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Youth contribution to environmental development – MMEDF, Sri Lanka

Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka


Date: Nov 19, Dec 18, 2022


Local Action Discerption:


The one-day workshop was organized to develop camaraderie among each other and work as a team. The workshop was organized in order to get rid of the framed life and see the world in a different way and understand the problems. The participants enthusiastically participated in the activities organized for that purpose and they understood the value of working as a team with fun and happiness. 18 people participated in this workshop per day. Two workshops were held for the 36 people. At the end of the 2 workshops, 4 groups were formed and they identified 4 project proposals to be implemented in the future. A WhatsApp group with a leader is created for each group and they are constantly communicating through it. They are engaged in the development work and certain activities of the project using Zoom technology


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Workshops – PVN, Albania

Location: Berat, Shkoder and Lezha, Albania


Date: Oct 10 – Dec 1, 2022


Local Action Discerption:


3 workshops took place in the predefined cities Berat, Shkoder and Lezha, each workshop convened at least 10 participant up to 25 of age 16 to 27 years old. Each workshop lasted about 3 hours and was composed of ice breakers, small presentation on climate change through quiz and working groups. Apart from that participants fulfilled  few individual tasks given by us. 


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Workcamp – Concordia Midi-Pyrenees, France

Location: Pyrenees, France


Date: Jul 25 – Aug 10, 2022


Local Action Discerption:

Feed Your Land is a traveling workcamp, where a group of 15 international volunteers lived in different public places, all living according to environmental standards, some were in eco-villages created by environmental activists in rural and urban areas. The project was created by a group of volunteers, for volunteers. The group were living and working together to discover and learn from the people who have managed to create living utopias. Their communities were examples of social ecology and group action to change our world. Topics such as self-sufficiency, extractivism, activism, stakeholder democracy, and citizen science were discussed.


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Workshop on E- waste management for the young environmentalists – CLAP and Mihithala Mithuro, Sri Lanka

Local Action Type: Workshop on E- waste management for the young environmentalists

Date: Dec 12, 2022

Local Action Discerption:

Electronic waste management is highly important for the health of soil and the importance of proper discarding of e-waste seems not perceived well within the local community due to either lack of knowledge or ignorance. We identified the difficulties in access to standard recycling centers as one of the discouraging factors to establish the good practices of e-waste management in grassroot level. As the year 2023 was approaching ‘Mihithala Mithuro’ were planning to organise a meeting with young environmentalists to discuss an action plan. As per suggestions from ‘CLAP’ who took part in CCIVS earth Advocacy mentorship program, action for soil conservation was included. Therefore, the silent threat of e-waste was chosen as the theme for the local action on World Soil Day. The online workshop series for each age group of young participants was planned with introduction to e-waste and common mispractices in e- waste management. The schoolers were encouraged to initiate the practice to collect e-waste in schools/ home and the information of recycling centers in Sri Lanka were disseminated during the webinar.

However, with the school time tables and the powercuts it was difficult to schedule the meetings in the month of December, thus we planned to continue the rest of the webinars during school vacation in first term of 2023. The students were engaging well with the Q&A and their feedback was really encouraging for the organisers. We expect to bring awareness on the mportance of 3R concept and inspire young generation to initiate the practice of proper waste management, especially electronic waste.




Climate Change messages workshop – One World Association, Poland

Local Action Type: Workcamp

Date: 19,21,22 Dec 2022, 9 Jan 2023

Local Action Discerption:

Young people raise their voices to save the Planet!

The One World Association in Poland puts efforts into raising awareness about climate change and provides workshops and activities to involve communities in the topic and action. As part of our activities, we came up with the idea to organize school workshops in English about climate change and the state of soil.  The high school students of a local school in Pniewy, Wielkopolska region took part in non-formal education workshops about the environment and eco-volunteering. They had a chance to reflect on climate change  and share their concerns with their peers. The second stage of the activity involved a creative workshop where students prepared posters and drawings  with messages and call for action to protect the planet. Their artworks focused on saving oceans, forests, and the planet. There was an official school exhibition with an opening and a tasty cake with a group photo. 

Young people have their part in saving the earth. They  take initiative and are willing to take actions. One of the drawings shows the earth held in a heart-shaped hand with a message: There is no Planet B. 


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Sustainable living: the Othona challenge – Volunteer Action for Peace (VAP) ,United Kingdom

Local Action Type: Workcamp

Date: Aug 12-14,  2022

Local Action Discerption:

In the heat of mid-August 2022, a diverse group of young people from Asia, America and Europe, including Britain, met together near Bradwell on Sea, on the Essex coast, at the site of an ancient Roman fortress, Othona, and a later Saxon chapel, St Peter on the Wall. We introduced ourselves and the various national volunteering organisations through which we had come to the work camp, all being members of the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) set up under the aegis of UNESCO in 1948 and with an office in the Paris UNESCO building. The United Nations (UN) was founded in 1945 in the aftermath of the horrors of World War II with the intention of engendering peace and cooperation between nations. Formed in 1946 with its roots in Christianity, the Othona Community dedicated themselves to peace and reconciliation both nationally and in a shattered world. 

