The Green Leaders Experience
The main aim of the project “Green Leaders-active youth participation vs. global environmental and climate change” is to gather experience, information and knowledge on sustainability from different stakeholders such as local NGOs, local municipalities and institutions, regional authorities, international organizations and non-organized youth during several activities with an aim to create guidelines on how to reduce the environmental impact lead for and by youth and create events closer to zero environmental impact on globe.
The project presupposes 15 different activities for a period of 2 years, reaching 950 participants from 5 different countries (Portugal, Belgium, Turkey, Spain, the Netherlands) and visibility towards an average of 10,000 non-informed and non-organized youth.
The Green Leader Seminar from May 2013 took place in Amarante, Portugal, in a youth centre “Casa de Juventude de Amarante” where young people could learn the values of an active participation, healthy lifestyle and sustainable development.
As mentioned above, experts on sustainable development from 5 countries gathered in Amarante with the aim of elaborating a guide that will help the youth NGOs whose purpose is to reduce their impact on the environment while organizing events.
With the help of ice-breaking games, inputs on communication strategies and mainly group work, the participants managed to lay the basis for the future guide on how to organize events while reducing their ecological footprint.
The chapters on which the teams started drafting the guidelines and considered were “Food”, “Water”, “Wastes”, “Transportation”, “Energy” and “Visibility”.
Given the fact that the Green Leaders Seminar represented my first contact with non-formal education, I can declare that I was pleasently surprised by the teaching methods, by the freshness of our trainers and their willingness to answer every question and to guide us throughout the whole process. It was also an interesting experience from a human point of view, this seminar giving me the possibility to engage in a process of networking but on fast forward. And all the group work, team-building games and the time spent together outside the official sessions were the facilitators of this process.
All in all, the Green Leaders Seminar in Amarante represented an interesting, and in the same time enriching experience from a personal and educational point of view.
Hopefully, the participants from Amarante will get the chance to meet again for a follow-up of the Green Leaders project and continue the work they started on sustainable development.