Youth Action and wellbeing
Lately, Gaia Education as an organisation has been focusing more on youth and offering sustainability education for young people. We believe this is where a massive change can happen as most young people will have to live in a world with continuously worsening climate crises. Bringing the 4-dimensional framework and curriculum to universities, schools, and different youth initiatives can significantly impact the participant's nature connection and worldview and help them join or start their own projects or existing activist groups.
We are currently working on bringing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into African universities as a MOOC (A massive open online course) and integrating the SDG Multipliers workshops and flashcards into Scottish universities. We are also thrilled to be part of two youth projects at the moment; Youth in Transition and Youth Action and wellbeing, both funded by Erasmus+.
Youth Action and wellbeing in partnership with UNESCO-ECO, Youth4Smile, Resilience Earth, Forest Bathing Ireland and Slovakian youth parliament. It focuses on giving young people the tools to explore their eco-activism and using a concrete framework and tips on how they can actually change things in their area.
The project is based on a series of four workshops primarily based on using nature-based exercises and having a different theme in each workshop. The topics range from exploring what the participant is passionate about in the sustainability issues of social, ecological, economic and worldview. The sessions also help participants create or find a community or group interested in the exact cause, mobilise action, have a say in local decision-making, and amplify the voice of youth, which is vital in making climate-related policies.
So far, two one-week workshops have been running in Ireland and Slovakia, with Latvia following soon on October 22' and Spain in January 2023. All the participants are between the ages of 15-20, and a few are also returning to each training.
Based on the activities in these workshops and feedback, an open source toolkit will be put together for any youth leader, teacher, young person etc. Anyone can download and get input on mobilising action, activities that can be used with young people, introductions to different frameworks and exercises, other valuable resources and much more.
Another outcome is also a Pedagogical guide for people working in academia interested in the frameworks and techniques used during the project and exploring alternative teaching methods like systems thinking, nature or adventure-based learning. We will also be sharing a series of case studies.