Participants heard how in 2015 the UN had moved on from the Millennium Development Goals to unanimously agree on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) each of which was presented to the group. It was then learned how two separate European organisations, the European Union and the Council of Europe, both of which had a history of support for CCIVS, had come together to set up a European Youth Foundation that promulgated the SDGs, giving guidance to young people on their implementation. Their document gives advice on the implementation of the goals, as does the shorter summary prepared by CCIVS. CCIVS had sent out a call for members within Council of Europe countries to initiate local actions of advocacy in support of the SDGs. 

Answering that call, Volunteer Action for Peace – UK (VAP), saw that with many years of striving towards economy, sustainable systems and protection of the natural environment, the Othona Community, acting as hosts to VAP’s annual workcamp, provided an ideal setting for such an action. So it was that they came together at the Community’s centre at Bradwell on Sea, to learn about the issues involved, to see how and whether they were being put into practice by Othona, and to start to think how they apply to their own lives and local circumstances.     

As a pioneering wartime RAF chaplain, Norman Motley had instituted ‘Answer Back’ discussions at which young aviators with a brief life expectancy were encouraged to challenge the accepted tenets of established religion, exploring issues of suffering and division. That same spirit of challenge, but in the service of peace and reconciliation, infused the communal living of the Othona Community which he founded, bringing together families and individuals from Germany, France, Poland, Russia and the Netherlands, as well as from the United Kingdom. It was thus appropriate to formulate our study as a challenge. 

With the experience of a week living in the community, the participants identified from the topics reviewed, twelve issues with which to challenge Othona, in considering how the Community’s approaches to sustainable living measured up to the goals. The headings were: (i) Energy, (ii) Food, (iii) Water, (iv) Laundry, (v) Cleaning, Maintenance and Materials, (vi) Repair, Reuse, Recycle, (vii) Transport, (viii) Education, (ix) Equality, (x) Climate Change, (xi) Soil 4 Life, (xii) Nature. Under each category there were a series of questions challenging Othona’s performance. Four groups of three participants were each allocated three of the issues. Before setting out to discover the answers, participants heard how CCIVS member work camps had a long history of activities in support of sustainability and conservation. Mariona Bonet, whose home is in Barcelona, acting as facilitator for the event and coordinator for the work camp, spoke of work camps in Italy and Serbia where they had tackled the spread of ailanthus altissima, an invasive tree species inimical to the ecology of Europe and the Americas. Another example was of turtle conservation work camps in Mexico and India. In recent years CCIVS had led campaigns for sustainable cultivation in a healthy soil, promoting permaculture and establishing Soil 4 Life activities.

Long-time member of Othona, Jonney Aldridge, having represented VAP at soil conservation events, discussed with the group the new species of birds and plants seen at Othona as a result of the past twenty years of climate change. It was agreed that while welcoming some, others were regarded as invasive and damaging to ecosystems developed over thousands of years. Outside the lecture room he led the group to a bug hotel on a hut wall. It was a home for wasps which have a role in recycling rotten wood and other waste matter. However they are not welcome inside the buildings and so the ‘hotel’ was situated on an outside wall. Further on, he showed them an area set aside by Othona for rewilding. Gesturing to the blackthorn bushes he remarked on the way that they threw out suckers which then grow into new plants. These provided shelter and habitat for wild animals, birds and insect life. He admitted that there could be a difference of opinion between those who believed that rewilding consisted of allowing nature to take its course while others thought that rewilding needed to be actively controlled. Currently, Othona was following the first option, not out of conviction but because they simply did not have the resources to manage the process.  

Having had the rest of the day to research the various issues, interviewing Othona members and discovering answers for themselves, the group reconvened. One by one issues were presented and answers discussed. Othona came out with flying colours. An appreciation was evident that Othona exhibited a real commitment on all fronts and with such resources as were available. It had to function as a business at the same time as an example of sustainable community life. The discussion on Equality pondered to what extent it was acceptable for Othona to mirror the conduct of the wider society of which it was a part, or could exercise leadership by exploring different paths. A practical suggestion was made that as the community was in an isolated setting but with flat terrain, a number of bicycles might be kept and maintained for the use of members and guests. Jonney said that it had been tried in the past but they had ended up in autumn with broken muddy machines that couldn’t be ridden the following year. A further suggestion was to have a ‘bike mechanics’ week each autumn when bikes would be repaired and serviced by guests under qualified supervision.

