Sustain your way

“Sustain your way” youth exchange was a 7 day (+2 travel days) outdoor activity that took place in Georgia from 23rd to 31st of July 2017. The project was aimed for 35 people with different social, cultural and economical background (6 participants + 1 leader) from Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland and Moldova aged 18 to 30.

The project gathered young people interested in environmental issues to raise their awareness about environmental challenges on a global and local scale, equip them with specific knowledge, skills and attitudes that would enable them to become active in this field and multiply the outcomes of the project in their communities.

Objectives:
– to develop the participants’ understanding of environmental sustainability and it’s importance;
– to reflect on the environmental situation in different parts of Europe (trash issues, climate change problems, air, watter, noise pollution etc.);
– to introduce the principles of Zero waste lifestyle;
– to create a basic “knowledge kit of the Eco-friendly person” sharing good practices for supporting each-others awareness of “Green techniques”;
– to introduce some possible solutions of trash problems, such as creative recycling, composting and etc.
– to involve youngsters in designing concrete steps, action-plan in order to make a positive impact on the environmental state in their local communities;
– to promote outdoor education as an efficient and inclusive tool while working on environmental issues;
– to promote healthy lifestyle through involving the participants in outdoor educational activities;
– to develop new tools and ideas for following up and developing existing/future projects;
– to improve participants’ self esteem, develop their ability to cooperate, lead the constructie communication with their peers, desision making and responsibility taking.
– to improve their knowledge and understanding of different cultures, traditions and widen their horisons in terms of international cooperation.

As the main methods of education we’ve chosen the non-formal, outdoor and experiential learning methods. During the YE the flash mob took place to raise peoples’ awareness of the environmental issues and promote cleanliness on the streets.

The project also helped to introduce young people to the Georgian local culture as we had several locations during the activity: Kobuleti-Mtirala Nationa Park-Anaklia-Tbilisi. Young people mentioned that we had 3 projects in one, as the activities during the YE were very varied: youngsters took a hike in the Mtirala National Park, embrasing the positive influence of reconneting with nature, took part in the one of the big local cultural events, where they organised a flash mob to promote cleanliness on the streets and raise the awarness of the enviromnental issues among the public, and finally, to see the Georgian capital – Tbilisi.

During the activity participants formed good connections with their peers and continue their communication. Also, some of the youngsters showed interest in organsing their own projects under the E+ initiative as well as smaller projects on a local scale. Most importantly, the youth exchange pushed the participants to be more thoughtful and responsible in their own decisions and actions related to the environment, implement the experience in their everyday lives and by that to set a good example in their social circles and communities.

One of the main outcomes of the project was a “knowlegde kit of the eco-friendly youth” booklet that servs as a sourse of knowledge and inspiration on how to lead eco-frienly life style. In the booklet you can find the topics, as:
Description of the project and participating organisations.
Reasons for leading eco-friendly lifestyle
Environmental challenges we face today (air pollution, acid rain, deforestation, overconsumption end others)
Zero waste principles, examples of how to swith to the zero waste lifestyle
Explanationa of different lables used on the packaging
Stories and thoughts of participants
Photo gallery

We hope that you’ll find it inspiring and will enjoy reading it!:)