Five young people from Pendle have just returned from an international youth event held in Dakhla, Morocco in the Western Sahara.
They were part of a group of 51 people from a number of countries. Students from Pendle’s twin towns of Creil and Marl stayed together in a youth hostel with young people from Morocco, Senegal, Palestine.
It was designed to improve international understanding about different cultures and religions.
On Thursday, the Pendle group presented Pendle’s Mayor, Coun. Nadeem Ahmed, with a traditional ceremonial dagger, a gift from the Mayor of Dakhla.
Pendle’s Mayor also received a beautiful sand picture of a giraffe and a traditional robe from a Senegalese mayor.
Coun. Ahmed said: “It is an honour to receive these cultural gifts.
“I’m delighted our young people had the chance to learn about different cultures first-hand to improve international understanding.”
The group from Pendle who enjoyed the eight-day visit included two modern apprentices who work at Pendle Council.
Natasha Crook (18) works in the tourism team and Matthew Brooks (19) works in health and safety.
Natasha said: “The aim of the visit was to connect young people all over the world and to learn about each other’s cultures, countries and religions.
“Each night young people would share something from their culture.
“For example, we had a go at Moroccan and Senegalese dancing.
“We also did some fun things, like kite surfing.
“We tried different foods, such as camel, which tasted a bit like lamb.”
Each person paid a contribution towards the trip themselves. Pendle Twinning Association and Creil Twinning Association also contributed towards the costs.
“It was a brilliant experience, learning about each others’ cultures. All the young people were amazing and they all wanted to come to Britain,” she added.
“But there was not much running water so we appreciated that when we got back to Pendle!”
In addition to the gifts for Pendle’s Mayor, all the students received traditional robes as a souvenir of their trip.