YouthLabs are participatory activities (online / offline format) to involve YOUNG Europeans in the design process of our pan-European campaign strategy.

MIJARC Europe is responsible for organizing, within its network, 3 National Level YouthLabs and 5 International Level YouthLabs.

The first national youth lab of our #GoEAThical project was carried out in online format, in Romania together, with our member organization Asociația Asistență și Programe pentru Dezvoltare Durabilă – Agenda 21.

The activity took place in online format on the 5th of June 2020. It lasted around three hours.

42 young people, were selected among the network of global education schools of APSD-Agenda 21. They worked together with Mr. Daniel Alexandru – head of the Laboratory on Agrometeorology– from the Romania National Institute of Meteorology, and our colleague Florina Potîrniche as facilitator.

Using the SEE-JUDGE-ACT methodology, participants were able to go through different questions such as: What is climate change? // Is Earth’s Climate Changing? // What Is Causing Earth’s Climate to Change? // What Might Happen to Earth’s Climate? // How does it affect the production of food? // Conventional agriculture vs. Organic agriculture?

Later on, after summarizing the discussion and highlighting the interconnection of food production and climate change and the main impacts climate change has on different parts of the world, the participants analysed a case study, which was based on real facts –The impact of the El Niño drought in 2016 on one family in Lesotho

Through this case, participants were able to see how climate change affects the normal weather and climate patterns. The result was a severe drought that lasted since 2015 until 2016. This led to food supplies constantly decreasing, the price of food increasing and ultimately the poorest population not able to ensure they daily food. This led to poverty, hunger, the urgent need for humanitarian support and massive migration.

All the young participants could reflect on the negative impacts of climate change, and in different groups, they went into the ACT part. Divided in breakout rooms of 4-5 people they went through an exercise to design some elements for the #GoEAThical campaign. The youth participants participants discussed and created different proposals of messages for the campaign, topics for the campaign, as well as different activities to be carried out.

They produced really interesting ideas!

Here you can read some of the comments from the young participants gathered during the evaluation:

 I really liked that I interacted and came up with many different ideas. I learned new things about climate change and what we can do to make it better

I liked this lab because I learned a lot of new things. The most useful thing I found out is the connection between climate change and migration

Participating in this laboratory helped me to become more aware of why it is important for each of us to have a responsible attitude towards the environment and what are the consequences of reckless long-term actions on the climate and especially food production. Change begins with each of us!

Change for the better and  feel good about it”

Our common home is on fire.  The Amazon is burning and we cannot hold our breath until you finally take action. What is happening in the Amazon is affecting us all over the world. It is a global emergency.

Will you watch the fire or will you support us in doing something? In putting pressure on the institutions which are supposed to protect our home and ACT?

Will you help us prevent this from happening again?

This is about #EveryBreathWeTake.

Challenge 3 more people to take a deep breath to remind us about the precious natural resource which is on fire. We need to keep the fight for Climate Justice!

A campaign created by the participants of the international training course ”Let’s go online”, an activity co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

logosbeneficaireserasmusleft_enBetween 4th – 8th September 2018, our member movement APSD-Agenda 21 is hosting a youth exchange on peace and conflict. The project is called “Messages from the future” and it is part of our annual work plan on 2018 “We are the others”. The youth exchange is co-financed by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union. It is organized as an international simulation on four different topics which affect peace and conflict at global level: climate change, migration, gender inequality and extremism.


IMG_6799.JPGThe rain tried to be the star of the second day but we managed to keep the focus on climate change, the topic of our simulation. The secret location was revealed first thing in the morning when the participants gathered next to the bus that was going to take us to the Mud Volcanoes.

Unfortunately, we were able to visit the site for only 5 minutes until the rain started. It was a real thunder storm, but we continued to work divided on teams taking shelter and focusing on our learning objectives. The simulation on climate change was inspired by the game “Pacha Mama” and adapted to the context of climate change. The participants were divided in five teams, each representing a certain imaginary country, each of which had some advantages and some disadvantages. The citizens of Vital, Rassas, Activ, Cocoon and Scrib prepared their country’s identity (flag, map, how their life is) on a flip chart and introduced themselves to each other.

 

Then it was time for the Climate Change Olympic Games when they had to go through five games, in which they could use their advantages or see what it feels like to have less chances than the others. It was a very funny activity which challenged everybody to do their part and help their country become the victor of the games.

