We are delighted to share the results of our recent Erasmus+ project, “LAONA FOR YOUTH, YOUTH FOR LAONA,” which took place from September 4 to 12, 2023. This international youth exchange aimed to promote eco-responsible behaviour, active citizenship, and initiative among young people, providing a platform for cross-cultural learning and collaboration in the picturesque region of Laona, Cyprus.
The primary goals of the project were to raise awareness about the climate crisis, stimulate activism, and inspire behavioural changes towards a more sustainable future. By focusing on environmental protection, sustainability, and activism, we sought to motivate young participants to become environmentally friendly European citizens, enhancing critical thinking and observation skills related to environmental issues.
Participants were encouraged to explore sustainable practices and learn to utilize digital tools for creating social campaigns promoting a sustainable and green environment. Through various non-formal educational activities, they were guided towards reflecting on their behaviours and considering positive changes that could be made individually and within their communities.
Six enthusiastic participants between 18 and 30, along with a dedicated group leader, were selected based on their commitment to environmental protection, sustainability, and activism. Throughout the project, these individuals demonstrated a keen interest in learning about sustainability and a strong willingness to share their experiences and knowledge within their communities.
One of the project’s highlights was the creation of promotional videos addressing environmental issues. Participants used their creativity and digital skills to produce engaging videos aimed at raising awareness and promoting green habits among young individuals across Europe. The videos are powerful tools that convey the importance of active citizenship and environmental responsibility.
A significant aspect of the project was the collection and sorting of trash in the Laona region. Participants actively engaged in this activity, making an environmentally friendly contribution by cleaning and sorting waste, thus promoting a cleaner environment and resource reuse.
The short-term impact of the project has been significant, with increased motivation among young people to adopt environmentally friendly practices and heightened awareness of the importance of active EU citizenship in promoting a green environment. Participants also gained proficiency in using digital tools for advocating sustainable practices and developed critical thinking skills related to environmental challenges.
Looking towards the long-term, we anticipate a lasting impact on the participants, fostering sustained environmentally friendly behaviour and responsible European citizenship. The integration of sustainable practices into daily life is a key goal, ensuring a green environment for future generations and a well-informed, environmentally conscious population actively engaged in addressing environmental challenges.
Throughout the project, it is worth emphasising the interest and kindness of the local villagers towards the young participants. The local residents not only extended warm hospitality and friendliness but also actively participated in the cleaning activities. This collaboration and mutual understanding forged strong bonds between the project’s participants and the local residents, enriching the experience and significance of the project. The goodwill and involvement of the villagers in the cleaning activities serve as an excellent example of how cross-cultural cooperation and receptivity can promote a sustainable society and build close relationships between people from different cultures and generations.
In conclusion, we express our deep gratitude to all the participants, partners, and supporters who contributed to making this project a success. Together, we are creating a brighter and more sustainable future for all.
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Co-financed by the European Union. This publication reflects only the views and opinion of the author, and not necessarily the opinion of the European Union, the European Commission or the National Agency (Youth International Programs Agency), which are not responsible for any use of the information contained therein.