This year we are implementing a European Voluntary Service project, named “Sustainable Synergies” and we are hosting 5 young volunteers. This Erasmus+ mobility project emphasizes raising awareness on environmental and social challenges within the local community and promoting active engagement in sustainable and regenerative practices with positive environmental impact. It focuses on the development and dissemination of techniques and practices that promote creative interactions between people of the local community on a collaborative and solidarity basis and also enhance synergies and positive feedback loops on a community level regarding issues of sustainable food production, renewable energy systems, cultural and environmental regeneration and creative environmental activism. Using tools like Permaculture design, non formal education, skill sharing, non violent communication and participative leadership we aim at creating the conditions for an open synergistic process that will consist of diverse creative activities and will promote active experiential learning as well as positive inter-cultural interaction. This process aims at promoting solidarity, mutual understanding and tolerance among young people, while contributing to strengthening social cohesion locally.
In order to achieve the above mentioned goals, the activities in which the project participants are involved consist of the following:
– Participation in the planning, organisation and facilitation of raising awareness events regarding current social and environmental issues as well as cultural and environmental regeneration strategies for the local community on a weekly basis.
– Participation in the planning organization and facilitation of skill sharing workshops on Social Permaculture and non violent communication, Permaculture food production systems design and renewable energy production for the local community on a weekly basis.
– Study, research and documentation on the adaptation of different Permaculture cultivation techniques and methods on the Mediterranean climate and dissemination of the learning outcomes to the local community through open informative events and workshops
– Study, research and documentation on seed preservation and development of a collective seed bank with local varieties of vegetable and herb seeds that will be supplied and retrofitted by the local community
– Participation in garden design, construction and maintenance activities along with members of the local community and our members on the farm on a weekly basis, that facilitate sharing and exchanging of different methods and practices between community members while featuring rich agricultural traditions of minority groups within the local community.
– Participation in planning, organization and facilitation of cooking and food processing activities using vegetables produced on our farm that facilitate sharing and exchanging of different methods and practices between community members while featuring rich food cultures of minority groups within the local community.
– Participation in internal activities :weekly plenum, team development activities ( sessions to review goals, aims – develop new concepts and initiatives), team and networking meetings, developing and maintaining digital communication channels (newsletter, blog, facebook page and others)
These activities are designed in such a way that they make up a learning service that offers community benefit while providing a variety of informal and non-formal methods to generate learning. The activities encourage active participation, creativity and initiative and include space for participants to reflect on their own learning. They can be largely shaped by the project participants and adapted to their interests and abilities, while making good use of the knowledge and experience they bring in.
The project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.