YOUng Changemakers for Circular Local Economy
Training for youth workers 25/02/2024 – 01/03/2024, in Cluj – Napoca, Romania

EKO is happy to announce that one of the mobilities for the “YOUng Changemakers for Circular Local Economy” project has been completed successfully. The project “YOU – CYCLE” united 19 youth workers from Turkey, Spain, Romania, Greece, and Belgium. The mobility was organized by the Romanian partner of the project, IRCEM, and took place in Cluj – Napoca (Romania) from 25 February to 01 March 2024. 


Aims and Objectives of the project 


The project sought to promote a circular economy as a means of empowering of disadvantaged young people who could use their knowledge and green skills to set up or join social enterprises that benefit their local communities. So, for this mobility the youth workers came together to better understand the concepts of circular economy and social entrepreneurship, through many non-formal activities and to identify green needs locally with educative visits.


The objectives of this mobility are presented below:


– Exploring and learning from the best practices and methods to use social entrepreneurship as a tool for the green transition among disadvantaged young people. 
– Build the capacity to amplify local green impact and disadvantaged youngsters’ activation by tapping into networks of local changemakers who will act as mentors for the development of green business ideas. 
– Develop an online international community of public and private stakeholders able to increase engagement towards a circular economy and support disadvantaged young people to become change-makers in their communities. 
– Disseminate and promote – in both formal and non-formal learning environments  


Workshops and Activities of the Project 


During the mobility, youth workers worked on circular economy and social entrepreneurship, through the use of non-formal activities. The training was held under the guidance of two efficient trainers, Mrs Lorendana Birgovan and Mrs. Madalina Barnisca.


Through presentations and interactive sessions, such as World café, a very interesting adjusted bingo game, clock meetings, trivia, and many more, the participants had the chance to enhance their knowledge on the above topics.


Furthermore, visits to local social/ “green” enterprises played a crucial role in the training, as they provided participants the opportunity to come across the social entrepreneurs’ struggles and accomplishments in real-time.


They visited one of the nine food banks, drank their coffee in a small local café that is being managed by people with special needs, and, finally, they were hosted by a very hospitable family, where the father owned his pizza company and the mother was owning a textile company fixing or transforming clothes, provided by big companies and, after the necessary amendments, these clothes were sent to people or families in need. Within this pizza company, participants had the chance to taste delicious, hand-made food. After those inspiring visits, the participants were encouraged to create their own campaign regarding food waste prevention or textile recycling promotion.


Additionally, they were asked to create their business canvas, through which several ambitious ideas have been born.


An amazing opportunity and a great experience for EKO’s team! Natalia, Maria, Themis, Maria, and Konstantina were the members of the Greek team representing EKO in Romania. As EKO, we are very grateful for that amazing opportunity given to the Greek team and we would like to thank our partner IRCEM for hosting us and its trainers Loredana and Mandalina for all their hard work and for such an interesting training! We would like, also, to thank our Spanish partner, Espacios Geranios, the project coordinating partner, for the initiative to organize and implement such an impactful project!