The history of River Jump!

In 2012, the Jugendumweltplattform – JUMP held a youth forum about the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Vienna. 60 Young people from all over Austria were invited to learn about the issues adressed by this conference. Apart from this, two participants would be picked to form the Austrian youth delegation for Rio+20, travelling there with the Austrian Youth declaration for the conference and the aim to report back home about the course of the negotiations.

However, some participants of the activity’s Biodiversity Workshop did not only want to lean back and watch what would be said in Rio, but get active themselves right where they already were! In dialogue with the WWF youth coordinator Nathan Spees, the biodiversity workshop leader, the idea of a transnational Big Jump! Action in the Morava-Dyje Region was formulated.  This is how Thomas, Isa, Bibi and Diana became part of the team. Throughout the summer of 2012, more people from their personal and the WWF and JUMP networks got involved with the planning of this project. Until the application deadline for Youth in Action funding by the European Union, the „International Bathing Day“ had evolved into a Two-Day Festival for 100 people right beside the Morava-Dyje floodplains, including several workshops, excursions and participatory activities.

Together with the the project planning partners which had been found at our organisational partners Hnuti Brontosaurus and UV festival,  the initiatory team consisting of both project management rookies and experts gathered in international team meetings and got in contact with local institutions like the mayor of Hohenau and environmental protection organisations specialised on the Morava-Dyje Floodplains. With excitement, the team worked and waited for Day X, the first day of the Festival, when international participants would finally arrive at the event site in Hohenau. Aside from the big event, every national team also organised small teaser events (Flashmobs) in the three cities which form an urban triangle around the Morava-Diye Floodplains: Brno, Bratislava and Vienna.

You can read more about the Festival 2013 here.

For 2014, the team decided to repeat the festival, but this time on the Czech Side of the two Rivers. This time, the program was aimed at less people for more time with the goal of reaching a more intense level of networking and local impact. This year the festival was preceeded by several Clean-Up Actions in the Morava-Dyje Region. The festival itself took place near the village Lanžhot on the surrounding lands of the local fishing pond, which are normally used only by a herd of sheep.

You can read more about the Festival 2014 here.

After the organisation of the second festival, the team realised that the organisation of another festival action would exceed their capacities and resources. That’s why another action model was implemented: The Training or Action Weekends. Instead of having one big event with a lot of different workshops at the same time, specific weekends concentrating on one topic, i.e. Food Sustainability, Youth Participation,… for only 20 participants took place on different occasions.

You can read more about the events which took place in 2015 here.

For 2016 and the time being, the team’s goal is to network with other organisations operating in our field of interest and to get educated about Youth Exchange practices and Festival Management. We also strive to learn in what ways the project can continue regarding capacities and responsibilities.

Read more about how to stay up to date with the project here.