This is a reference for Maria Kousoula

Natural Ideas: Inspiration and Project Development through Observing Nature

The training activity took place
in Glava, Sweden
organised by System & G SE
Reference person

Lia Hamminga

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Aims & objectives

Brief Description of the Training Course
Nature is essential for human existence, health, development, and wellbeing. Yet in recent years humans in developed countries have had much less contact with nature than in previous times. This, not surprisingly, for many leads to a reaction of pervasive fear and mistrust of the natural world. Unfortunately, this results in a vicious cycle of building structures and societies that remove humans further from the natural world causing a higher degree of alienation from nature which leads to more destruction and inappropriate and unsustainable use of the natural world. This alienation also leads to more dysfunction and disease in the human population. The project “Natural Ideas - Inspiration and Project Development through Observing Nature” was a Contact Making Event (CME) aiming at building new partnerships and increasing the quality of youth work integrating inspirations taken from experiences in the natural world using non-formal education. Secondly, we aimed to strengthen youth workers’ capacities in planning, implementing, and evaluating such programmes shifting the attention of local youth work towards encounters with the natural world.

The following objectives have been set in order to reach the aims as described above:
-to raise awareness on the complexity and value of the natural world, how to benefit from it and sustain it,
-to empower youth workers to experience and study nature, moving towards reconnection and the creation of safe, healthy learning spaces,
-to acquire competences to develop high-quality educational projects and products suitable for local, natural learning environments,
-to build up and strengthen transnational partnerships with a focus on the local and long-term impact of youth work based on integrating experiences from the natural world,

Connected to the objectives of the Erasmus+ Programme, the training course:
-supported the professional development, key competences of youth workers and improves the quality of training and youth work across Europe by offering a well-adapted educational process, at the same time stimulating getting reacquainted with the natural world triggering a set of connected values that are beneficial for us and our societal work.

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

The target group of this project consisted of 12 youth workers and active members of youth organizations coming from 3 countries: Poland, Georgia, and Sweden.

Training methods used & main activities

The Contact Making Event was a pilot project strengthening youth workers’ experiences in the natural world and their capacities in planning, implementing and evaluating programmes shifting the attention of their local youth work towards encounters with the natural world. The project strengthened a newly established partnership, the quality, and design of educational projects and healthy work environments within non-formal education.

Outcomes of the activity

The activity consisted of four main elements: experiencing nature education, sharing local case studies in youth work, project development, and the design and implementation of follow-up activities. The Contact Making Event was based on the principles methodology of non-formal education, experiential learning methods, and an ethical, regenerative approach towards the natural world.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team


I worked on this training for 6 days as a full time trainer.

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