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Growing GRASSroots - Changing Cities in a Changing Climate. Towards Greener Cities in Egypt and Germany
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The german-egyptian youth exchange "Growing GRASSroots - Towards greener cities in Egypt and Germany" was organized in cooperation of BUNDjugend Berlin, IceAlex and the Arab Youth Climate Movement Egypt to address issues of urban development and the chances of urban gardening projects for greener cities, food security and community development. The exchange gave young people the opportunity to learn about different methods for urban gardening and to train how to plan and implement their own (urban gardening) projects. It empowered them to build participatory communities and their engagement in (ecological) initiatives got fostered and they got motivated to develop own ideas and projects. The exchange project consisted of different phases building upon each other. The initial phase targeted participants from former exchanges to plan and organize the two seminars in Germany and Egypt (program and logistics) and offer them the chance to use and pass on their experience from the last exchanges to the new participants. The main phases were the two seminars with 20 + 20 young people between 18 and 26 years from Germany and Egypt (4 from each country experienced participants of recent exchanges as mentors and prime movers). The first seminar took place in Berlin (Germany) August 22nd to September 4th. It gave an introduction to the topic of urban gardening and the underlying issues like climate change. Projects were visited and studied to learn about the way different community gardens are organized and how they are working. Additionally, trainers did provide workshops to empower the participants to organize their own projects. In the second seminar from October 2nd-13th participants also visited different initiatives in Cairo (Egypt) and started to work on their own projects for a greener city. Trainings deepened the participants’ skills to communicate their goals and to manage their projects as a group in an open and participatory way. The project raised awareness for sustainability in general and especially for urban gardening as a way to a greener and more sustainable city. The participants became empowered to do their own projects and they grew into a community which actively shares new ideas and stories.

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