Re-connecting to the Environment
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: Nov 30, 2015
“Re-connecting to the Environment” was a training course that brought together 24 youth leaders and youth workers from 6 Programme and 6 Partners Countries that have been involved in youth work for some time and were looking for a new and effective way to work with youngsters in order to activate them and create stronger ties with local environment. The main aim of the project was to improve the quality of youth work by exploring non-formal learning through and in the nature as an effective way to work with youth, develop their competences and strengthen the connection to the local community.
This training course was also based on Experiential Learning approach to personal and professional development, with elements of experiencing environmental outdoor activities and the added value given by observing and understanding the nature, challenging participants in the exploration of the natural environment as well as their inner personal and professional dimension. This in fact, as we know from experience, is very a strong tool to “open” the participants and make sure that the impact is deep and long-lasting.
The objectives of the training course were:
- Exploring and building common understanding on potential of non-formal “learning in the nature” and “learning from the nature” as an effective way for youth work – as a tool for promoting personal development of youngsters, as well as contributing to connection with nature (including raising awareness on the respect of the environment and biodiversity that surround us) and becoming more aware citizens of the local community.
- Providing a space for participating in outdoor and environment-connected activities and thus allowing the youth workers to discover the power of such learning and thus motivate them to use this approach for their daily youth-work.
- Equipping participants with knowledge on how to design and implement good quality NFL activities related to environment for youth and giving them the chance to develop skills on implementing such activities (by designing and facilitating such activities for other participants and local youngsters during the training).
- To develop concrete ideas on how the experience from this training course could be applied in the local youth work realities – planning of the follow-up steps and activities.
All this was implemented in unique environmental settings in Italy - in the village of Tramonti which is part of the Amalfi Coast, soon to be Biosphere Reserve (MAB UNESCO). The project initiator – Acarbio has an aim to promote non-formal activities in the field of environmental awareness among youth, and transfer this experience also to other communities and Biosphere Reserves.
Participants achieved the project objectives through a series of well tailored activities consisting in:
- Get to know each other;
- Team building;
- Group discussions;
- NFL process on the topic of outdoor;
- Risks and safety measures in outdoor activities;
- 24 hours Adventure/Challenge in the nature;
- Developing and implementation of NFL activities connected to the nature;
- Planning of future follow up activities.
Thanks to this project, participants extended their knowledge about the opportunities offered by performing NFL activities in the nature, with the nature, they became more self-aware of their capability to implement such activities and gained new practical experience to live in the nature and prepare outdoor activities for young people.
Re-connecting to the environment had therefore a visible impact on participants and their partner organizations, that will reflect on the young people they work with. The impact can be measured by the deepened self-awareness achieved by the participants, the grown competences acquired by them and that is now at the service of their organizations for improving the quality of their activities.
For more info and pictures, visit our website at http://www.riservabiosferacostiera.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=347
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