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24 September 2019

Training Course: [BG-304] Be Sustainable, don't WASTE your future! PART 2, 12.09.2019-20.09.2019, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

How can we develop a sustainable mindset? Why is the humanity at a climate change crossroads? What can we do at personal, organizational and community levels to make a positive change? Between 12 and 20 September 2019, 3 members of GEYC Community took part in “Be Sustainable, don't WASTE your future! PART 2” Erasmus+ Training Course, organized by the “Academy of Success” Association in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, and tried to answer this questions in a collaborative and cross-cultural creative way. 

Training Course - [BG-304] Be Sustainable, don't WASTE your future! PART 2, 12.09.2019-20.09.2019, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
During one week, 30 youngsters and youth workers from 10 countries had the opportunity to learn about sustainability, exchange best practices on the matter and also be part of “Let's Clean Bulgaria Together” Day, held in support of the largest civic initiative, World CleanUp Day. Moreover, they had workshops on how to go zero-waste and how to make recycle art. The large variety of non-formal education methods used created a resourceful environment and helped the participants to build personal awareness about the eco-friendly lifestyle, get a better understanding of the resources around us, raise their awareness of the challenges of the modern society such as pollution, deforestation, climate change, or food waste, and get inspired by good practices through examples of sustainable business, waste sorting, recycling, renewable energy, urban farming and organic food options. Nevertheless, lots of follow-up ideas arose during the sessions, so this partnership could as well continue as a network of NGOs that could work on future projects in the field.

As part of the Inspiration stage of the "European fellowship on sustainable development" (EFSD), two of the fellows had the chance to get inspired in shaping GEYC's social and environmental responsibility policy (Get involved stage) and get new ideas on how to share the knowledge acquired in the program (Sharing is caring stage). Also, one of the mentors of the program​ developed competences in the field and strengthened the partnership with the organizations involved for upcoming projects.​ Here are some of their thoughts on the training course. 

“Sustainable living tips and discovering new cultures - these have been the two highlights of this training program. I had the chance to take part in a project organized by professionals and participate along enthusiasts and sustainable driven people. A time used to exchange best practices on sustainability as well as understanding current status of our planet health and the impact that us, people, can have on earth's sustainable system and how we can work together to make a difference.” (Cătălin, participant & fellow within the “European Fellowship on Sustainable Development” Program)

“It brings me hope to see and be part of a training in which 30 youngsters dedicate their time to learn, research and talk about different ways to create a (more) sustainable lifestyle. I was happy that colleagues were curious, asked me and discussed about my own work. On the other hand, I feel hopeless about the outcome of the project and of a big proportion of green washing. It seems really hard to cope in this consumerist world and also be aware about the impact it has on our planet. It seems contradictory.” (Teodor, participant & fellow within the “European Fellowship on Sustainable Development” Program)

“This kind of mobilities for youth workers are always a reality check that gives us food for thought. We do not only get together and learn from each other, but also bring together different perspectives in order to create a bigger and clearer picture of the matter. And yes, we do not always like the result of this reality check, because we see that so little is done and that we could do so much more. Apart from the theoretical inputs I have gained during this week in Stara Zagora, I stick with my personal commitment towards a more sustainable lifestyle to set an example for the others. I do not think in terms of radical transformation and immediate results because I believe that those small steps that might seem insignificant if you focus on the whole overwhelming journey can actually lead to the biggest positive changes if you persevere.” (Diana, participant & mentor within the “European Fellowship on Sustainable Development” Program)
Training Course - [BG-304] Be Sustainable, don't WASTE your future! PART 2, 12.09.2019-20.09.2019, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria