This is a reference for Anna Dalosi

Prospects of Biodiversity & Active Learning

The training activity took place
in Limassol, Cyprus
23- 29/05/2014
Reference person

Andreas Skouroupatis

(Co- trainer)
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Aims & objectives

• To boost youth employability which is a national priority for Youth in Action; to help the participants develop an understanding of the significance of Skills in employability; to learn how to identify the skills necessary for environmental studies, green jobs and jobs in environmental education.
• To combat youth unemployment by supporting young people to explore the employment opportunities of new jobs in the fields of sustainable development, green jobs and environmental education.
• To encourage the participants to develop further environmental awareness and to explore biodiversity through a holistic and experiential learning approach. Participants will be supported to realize the great value and importance of biodiversity both for humans as well as for the other living organisms – plants and animals, so as to develop positive values and attitudes towards biodiversity.
• To support the young people to improve their research skills during the study visits in places of special environmental significance and centers of environmental education.
• To learn about the ecology of the rocky seashores, the beaches where turtles breed, the elegant pine forests, the dwarf juniper and olive woodlands, and some little-known churches and monasteries. What role do the herds of goats play in the shaping of this intimate mosaic?
• to identify the skills which are promoted by Youth in Action Programme and their value when seeking for a job.
• to explore the programme Erasmus+ and to develop future partnerships.
• to boost European youth cooperation and networking.
• to exchange the realities of environmental challenges in different European countries;
• to utilise the techniques of non-formal learning.
• to explore the ecological, scenic and cultural richness of rural Cyprus.
• to practice language skills.

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

The target group of the activity were youth workers and youth leaders from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Slovakia

Training methods used & main activities

- The methodological approaches adopted followed the principles and the philosophy of the Environmental Education and the Non formal Education fostering team spirit and cooperation with a view to environmental sustainability. We used:
- Discussions/ Plenary debates (to help participants to exchange ideas an become more confident to have their say in front of other people/ to develop their debate skills).
- Small group discussions (to promote cooperation, interaction, sharing, brainstorming, pointing out different points of view and to make the traditional lecturing activity more interesting and the interaction in the group more strong).
- Exercises (to enrich the existing experience with new things and require sharing and they provide the chance to try out skills and behavior and to check hypothesis in safe conditions).
- Cultural presentations with the use of theme walls (to recognise similarities and differences, learn from them and identify future partnerships based on common needs and aspirations).
- We also used:
- Ice- breaking activities.
- Group building activities.
- Presentations in the plenary.
- Field Visits in Environmental Education Centers.
- Experimental workshops in the nature.
- Reflection groups as a method of evaluation.
- Final evaluation in the form of discussion but also with the use of a questionnaire.
- Non-formal contact making games.
- Future planning & partnership building activities.

All activities were structured in such a way that participants’ opportunities for non-formal learning are maximised and their own personal and social development was supported. The trainers used the techniques of peer education and active learning. By working in groups, participants got more prepared to take active part within their organisations and their communities.
The active learning methods also allowed participants to learn from the active experience of taking part in activities – they learned how to be successful participants in small group work and from there develop an understanding of how to facilitate similar techniques; they learned how to successfully play a game, and got a greater understanding of how to lead it. 

Outcomes of the activity

The non-formal learning techniques used during this project supported participants in achieving some of the key competencies of Youthpass, namely:
- Sense of initiative & entrepreneurship
- Communication in a foreign language (English)
- Learning to learn
- Social and civic competences
During the reflection groups in the afternoon the participants were encouraged to reflect on their achievement of these competencies.

The impact of the training course in the participants and the multipliers in the organisations consisted in:
- Reflection and understanding of their own society and its obstacles and possibilities for employment for young people living in both rural an urban contexts.
- Reflection and understanding of other societies in the broader Europe. Learning about the realities of Europe regarding employment and environment and what these realities mean for the young people’s daily lives. All participants have to gain from knowing and reflecting about other societies and might use practices from other countries in order to organise future intercultural projects together.
- Acquirement of new tools, skills and resources for motivating and encouraging young people to be more active in their local societies as well as addressing the community issues in their countries.
- Progress regarding personal development by understanding their abilities in different contexts.
The ideas of the future projects, the video of the training as well as the report summing up the training served as a way to multiply the effect of the training to other areas, actors and societies.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

Anna Dalosi was the Educational Adviser and the main trainer in this project. She designed the working program and she delivered the sessions:
- Introductions. Aim: Getting to know each other, our organisations, the project, the project leaders and the "Erasmus+ Programme".
- Team building activities. Aim: to prepare the participants for teamwork and collaboration throughout the training course.
- Organisational Marketplace. Aim: To get to know each organisation there would be short presentations; to identify organisations with similar needs in order to start a new partnership.
- Professional Development & Green Jobs. Aim: to identify job opportunities in the "green" sector.
- YOUTHPASS. Aim: to support the participants to reflect on the key- competences developed during the training as they are validated by the Youthpass, the European Certificate of non- formal Learning.
- Developing an International Educational Project. Aim: To acquire project development skills, and to develop structures, ideas and themes that could form the basis for future partnerships.
- Future planning. Aim: To reflect on how to use learning after returning home, to consolidate partnerships, and to develop project ideas for future activity within the Youth in Action programme.

I worked on this training for 7 days as a full time trainer.

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