Our Climate. Our Future. – A Community-Led Event by Viitor Plus

Being active in sustainable development for 17 years, Future Plus (Viitor Plus) highlights the vital role of education in the field. Addressing Romania’s limited strides in environmental education, the organisation invited peers to participate in the Community Led Event “Our climate. Our future.” The event fostered collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Through 12 new nonformal methods, the event helped empower participants and emphasized the importance of human-centered learning. Read a short summary of the event by Tiberiu Andrei, Educational Coordinator of Viitor Plus, below.

We have been working in the sustainable development field for quite some time, now, 17 years to be more specific and realised that even though we provide part of a solution through planting trees and providing infrastructure, education is one of the long-run goals of any NGO in this sector.

Participants of the Community-Led Event working together

Unfortunately, the Romanian Government has just started making small steps towards mandatory formal education in the field of environmental protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Last year, the Green Week, a week of extra curricular activites designed in the formal curricula of any pupil in school, was introduced; but the materials and knowhow lacked.

Future Plus (Viitor Plus) provided, for the teachers, 4 webinars but that was not enough. Only 6000 teacher (3% of the Romanian teachers) used our materials in their classes. So, when NGO Academy issued the Community Led Events call, we immediately knew that this is a great way to reach much more students by spreading the word and knowledge we use to our fellow NGOs. And it worked – through our event we reached almost 200 beneficiaries and multipliers, with the help of 17 different NGOs (and are stil counting).

This summer, between 25-27th of August, we invited 21 of our environmental and educational enthusiastic fellow community workers in Busteni, Prahova, to share the methods and exercises we developed in 17 years of working with nonformal education in developing sustainable communities. The event was named Our climate. Our future, and it was at a second edition, the first one working with 12 teachers, the previous year, had 2700 beneficiaries. It was a great way to learn by doing and, most of all, by reflecting on themes like climate change issues, circular economy and the importance of forests, as one of the solutions.

The trainers provided the participants with 12 new nonformal methods/exercises (kahoots, circular economy fairs, “deseurometru”, dixit, etc) to use in developing competence and offered the participants room to learn, share, do and reflect on learning (the most important step in nonformal education). Another important aspect in learning was to provide them with materials that can be used (and if necessary translated) to train future generation, these can be found here. And because learning is better together, networking played a central role in the training agenda; in short, 3 days, lots of exercises, serious topics, human centered learning.

Group Photo of participants of the event
Participants of "Our Climate. Our Future."

Relevant information transmitted in a serious fashion, but at the same time with accent on connecting people and closely working with the group.

Anonymous Participant

[The event] motivated me to keep on working on providing environmental education in my community.

Anonymous Participant

At the end there were many ideas of future endeavors by working together and pooling resources; education being, after all, one of the most important parts of sustainable development, and sharing knowledge and wisdom is one of the few things that can only make everybody wealthier.