Sustainable Lifestyle and Non-formal Education

Erasmus+ Youth Exchange

(20.08. – 24.08. Hanover, 24.08. – 01.09. Ecovillage Sieben Linden, 01.09. – 02.09. Hannover)

24 participants and their four group leaders from Serbia, Belarus, Turkey, and Germany are taking part from 20.08. – 02.09.2019 in an exchange program in Hanover and in the Ecovillage Sieben Linden (Germany).

The four participating organizations and their participants are involved and have already experienced in the field of Education for Sustainable Development and the promotion of Active Citizenship. The participants, who are between the age of 18 and 26 (exceptions are up to 30 years old), are already engaged as facilitators or mediators to raise the awareness of young people for topics around “Ecological Lifestyle” and “Responsible Consumption”. Moreover, they are interested in environmental protection and the development of an eco-friendly and sustainable society as a central vision for the future.
In Hanover and the Ecovillage of Sieben Linden, participants will get introduced to different ecological projects and deal with the frame conditions that make sustainable lifestyles possible. The participants will share their own experiences and ideas in this field and in each other’s countries and societies.

Encouraged and inspired by sustainable life schemes of Ecovillage Sieben Linden and based on the collected impressions and gained information during the exchange, the participants will develop a detailed simulation game concept (that was developed before by the participants and participating organizations) on the topic Sustainable Lifestyle.
Subsequently, all participants will conduct the simulation game after the exchange four times in their home countries in teams of two. Accordingly, approximately 960 young people will participate in the simulation during the project period. Afterward, the gained experiences will be incorporated in the final simulation game concept, which will be published in English, Russian, Serbian, Turkish and German.

The exchange-program includes workshops, presentations, discussions, project visits, expert interviews, excursions, the collection of material (interviews, etc.) for a radio program, games, exercises, the development and implementation of the simulation game, the exchange with each other, the evaluation of the project, and country-specific culture nights.

Lastly, it is important to state that this project promotes the idea of Non-Formal Education (techniques/methods). This project will mainly take place in an ecovillage, hence, the educational setting will be in a natural area and outside of cities and official buildings. Thee nature-oriented education has a crucial and unique influence on the credibility and success of this project. It is crucial to acknowledge the importance of education, learning and training which takes place outside recognized educational institutions. Non-Formal Education is termed as education that is imparted in a free atmosphere, without the rigidity of rules and regulations associated with school or college education. Moreover, Non-Formal Education can or already has become a medium for social change as it provides “basic knowledge and skills, practice and attitudes necessary for each group to become conscious of their needs and problems and to learn to achieve their individual and social goals”.

Thus the process of education provided to the child or adults or any group, which is structured but outside the formal education is normally called Non-Formal Education and is promoted as a techniques during this project, which fosters sustainable lifestyles and autonomous/independent and ecological community-building. That leads also to the concept of volunteerism in regard to a method of independent engagement and involvement of one’s time or talents for charitable, educational, or other worthwhile activities, especially in one’s community. Voluntary participation is self-motivated and easily adaptable to local needs, which reflects this project’s intentions: Get involved, make a difference and spread the word about our urgency to change something!

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