The next phase was very important, as it invited the participants to debrief the experience they had. This session revealed the injustice of climate change as the countries which contribute the less to the carbon dioxide emissions will be the ones most affected. It also helped the participants reflect on the different scenarios of climate change and the probabilities of each of those happening. They then connected these potential consequences to the state of global peace, realizing the strain the changes in climate would impose on countries which were already overburdened by issues such as poverty, political instability or lack of access to resources.

Finally, the participants gave a visual form to their reflections as they created photo-messages to send to young people living in the present in order to motivate them to take action so that the worst scenarios would never become reality.

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Between 4th – 8th September 2018, our member movement APSD-Agenda 21 is hosting a youth exchange on peace and conflict. The project is called “Messages from the future” and it is part of our annual work plan on 2018 “We are the others”. The youth exchange is co-financed by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union. It is organized as an international simulation on four different topics which affect peace and conflict at global level: climate change, migration, gender inequality and extremism.


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Our youth exchange has just started and we could not be more excited. Yesterday we have welcomed the delegations here in Buzau and they already started sharing and interacting. The atmosphere was great and they were all eager to get to know each other. Therefore, the first session in the morning got them all together in a big circle in the back yard of our venue where they learnt five ways to greet each other that alien civilizations use (don’t forget that for this youth exchange we traveled forward in time in 2068 where we met aliens of course).

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Then we played some self-regulation games to help the group pay attention and get used to the way the facilitators give instructions.

There were a lot of team building games and games to find out more about each other which really helped with building a nice group atmosphere and helped each participant interact with the other 49 people.

Once inside the facilitators introduced the project and what its aim was and helped the participant explore the ERASMUS+ Programme and the opportunities the European Union programmes offer for young people. We did this interactively of course: voting with our feet, watching videos or taking group quizzes.

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Next, it was time for everybody to reflect on what had brought them there and what they wanted to get from the experience, so hundreds of quotes about learning were laid out on the floor in order to inspire the participants about what learning meant to them. Each of them chose one or two and shared their reasons in small buzz groups, then set their own learning objectives. They also explored the learning process of the Youth Pass and the key competences for life long learning.

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Since they had spent too much time inside, we took them out for a clue-game around the city but not before exploring the exhibition of the town museum and reflecting about the history of peace and the European culture. The clue game was not easy and the participants had to run around the city, discovering interesting place such as an

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Back at venue, we got into small reflection groups and together reflected on our vision of the world 50 years from now and what to do in the present in order to have sustainable peace then.

Tomorrow will bring the first simulation of the exchange: the one climate change, which takes place in a secret location (can you imagine where we will take them?).

What

seminar-infographic.jpegAs the first face-to-face activity included in our annual work plan, the international seminar represented its main phase. It took place between 25th and 30th July, in Macedonia and it gathered 30 participants, 13 boys and 17 girls from 10 countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Macedonia, Turkey). The seminar made participants reflect on their personal, organisational and national realities about climate change, focusing on the effects that they can see in their countries, the measures that are taken in each country and what can be done at personal level. It placed the participants in a culturally diverse environment and asked them to reflect on how the topic is seen in their family and friends groups, in their organizations, by their authorities and by the citizens of their countries.

How

The seminar followed the traditional SEE-JUDGE-ACT methodology of MIJARC (see more about this methodology here). The first day started with some introductory sessions covering the logistical issues, the agenda, MIJARC presentation and getting to know each other. Next, the two working groups were described:

Group 1 – changes in the ecosystemled by Veronika Nordhus

Group2 – social injustice and climate changes – led by Magdalena Rapeshovska

The participants were asked to choose their group. Then the programme continued with a short presentation of the online training course, the previous activity of our work plan. This was done through a competition between six teams that had to go through six different work stations, each station focusing on one unit of the training course. The afternoon was dedicated to exchanging realities about climate change. Group 1 explored this through a role-play game “Who’s most at risk”, in which participants received role cards and had to answer questions which made them reflect on their level of vulnerability. Group 2 played a game “Cross the river” in which they had to reflect on the inter-connections of the elements of an eco-system in order for the entire team to cross the river. The second session of the afternoon was a plenary session which started with the projection of the movie “5 ways to kill a man“. Next, the participants split in two groups and had a guided discussion about the movie focusing on several questions such as: What are the most interesting pictures in the film and what do they mean? Can you personally relate to what is happening in the movie?

The second day was dedicated to the SEE part. Group 1 played an interesting simulation game with three teams, involving country cards, continents and the task to carry a balloon full of water on that continent following special rules. After the simulation, the group analysed the different country cards and the challenge to raise the life standard and the wish to consume more without raising the ecological footprint. Group 2 started with the “Web of life” game, which reflected how everything is connected and how destroying one element results in the destruction of the entire web. Next they continued split in three teams who had to research and present to the others the causes of climate change: 1. Internal factors 2.External factors 3. Human factors.

