This is a reference for Vitalie Cirhana

Mobilization of youth in activities to protect the environment

The training activity took place
in Molovata Noua, Republic of Moldova
organised by Public Benefit Foundation for Conservation of Nature and Environment Protecting the Cultural Values of Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg
27 July - 4 August 2012
Reference person

Natalia Ciobanu

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Aims & objectives

The aim of the project is to promote good practice in the mobilization of youth in activities to protect the environment by creating a network of young activists.
Project objectives are:
-To understand the role of the humanity in the protection of the environment and promotion of the sustainable development.
- To update the existing knowledge related to natural factors and human activity impact on the environment.
- To facilitate the exchange of experience on methodology in working with youth and adapting these methodologies to mobilize young people in activities related to environmental protection.
-To develop 5 partnership projects on the mobilization of young people in environmental activities.
-To practice newly gained knowledge by planning concrete non-formal learning activities for concrete target groups that can be later implemented in their countries.
- To provide the participants with skills to develop good quality projects within “Youth in Action” programme that would focus on the topic of mobilizing young people in environmental protection activities
-To build partnerships for future projects.

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

The project includes 30 youth workers, youth leaders and young specialists from EU countries (Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland) and EECA countries (Republic of Moldova, , Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus)- 3 participants from each organization.
The trainers of this project were Vitalie Cirhana from MilleniuM, Moldova; Natalia Ciobanu from SRC, Romania and Natalja Demianenko from ODIN/VITA, Latvia.

Training methods used & main activities

The methods of work included: team work, role play, training, energy-games, simulations, theoretical part, the practical part which consisted in writing projects. One of the methods was "public Cafe"-a method of participatory consultation, the participants had the opportunity to take part actively in the discussions, brainstorming ideas, and solutions for solving the problems of the environment. Another used method was "Green drama" which was based on knowledge and previous experiences of the participants. Together, they created a common story from personal experiences. This method led to awareness of the impact of humans over the environment. Each of the methods helped to strengthen relations between team members and to facilitate the exposure of the mind and ideas.
First of all, all the methods used were non-formal education. Specific methods of non-formal education were developed and applied in working with young people in the field of environment, which brought an added value of environmental education, making the field more attractive and education more efficient. Also there were intercultural evenings: each country presented their culture, young people were able to interact and know each other. These series were the key to socializing and stabilizing relations.
The participants of the project also were involved in all stages of the project. They had the task of preparing a report about the methodologies used in working with young people, from their previous experience.
In the course of the training they had a deeper knowledge over the environment that is essential for personal knowledge, especially working with young people. Also, they presented at final the portofolios developed and began to adjust to the non-formal methods of specific environmental outreach. Young people had to prepare and make a presentation of their culture: traditional costumes, dances, national music, traditional food and drinks, etc. Methods of work involved the participation of active participants in teams possessing work experience and teaching how to design a project. They then began to prepare their own projects in order to involve young people in the developed methodologies. After the drafting and finalization of projects they applied to the next deadline of the program. After finishing the project they followed the period in which young people can complete the individual portfolios with methodologies for the mobilization and we can send forward to a promoter who will gather information in a guide that will be presented to other workers of youth.
Returning to the country they organized some activities to mobilize youth, applying competencies gained within the project. They also have the task to use properly information from the project.

Outcomes of the activity

During the training our participants developed next competences:
Communication in foreign languages-
Because of the fact that the training will be in English, the participants were able to improve the knowledge and the ability to communicate in a foreign language. It is not excluded that they practiced in other languages at certain sessions, many of as participating countries have a culture and a past.

Learning to learn-
Through the groups work, team building, simulations and diferents presentations, had an idea about the relation between environment and the rest of issues of ours life. These ways to learn were more effective because they had the possibility to put in practice their new knowledge. Participants were able to exchange methods and techniques for the transmission of information, from their own experiences.

Social and civic competence -
These abilities were developed throughout team work which persisted during the whole training.

Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship-
Participants learned how to write a project over the environmental topic, and had the possibility to use all the knowledge in writing some regional projects. Also had the chance to establish some connections, and friendships.

Cultural awareness and expression-
They had a clear view about the culture of 15 other countries: food, dances, music, national clothes, national drinks and traditions. Most important was the spiritual communication for tight relationships. At the end of each day participants had an evaluation session, with the help of which they could evaluate themselves, and offer a feed-back conserning the information they received, activities proposed by trainers. At the end of the project youth completed some inventories in order to evaluate the level of knowledge gained from the begining of the program and the level of program indeed.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

Leader of trainer team. To work on teambuilding and create an environment where the trainers and participants are in the best possible mindset to learn from the trainers and other participants, teach others about their particular knowledge and experience, and be creative and innovative in developing solutions to the issues presented during the project. To explore together with participants topics as motivation, youth participation, mobilisation in environmental activities.

I worked on this training for 9 days as a full time trainer.

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