Sustainable Communities for YOU(th)
Training Course, 16 -25 October 2022
The project under the title ‘’Sustainable Communities for YOU(th)l’’ took place in a graphic scenery in Żywa Ziemia in Poland, on 16/10/2022 – 25/10/2022 hosted by the Polish Association ‘’KobieTY’’.
24 youth workers from Italy, Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Spain and Turkey, united in a beautiful place in north Poland in order to experience and learn more through non-formal activities about how to have a closer look at, discuss, analyze and practice building sustainable communities. Through these activities they tried to experience existing sustainable communities and how they contribute to everyday life. Last, they learned plenty of new things regarding sustainable lifestyle and they identified the four basic pillars of sustainability which are the following:
- 1. Personal sustainability, understood as awareness of one’s talents, strengths, dreams, values, goals and visions and ability to follow them and use them effectively in one’s development and search for fulfillment and happiness.
- 2. Collective sustainability, understood as the ability of communities and groups to make decisions in a fair, inclusive manner, based on nonviolent communication and active listening to all its members as well as solving conflicts in a way that empowers people instead of dividing them.
- 3. Financial sustainability, understood as being able to get the resources needed for the community to thrive in a responsible and effective way.
- 4. Environmental sus tainability, understood as building our spaces, sourcing our food, dealing with the wider nature, having in mind not only the needs of our species, but also the needs of other beings and of the planet as a whole.
Objectives of the project
– Getting to know tools of personal, collective, financial and environmental sustainability which can be used directly in our work with partner organizations, youth and local communities.
– Reflecting on what “community” means for us, becoming open for creating various kinds of communities with our coworkers, family, neighbors, youth, based on principles like respect and appreciation of diversity; giving voice to people who may not be heard enough, through better approaches to communication and decision-making; joint effort to fight the climate crisis and take deep care of the environment in its broader sense.
– Deepening our relation with partner organizations, building with them an international sustainable community.
Workshops & Activities
Day of the arrivals. We arrived at the airport and they took us with a minibus and after an hour trip, we had finally reached the farm. On the farm They welcomed us with kindness. We got to know each other, we had dinner, we got a tour of our homes, and then we went to sleep.
The second day in the morning we had breakfast and then we went to the training room to get to know each other better and then we had some exercises. In the middle of the day, we had free time to explore the surrounding nature of the farm . After we had lunch and then coffee break and some other exercises.
This morning we had our breakfast. We went to the training room. We drew a portrait of each other and we did more exercises and we discussed renewable resources and how sustainable communities should be in the future. After that we went for a walk in nature with our trainers and saw horses near to the lake and he had the chance to see the beauty of the farm around. After dinner, it was time for reflection exercises. This was an everyday exercise. It was a little sum up of the day.
Another beautiful day we woke up as usual at 7 pm getting ready for breakfast after we gathered up in the training room and then we had morning routine teams. These teams were responsible for four jobs, first cleaning and generally Tidying up the training room. The second team They were responsible for personal cleanliness and care The third team was responsible for creating videos to promote outwardly Our work within the farm And the fourth and last group was responsible for the preparation of the kitchen and the cleaning of the dishes
We got up as usual in the morning to have our breakfast and gathered in the training room Our tasks were to draw each other and create Folders in which our drawing would be outside and finally when it was time to leave We would put inside in the envelopes a love letter or a gift or anything to that person who is Painted in that Envelope.
We did the usual things in the morning We formed into four groups again to do our jobs After that we gathered again in the training room There we made collages From various Polish newspapers then he presented with the collage that were themed our personal opinion on sustainable and green development After that at noon we had our lunch And in the afternoon We formed again into four groups In the so-called reflection teams There we discussed how we spent our day, what piqued our interest and what happened in general each day. During the program this process took place every day in the afternoon.
We had our morning routine as usual Then we all gathered in the education room there We sang a Polish song in the languages of all the children participating in the program This song was about How we can be sustainable as a society to minimize the waste of natural resources Then after lunch we had a walk to the lake we went to pick mushrooms we went to pick mushrooms near the lake there we also found wild blackberries and blueberries Then we did reflection teams again in the evening about how we spent the day.
This day was very interesting after we had our breakfast we gathered in the training room and played Polish local board games we did a lot of movement energizers with music We got to know the organizers of the program better We shared moments we also shared our local games and exchanged culture ideas It was a multicultural day with fun and free time.
This day there was a lot of manual work, we were divided into three groups, one was responsible for cleaning the lake from plastic garbage and general waste, the second group was responsible for cutting old wood for heating the house, and the third group was responsible for cleaning the bees. and in general We learned information on how to do beekeeping. They also collected honey to eat in the evening.
This day was quite interesting after our morning routine We gathered again in the training room There we talked about the Green economy And many other topics related to sustainable communities Then we had free time it was the day of photography in the nature and the surrounding area was very wonderful day With sun and heat It was great we photographed ourselves expressively in our own unique way and made portraits with these photos.
Evaluation day / last day: We started the day with the dissemination plans. It means that all of us have to come up with a plan to disseminate outside what we have learned during these days. The deadline Is fixed on the 5th of december. We created couples and had to answer five different questions (1-Who Is your target group? 2-Which part of the training you’d like to share? 3-How would you do it exactly? 4-What do you need? 5-Who can support you?). The couples changed for every question, so each one of us has a different partner for every question. Important: the goal should be written in a positive way, It should depend 100% on us, and It should be written in One sentence. In order to do that, we should follow the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. rule: Specific, Measurable, Attractive/Ambitious, Realistic, Time framed, Ecological, Recorded. These are the mainlines that should be followed in order to achieve our goals.
Testimonies by the Greek team!
Zaina: << Μy first Erasmus was perfect. I love in how many ways I can be more sustainable, eco eco-friendly and eco-conscious. Τhanks for the best experience.>>
Paschalis: <<My first Erasmus experience was located in Poland at Ζywa Ζiemia’s farm near to Lębork. Οur project was about how we can be a more efficient and sustainable community. The place was a mirror of the beauty of our nature. We learned how to protect our environment and be more eco-conscious and be more aware and responsible. We worked a lot on ourselves by learning new things for us, we practiced non violent communication approaches, deep listening and we discovered different ways of making decisions. Personally, I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in that project.>>
Aspasia: << The main goal of the project was to raise awareness about sustainability and sustainable practices. We worked a lot on ourselves by learning new things for us, we practiced non violent communication approaches, deep listening and we discovered different ways of making decisions. Personally, I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in that project. I gained a lot of knowledge, positive energy and inspiration from people who shared their stories and was there to listen mine. >>
As EKO, we are very grateful and we thank Katarzyna from KobieTY for making this project happen and offering all participants an amazing interpersonal experience and lots of wonderful memories! Special thanks to all the trainers for making this project so special and for giving all their amazing energy and knowledge into every session.
Last but not least, a big thank you to the EKO team – Zaina, Paschalis and Aspasia – for being so open-minded, motivated, passionate and active and for giving the project’s backbone a heart!