Tpjimagehe third day was dedicated to field visits and meeting with an expert on migration and refugees. The field visit took the participants to the Ancient Megalithic Observatory of Kokino and it was led by a geography teachers from a high school in Kumanovo. The idea of the visit was to reflect on the influence of man on his living environment, the adaptations that he had made as well as the effects of the geological and climate factors to this site. In the afternoon, the participants met Aleksandra Davidovska, an activist who started working as a volunteer when the migration crisis in Macedonia began and ended up working for an international organisation on the topic of migration and refugees. Her input was intense and provided a great correlation with the lectures in the online TC that focused on climate change-caused migration.

Results

The last day focused on the ACT part and the participants spent all day creating tools and putting their ideas into practice. They can up with many nice outputs which included:

  • Position Paper – which summarises the conclusions of the entire seminar and gives the guiding points of the approach that young people should have during the summer camp and their local campaigns
  • a video message – to encourage the participants at the summer camp to act for real changes
  • Clue Game – to have fun while discovering the main facts about climate change
  • a flash mob idea – to be done in every movement

How was it?

The post-seminar evaluation showed that most of the objectives were achieved: 90% of the participants said that they got the chance to exchange about the realities in their country concerning the sustainable practices to prevent climate change. More than 50% considered that they developed their creativity and critical thinking. 80% appreciated that they were able to create a common position of all the participants on the topics addressed by the seminar, identifying commitments and demands for the follow-up of the activity and more than 60% considered they developed practical tools and examples on how to help and raise awareness on the issue of climate change.

Who prepared everything?

wp_20160725_10_46_56_proThe Think Tank, of course! The Think Tank was the team who prepared the contents of the seminar and facilitated the sessions. There were all young volunteers who responded to a call of interest launched by MIJARC Europe in the network of its member movement. The Think Tank members were: Veronika Nordhus (Germany, member of the European Team), Jeroen Decorte (Belgium, member of the European Team), Magdalena Rapeshovska (Macedonia), David Vermeulen (Belgium), Bledi Cami (Turkey) and Daniela Ordowski (Germany). The Think Tank was supported by the Secretariat of MIJARC Europe, represented by Alexandra Solomon (Romanian, living in Belgium) and by Florina Potirniche (Romania).

Inspired by our successful training course on youth unemployment and answering the request of several member organisations to offer training courses and contribute to the training of their members, MIJARC Europe decided to organize its first online training course.

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Why this title?

We initially wanted to offer the course on Moodle an open source software. This is why the course was called “In the mood(le) for climate change”, playing with the name of the platform and the expression “to be in the mood” which means feeling like doing something or fancying something. However, when testing the course on this platform it turned out it was a bit difficult for users to interact and build content on it so we switched to a platform that was easier to use and required minimum computer knowledge. That’s why the name changed into “In the mood for climate change?” which is a good question we should all ask ourselves: are we really in the mood for experiencing the consequences of climate change?

How did it all start?

With a team meeting, of course, a meeting during which the team approved the activities for the current year following the topic that was voted by the general assembly: climate change and sustainable development. We included the training course in our annual work plan and after some months we received the good news that out work plan had been approved for financing. That is when the entire adventure began: send the call for trainers, read CVs and motivation letters, have interviews and finally select the team of two trainers: Thomas Gits and Florina Potirniche, who together made a great team of knowledge on climate change and sustainable development, training experience and e-learning tools savvy. Then, as they started working on the contents and structure, our team launched the call for participants. Finally, on 2nd May, we published our first learning unit on teachable.com and from then on we spent eight challenging but really rewarding weeks of online interactions with the trainers, the lectures, the participants, videos, articles, games, photos and interesting online sources.

What is teachable.com?

Teachable.com is a free online learning platform on which anyone can start an online course and offer it to participants for free or for a certain fee.

