The Biolens project is a Strategic Innovation Partnership that the Medeina Foundation has undertaken with the Oriel Association (Verona, Italy) and PASOS (Plataforma de alternativas sostenibles y solidarias) from Spain. The project started in August 2020 and will last for 2 years.
The initiative is co-financed by the Erasmus+ programme.
The collaboration will develop and produce a creative guide to enable youth workers to both deepen and acquire the skills necessary to work with the needs of young people in climate change action and to implement teamwork strategies for groups of young people at risk of exclusion.
The project is a non-governmental response to emerging climate change and the challenges it causes. The project will address climate change holistically - also as a pressing social problem requiring multidimensional framing and extended expertise. This is because the effects of climate change are felt most by those who are privileged and at risk of exclusion. Young people should also be the main actors in political negotiations and decision-making, as the age group that will suffer the consequences of today's decisions in the future. The project will therefore combine inclusive (at a social level) and environmental aspects, seeking to strengthen the voice of those groups who, for various reasons, remain excluded from decision-making processes.
Exchange and generate knowledge on climate change adaptation for youth workers in non-formal and informal education.
The European Commission has called for transnational action on climate change and youth). Similar commitments flow from climate summit findings, including the signed Paris Agreement and the so-called Katowice Rulebook, confirming a common direction.
Establish materials on climate change adaptation for youth workers in non-formal and informal education.
Providing quality and reliable education is an obligation of the member states of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Despite this, this obligation rarely features in the debate and political action, which is mainly focused on the industrial, technology and agricultural sectors. An additional constraint is also the framework of formal education - often limiting the field of imagination of young people and alienating the subject under discussion from everyday life.
Strengthening young people's individual responsibility to promote responsible behaviour in relation to the effects of climate change.
Young people are the driving force behind the Climate Strike movement and the climate protection debate. The project aims to strengthen this youth voice and translate it into political practice and participation in public and civic life.
Supporting increased awareness and action on climate change through the development and dissemination of awareness-raising materials and events.
An effective information and awareness-raising campaign has the potential to positively influence the level of individual practices and the ability to formulate appropriate demands to those in decision-making positions.
Improving competences of other NGOs and enhancing cooperation between them.
The project will be implemented as part of a green project strategy. The conditions in which we live require every project to be framed within an ecological framework, so NGOs - regardless of the main scope of their activities - should take this perspective into account.
- 3 project meetings of partner organisations
- 3 staff trainings (in Poland, Italy and Spain)
- development and creation of an interactive manual: "From eco-fear to eco-action: how to transform youth fear or doubt into eco-activism and social inclusion"
- conducting workshops, including the testing of the handbook, internal workshops, and upgrading the skills of youth workers
- dissemination events (conferences) in the three partner countries;
- creation of a functioning local awareness-raising system "MobilizAkcja": a series of workshops presenting the book and project experiences;
- an internet dissemination campaign.
The activities will translate into direct and indirect results that will have both short-term and long-term impact, including: improved competences of youth workers and those working in the non-governmental sector; strengthened cooperation between organisations and the local community; European networking among those reached by the project. Young people who become involved in the project will gain knowledge and opportunities for action to push their demands. Special attention will be paid to the inclusive aspect of the project: we will ensure that participants, at risk of social exclusion, can participate fully and continue their involvement after the project ends.
We invite everyone who is interested in setting up a bio-lens, that is, who is interested in reformulating their initiatives and their everyday life so that they correspond to the objectives of sustainability and ecology, to participate in the project. We invite you to participate in workshops, institutional collaboration and discover other possibilities for engagement that flow from the project.
Feel free to contact the project coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training in Ramales de la Victoria
2 - 10 May 2021
From 2 to 10 May 2021, the project held a training for 30 participants from Poland, Italy and Spain. The training contributed to providing youth workers and young people participating in the project with innovative tools to promote responsible entrepreneurship to address climate change and sustainability issues.
What I received during the training exceeded my wildest expectations. There was one inconspicuous word in the description of the training, which turned out to be the key word to what happened on the spot. It was to be a training course based on "informal education". It turns out that effective training doesn't have to look like a lecture or a normal classroom activity. Our trainer, Leslie, is an amazing person who is able to feel the group flawlessly and respond to the needs of each person taking part in the training - wrote Paulina, one of the participants of the training on behalf of the Medeina Foundation. The participants shared their impressions with us by posting their articles on the Padlet board. If you are interested in reading the whole thing, please click here HERE.
Here are a few of my learning outcomes during the Erasmus+ project: “BIOLENS”, 5th – 7th July 2021, held in Italy (Verona). I will share with you my favorite day from this trip, from which I think that I got the most meaningful lessons. Yes, they are pages from my diary 😀
6th of July 2021
Climate change – on more fields
Here we arrived, at a luxurious house with 3 spacious and luminous floors, with one pretty big pool in the sunny and full of flowers garden, everything far away from the city noise, but close to the military airport.
This amazing private retirement was built by the mafia, hiding all the drugs on the basement, on the walls. Finally the boss of that branch was caught, and the house was put for sale.
Soon, in one day, one family came, and started living there, blessing the place with beautiful and tender memories. At some point, they decided to move.
In the end, another happy group came and decided to do something together. You know the saying “the third time is with luck”? Well, those people found out the most wonderful and sustainable idea: to create a bike hostel! [Cabanel]
You see it now, how the human influences the atmosphere, the purpose of one region? By the dream! (to make more money for one self’s pleasures à to live together with somebody a happy life à to do something good for the community). Se si sogna da soli, è solo un sogno. Se si sogna insieme, è la realtà che comincia. [when you dream alone, it’s just a dream; when two people dream the same dream, it becomes a reality]”
The story continues in the house’s garden.
The pool is dirty, because of the frogs that out of nowhere, magically appeared there. The current owners tried to move them far away to a river, but they reappeared.
Anyway this was not a great idea. That species of frogs needs still, warm and sweet water.
Within the participants, in our group were some mountain guides; when they learned about this, they suggested to the current owners to do a little pond in the backyard, to move the frogs. The frogs would have stay there, also protecting the garden from nasty insects, because this is what they are eating. More, birds will appear to the garden, they will sing, creating atmosphere, because, well, some of them eat insects as well, or eat directly the frogs.
Wise advice for living
We also visited a yoga retreat [Anandamargaitalia], and what a surprise! They had in the backyard a pond for the frogs, exactly as the mountain guides said to be done at Cabanel. The conclusion is that when you are on the right path, the right teacher will appear).
Then we spoke a lot of interesting and spiritual stuff with the highest monk. Well, something that shocked me is that she said that she is vegetarian because she loves all the animals. If you love them, you don’t eat them. We are not here only to eat and sleep. Saying this, she already had some garden bugs crawling on her orange skirt, some ants mingeling on her arms… And later, me, the meat lover, learned that we are going to take a vegan lunch. OMG, I was so scared… but it was tasty! Well, I assume that the global warming was not such a problem, then this trend of being vegan would have appeared later.
The meaning of Life
I was relaxing myself in the garden, sitting on my back on the grass.
I heard a cicada doing noises. I remember how people marvel at any natural sounds, try to imitate them, compose songs with similar sounds… When the poor animals are just horny and shouting for a mate.
So the meaning of life is to continue life. If pleasure is possible, then add it (you know, reproducing not for many species is so pleasant as for us, humans).