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Youth exchange “EcoActive” is a six-month long Erasmus+ project mobility of young people, which has the main aim of encouraging young people to take actions in their communities, with special emphasis on the field of ecology. The project idea was developed by 5 partner organizations who included young people in the creation and implementation of project programme. We realized that young people aged 15-17 believe they are not old enough for active participation in local communities and that their opinions do not matter. This is why we decided to include them in „EcoActive“ project, during which we will work on steps needed for young people taking actions in their communities, with emphasis on environment and ecology as this is what young people identified as one of the most urgent issue we as a society need to address.

During project development we realized what the causes of the problem are and we constructed the project objectives that actively contribute to achieving the project aim. By active participation in all stages of the project during six months of our “EcoActive” youth exchange implementation, 25 youngsters and 5 group leaders will:

  1. increase the necessary knowledge needed to make an impact in their communities (e.g. knowing several methods for capturing public attention) and to act in an environment-friendly way (e.g. understanding what ecology and CO2 footprint mean);
  2. improve the skills of analyzing needs of their community (e.g. practicing writing and applying questionnaires) and implementing activities related to ecology (e.g. recycling materials and creating something creative and useful);
  3. develop more proactive attitudes towards active engagement in their community (e.g. initiating actions in their schools and engaging in volunteering) and taking responsibility for one’s own impact in the nature (e.g. control their water waste while brushing their teeth and sorting waste in their home);

This project is implemented by 5 partner organizations: Udruga za promicanje pozitivne afirmacije mladih u društvu „Impress“ Daruvar (Croatia), Associação Novo Mundo Azul (Portugal), Udruženje „DeaDia“ (Serbia), Non Formal Education Youth Centre “Sunny House” (Georgia) and Ticket2Europe (Spain). Each partner is represented by 5 participants (aged 14-18) and 1 group leader (over 18 years old), meaning overall this project includes 30 participants.

This project consists of two activities – APV and YE mobilities. APV (Advanced planning visit) was implemented in Bjelovar-Bilogora County (Jabučeta, Bjelovar and Daruvar) in period of 19th-22nd of October 2018 and it included 5 group leaders. During APV they met with representatives of Bjelovar youth council, discussed schedule, responsibilities and practical arrangements, visited accommodation in Daruvar and planned dissemination of project results.

The youth exchange activity will take place in Daruvar (Croatia) in period of 24th November – 2nd December 2018 (travel day included) and it will include all 30 participants. In the youth exchange activity participants will take part in non-formal and informal education workshops what will help them develop necessary knowledge, skills and attitude needed for taking actions in their community and becoming more environmentally friendly. Our young participants will take active part in their learning process through all stages of the project and they will become more confident and open-minded towards other cultures.

The envisioned results, impact and benefits of “EcoActive” include: creation of brochure; videos and recycling exhibition; presentations and workshops in each of five participating countries on the topic of active community involvement, ecology and Erasmus+ youth mobilities; more respect for young people’s potential for acquiring positive social changes; increased number of young people interested in non-formal education; more parental/guardians support for their children taking part in international projects; openness towards volunteering and Erasmus+ opportunities, etc.