What was the course all about?

infographic_In the mood(le) for climate change_short versionThe course had a total of eight units, each spanning on one week with an active involvement of 3 hours, which meant that each week participants had to spend about three hours online to go through the lecture, fulfill the weekly tasks and take the unit quiz. Our participants were free to organize their time and decide for themselves when they wanted to work on the quiz. Each unit was published on the first day of the week and it remained available for the entire duration of the course. The first unit was an introduction unit in which we described how the course works, what are its objectives, how it is structured, what is the curriculum and answered participants’ questions. We also included in this unit a pre-course self-assessment questionnaire, with 19 questions, asking participants to evaluate their level for each of the competences the course was targeting. This gave us a reference point for evaluating the learning impact after the end of the course. In the second unit we wanted participants to get to know each other so we adapted the famous “Human Bingo” game to our online environment. We asked everybody to go on the website www.ifitweremyhome.com and compare their country to at least five other countries. Then they had to shoot a 1-minute video presenting themselves and three insights they got from the website. In the end, we made a quiz with questions about who said what in their video. It was a really fun unit and the engagement of the participants was great. It made the course feel more alive and it improved the dynamics of the group. The next unit offered an introduction into climate change and why it is happening. It help participants understand how the Earth functions and why it is warming up. In unit 4, the knowledge acquired was consolidated with information on why human being should care about climate change looking at how it will affect us and they way we live. The next unit took participants on a journey around the world, exploring see, land and air and the most vulnerable regions of the world in order to understand the effects of climate change and understand that just because we are not feeling it ourselves it does not mean that it is not happening. The next unit shifted the focus on the individual, exploring what role each of us plays in climate change and what we can change in our lifestyle and the way we do things in order to reduce our carbon and climate footprint. Unit 7 shed some light on how climate decision are taken at world level and how they influence national measures and policy. The participants got the chance to explore the SDGs, the results of the COP21, how human rights are related to climate change and what the Council of Europe is doing on the topic. Finally, the last unit included a final quiz, an interactive board for feedback and the after course self-assessment quiz.

The last unit brought some extremely rewarding moments for the entire team as we were finally able to have a real measure of the learning impact and to hear from the participants how they saw the course and whether it was a useful experience for them or not.

Who?

The course was implemented by a team of two trainers who worked closely with the European coordinators and the European Team. Before being launched the training was tested with four volunteers and with the members of the Think Tank for the seminar.  There were 24 participants enrolled in the course, 16 girls and 8 boys, from 11 different countries. They were all aged between 18 and 30 years old and came from MIJARC movements. The course was and still is open for everybody.

Was it useful?

As the course was the first activity of the work plan it was of crucial importance but it turned out that the idea was extremely well-received in our member movements and in their local groups. People were extremely interested in this kind of learning and the news that we were having an online TC on climate change reached even MIJARC World. This is why we benefited from the participation of one young man from Kenya. The course was important because it introduced our annual topic to all our members and it gave a solid basis to build on. Also, the idea was immediately taken up on by two of our member movements, KLJ-Belgium and APSD-Agenda 21, who contacted us to help them understand the platform better and help them use it for their own activities. The testimonials written by the participants after finishing the course show how the course was useful for them:

I thought the course was really interesting. I learned a lot about climate change in general and I learned some new things I could use in my lessons in high school. It was good the way it was, maybe we could have had some more interactive activities. Thank you for all the hard work!

Femke Nijs

This course is something I was really interested in. One unit was not really for me but it was great to know more about it. It was very good to work with a lot of feedback to every units and to mix the training course with questions and videos. This course will be a huge advantage in the discussions and work during the Seminar and Summer camp. When I couldn’t understand some words, I translated them and it was good to know the most important words related to climate change before we met face to face. Thanks Florina and Thomas for the energy you both put in the training course.

David Vermeulen

This course was very interesting. I really learned a lot of things I didn’t know. I knew climate change was a problem, but I didn’t know it was so urgent to take action. Now I am more aware of my own ecological footprint and I really liked the information. The variation was very fun: videos, tests, reading material, pictures. Thank you for letting me be a part of this! 

Sofie Slechten 

I have learned a lot in this more or less intensive training course. Now I am more aware of the urgency of Climate Change. The course was really well structured and rich in variety. In one lesson there were too many videos for my taste, but all in all I am very happy to be a part of it and to get the opportunity to attend the seminar in Macedonia. Thank you Florina and Thomas for your excellent work. Looking forward to seeing you in three weeks.

Julia Fritz

I learned a lot about climate change from this training. My interest increased and I am very motivated to do more to save our world. Thank you so much!

Hediye Şura Çan

After the end of the course, the two trainers worked together on a Training Manual that was based on the content of the course, but was adapted to using it during face-to-face meetings.

So, did we convince you to learn more about climate change? If so, you can still join our course on http://imcc.teachable.com/p/imcc, or you can use the offline Training Manual that was created in order to be used in offline training course. Don’t forget to let us know how it was by writing on our Facebook and Twitter page!

The online training course “In the mood for climate change” was one of the activities included in the annual work plan of MIJARC Europe which was co-financed by the Council of Europe through the European Youth Foundation.