Finally the group was joined by Richard Sanders, warden. The findings on each issue were briefly presented to him with congratulations for Othona’s achievement. Richard mentioned the guidance received from A Rocha and outlined the Community’s ambitions for further measures and developments. He mentioned that more power would be generated with the installation of a larger wind turbine but this was delayed by the necessity to obtain governmental planning permission. He promised to give thought to the idea of providing bicycles for residents and guests. Identifying ways in which their own lives and practices could align more closely with what they had discovered of Othona’s approach, members of the group expressed appreciation for the community’s commitment to sustainable living in a sustainable environment.

With thanks to The Othona Community, A Rocha.


Workcamp – SCI Catalunya

Local Action Type: Workcamp

Date: July 4 – July 14, 2022

Local Action Discerption:

Living in harmony with nature: this is what it meant to participate in the eco-camp in Envall.

The project “Youth Green Deal” is created by organizations that are part of the MIDI working group of SCI. Four eco-camps have been organized within this project and one of these is the Eco-camp

in Catalonia together with Envall cooperative. All the activities of the camp were in line with the principles and values of the cooperative to go back to nature to live in respect and harmony with the natural environment and to be as much as possible self-sustainable, and the hostel only offered vegetarian food. All vegetables and other ingredients are always locally produced, making this project quite unique. This environment certainly helped the volunteers who participated in the camp to have an immersive experience in the world of sustainability together with the local community of Envall. 

The volunteers carried out the tasks with passion and always respecting nature and the animals around them. They had contact with natural materials, they had the opportunity to give shape to objects, they had the chance to create things out of nothing, be able to provide for their primary needs through the search for food, and always respecting the principles of permaculture. Obviously, the moments of work and study were complemented by moments of fun in which the participants shared games, dances, and characteristic aspects of their own cultures. This was just a step in the long journey toward the affirmation of a more ecological and sustainable way of volunteering. We can make it if we are together!

Website: https://www.scicat.org/


Workshop on Addressing Climate Change – SAVWA ,South Africa

Local Action Type: Workshop 

Date: Nov 26 , 2022

Local Action Discerption:

The workshop had local participants mostly unemployed youth from the community who are active citizens but feel isolated. We have various actions as a community organization that we are obliged to conducted for social enhancement of the youth. The youth need to be encouraged to address various needs such as community gardening projects that they can start in their own backyards. Yes issue of employment is affecting almost all around the world but the young people need encouragement and ideas to motivate them to become active participants in the community they stay.

The workshop was set up as growing needs to address things that we are seeing around our community. There are opportunities that we would like the young people to be involved in and the community garden initiative is something we want them to consider. We are showing them ideas to think for themselves collectively and giving them a platform to meet up and brainstorm their ideas.


International Workcamp – SAVWA ,South Africa

Local Action Type: Workcamp

Date: Dec 2 – 15, 2022

Local Action Discerption:

The first few day’s participants hand an opportunity to share how gender plays in our communities. Issues around equality remains an issue as most of the African participants will not agree to some of the ideas that still remain to be achieved to clearly address equality. 

We carried our permaculture workcamp with creation on hot compost and making necessary work which was shared amongst the participants. It was all hands on with creating learning new techniques using no dig method and using card boxes to lay the grass and compost we had created the previous week.

After we two weeks together participants had an opportunity to share ideas and learn from each other actions that they will be able to take home and implement in their communities. It was an opportunity to really work hard on hands on training rather that sharing online ideas and not been able to carry forward these actions fully.
We are working on creating a toolkit on permaculture course we have had several trainings and its high time the content is placed online for example on Moodle course and in a way this development will be carried forward with updates for examples.
This workcamp gave an opportunity to address issues of climate change in our community of Soshanguve and share ideas with local participants as well the international community to know that every action we as communities partake is important for future generations.

Workshop series about self-awareness, peace and environment – Willing, Hungary

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Date: Nov 10 – Dec 20, 2022

Local Action Discerption:

The Willing – Next Level Volunteering in Sports Association’s Peace Box working group organized an event series, which took place in Budapest in 2022 from the 10th of November until the 20th of December, we met seven times with the participants. The workshop series (2,5 hours each time) aimed to reach internal peace, and self-awareness, as well as to discover the meaning of peace in the world and also in nature. One of the topics was sustainable development, which is based on three fundamental pillars: social, economic, and environmental.

The events functioned as a platform to meet participants from different backgrounds, nationalities, gender, etc, therefore social inclusion is also an important point. During all successful working procedures, we used tools of art, such as visual art, theatre, and moving images.  

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