August 2021

Maribor

Epeka Slovenia is very excited to announce that our sister organisation in Germany, Epeka Berlin, has received an Erasmus+ grant to implement the Inclusive Transeuropean Environmentalism project.

Project Partners:

Epeka Berlin (DE), ZNANSTVENO- RAZISKOVALNO ZDRUZENJE ZA UMETNOST, KULTURNE IN IZOBRAZEVALNE PROGRAME IN TEHNOLOGIJO EPEKA, SOCIALNO PODJETJE (SI), ASOCIACION VIAJE A LA SOSTENIBILIDAD (ES), IASIS (GR), Compass (HU), ASSOCIAZIONE DI PROMOZIONE SOCIALE JOINT (IT), SCIENTIFIC AND RESEARCH ASSOCIATION FOR ART, CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES AND TEHNOLOGY EPEKA (RS), ASSOCIATION FOR VOLUNTEERISM VOLONTERSKI CENTAR SKOPJE (MK), Filodasikos Syndesmos Agrou (CY)

About the Project:

Inclusive Transeuropean Environmentalism (ITE) was prepared on the basis of the needs of the partner’s target groups and the needs they detected primarily in their local and also national environments. The partner consortium decided to develop and implement this project because it addresses the needs and expressed concerns of the youth workers and youth the partner organisations work with and, furthermore, concerns of youth expressed in large-scale statistical reports. ITE is also closely linked to the EU Youth Strategy, especially goals related to inclusive societies, quality learning and sustainable green Europe. On this basis ITE will follow to interwoven lines. Firstly, in our work we have often detected serious concerns about the environment among young people engaged in the activities we organise. While they are aware of the threats our impact on the environment brings, they often lack the concrete knowledge, which would empower them to organise and effect change in their societies. Youth in all partner countries expressed a need for a more structured approach to learning about climate change and especially about ways, in which young people can contribute to changes both on local and national levels. Secondly, addressing issues of climate change, offers a yet under-utilised opportunity to reach out to youth from marginalised social groups and to promote diversity and intercultural dialogue in the framework of addressing climate change. This is especially relevant as Europe faces waves of climate migrants in the future. Youth workers in partner organisations have expressed the need to gain new knowledge related to working with marginalised youth, who face discrimination on cultural, religious, ethnic and other grounds. These include both youth of Roma and refugee origins in all partner countries. Thus we wish to implement ITE to instruct youth workers coming from different EU countries in ways of addressing climate change, organising young people and passing organisational knowledge to them, and working with groups of young people with different socio-economic, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
The central aim of the project is to develop the skills and knowledge of YW and to increase the quality of youth activities they provide in their local environments. This central aim will be achieved through the following objectives:

-to educate youth workers about the climate crisis and ways of facing it through youth work
-to develop the skills of youth workers related to working with marginalised youth and groups of young people with different backgrounds
-to provide youth workers with key organisational skills needed to form grassroots groups -to enable youth workers to mediate in potential conflicts in heterogenous youth groups -to foster inclusion of marginalised youth through participation in climate oriented activities -to gather and compare good practices related to youth addressing the climate crisis – to increase the competences of youth workers and build their international networks
The project consists of a single Mobility of youth workers, which will include 19 participants from 9 countries. The participants in the activity will be youth workers with previous experience either in projects dealing with the environment or projects addressing inclusion of vulnerable groups and an interest in both topics. We are planning to include youth workers with existing experience as the topics discussed will be complex and will require existing knowledge. In the selection process it will also be stressed that each participant will have to prepare a presentation after the competition of the activity for the sending organisation and the organisation the youth worker works with. This is crucial for mainstreaming the results. The youth workers must also be ready to implement local activities after the end of the project, in which they will transfer the knowledge and competences addressed during the activity to local youth.
The most significant expected impact will be on direct participants in the activities and on the organisations they work with. The youth workers will gain knowledge and develop skills and competences related to: 1) climate change both in terms of the human role in recent climate changes, the science behind climate change, the meaning of the Anthropocene for our planet and in terms of what can be done to reduce the impact of humanity on the environment both as individuals and in proactive groups addressing policy/decision-makers and raising awareness. 2) organisational skills needed to foster the creation of informal environmental youth groups back home and helping them develop and organise actions. 3) youth work as a tool for inclusion of youth from marginalised groups, especially through organising actions related to the environment, which are based on tight and long-term cooperation of youth with fewer opportunities and mainstream youth. 4) key youth work competences – Facilitating individual and group learning in an enriching environment, Designing programmes, Organising, Displaying intercultural competence and Networking and advocating. Furthermore, they will expand their international and professional networks.
Firstly, the impact on the youth workers will directly translate to impact on the organisations they work with through the planned mainstreaming activities organised after the core activity. This will lead both to greater awareness of environmental and social issues, ways of connecting them and benefiting local youth through this. The partner organisations will also expand their networks. The largest expected impact will be felt by less experienced partners, who will significantly increase their capacities. Also, the choice of partners, who are both organisations focusing on environmental issues and those primarily focused on inclusion, will ensure that all of the organisations will gain youth workers with relevant new skills, competences and knowledge and thus raise the quality of their youth work. Secondly, the youth the youth workers work with will be impacted by the developed competences of participating youth workers. Because the project was based on the needs of this target group, they will gain the opportunity to work with youth workers, who can directly address these needs. The project will also impact the larger population, especially through awareness rising, which will be integrated into the activity through the cultural event and public intervention.

The project is financed by the Erasmus+ programme.