Youth Exchange: Developing green skills and behaviors for sustainability

“Developing green skills and behaviors for sustainability” was a youth exchange between Estonia, Albania and Kosovo, which brought together 26 youth and 4 youth leaders from the above countries. The venue of the youth exchange was the youth camp in Laulasmaa (5 days) and Tallinn (2 days). MTÜ Ethical Links was the project organizer of this youth exchange, with Institute for Environmental Policy in Albania and Environmentally Responsible Action group in Kosovo. The project was funded by the European Union’s Youth in Action programme, via the Estonian National Agency for Youth in Action Programme, “Euroopa Noored-Archimedes”.

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The youth exchange aimed at encouraging the development of green skills, and exchanging ideas and experiences on solutions for environmental challenges and climate change among the participants. Youth had the chance and were encouraged to develop and exchange ideas on green initiatives, social actions and projects; learned how to work in teams on common environmental issues; learned how to solve practical issues and promote ideas through role play and through public actions.
The methods applied in this youth exchange, stimulated the creativity and initiative from the participants, while being facilitated and being given knowledge and information from the organizers. The workshops were diverse and gave the participants non-formal education through games, role plays, discussions, observations, and presentations.

The implemented activities during this youth exchange were:
• Group presentations of the environmental challenges, green initiatives, and green projects in the countries participating in the youth exchange. After the presentations there were discussions on the similarities and differences of countries’ environmental challenges, green initiatives and enterprises, climate change effects, and solutions;
• Different workshops on: Food production impact on the environment and our health, green jobs, Green City model: in small groups, participants created a model of how a green city can function – the workshop was followed by discussions on how it can be applied to cities in the project countries, and a series of workshops organized and implemented by participants themselves, a sort of workshops’ fair;
• Different green games in the nature, and the “Worst case scenario” game where participants propose worse case scenarios for environment in their countries, and defend their positions;
• Role plays on oil shale developments and on green investments in Estonia;
• A public action in the Old Town in Tallinn, to promote less consumerism, recycling, organic farming, less wastefulness.
• Visit at Ragn-Sells AS recycling factory where participants could see how Tallinn’s waste is recycled and treated, and at Pets Shelter in Tallinn.
• Intercultural evening where the participants presented their countries through traditional food and drinks, printed materials with information and pictures, songs, dances etc. and there was a celebration of Jaanipäev (Midsummer Day in Estonian) as well.

You can see pictures from the activity here, and you can view Video 1 and Video 2 from the public action implemented in the Old Town of Tallinn on 29th of June 2013.

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This project has been funded with the support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.EU_flag_yia_EN-01