The project Youth for nature, volunteering & inclusion is, actually, follow up idea from Mountains connecting people project which was initially consisted of 3 youth exchanges in mountains in Kuterevo, Bulgaria and Kosovo, but continued to generate more youth projects afterwards.
While organizing those youth exchanges, we realized that they bring great potential, ideas and energy to local communities and that we should include long-term strategic approach which will integrate other youth and voluntary activities into local programs for nature conservation. The concept is mainly focused on SCI approach and methods, but we are not limited with that, and we want to explore other methods and ways of thinking and planning.
The first activity within the project was Training Course on Qualitative volunatary programs in rural and remote areas, which took place in Peja, town surrounded by the Coursed Mountains.
In general, the training course was focused on 3 main topics:
- nature conservation
- history, sectors, stakeholders and challenges
- grass-root youth and voluntary programs in nature conservation, with focus on Erasmus+
Second activity was the Youth Exchange (YE), which took place in Brezovica , National Park Sharr, situated on the south of Kosovo, from 15th till 26th of August 2016. Partner organizations were VCV Serbia, SCI Hellas, CID Macedonia, CVS Bulgaria, VUK Croatia, GAIA Kosovo and in total we had 30 participants who:
…learnt and shared knowledge about nature conservation
…explored the meaning and practise of coexistence with nature in rural areas,
… explored biodiversity of Sharr mountain and benefits of cultural and natural diversity
… visited inspiring and protected natural and cultural places such as Visoki Decani Monastery, Sinan Pasha Mosque, Prizren and Peja
… learnt about and from wilderness (herbs, other pants, animals, relations, fungi, human impact etc.)
…reflect on our role in this world (lifestyle, activism, ignorance…)
…and reacetd on it by: clean up action, murals, building up a compost place and benches and creation of a video about the mountain.
Partnership Building Activity (PBA) took place in Banja e Pejes from 25th of November till 5th of December 2016.
PBA gathered 32 representatives of 19 organizations which are involved in volunteering and youth programs for nature, but also those who are more focused on other topics, such as refugee work, inclusion and so forth.
The aim of the PBA was to provide space for developing new and strengthening existing strategic partnerships for nature protection projects through youth and voluntary work, to give opportunity to the participants to share good and bad practices in their work on the topics, to give an overview and details on the possibilities of the Erasmus+ programme. In addition to that, the aim was to improve and deepen participants skills in stakeholder analysis, inclusion and strategic and systems thinking.
More information about the project and results are available HERE.
this project is supported by Erasmus+ program of the European Union