has been continuous offers to help from the Taith team, which makes both applying and the delivery much easier.