“Upcycling & Sustainable Lifestyles” – an Erasmus+ Youth Exchange

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Associazione di promozione sociale Joint has hosted the Erasmus+ youth exchange “Upcycling & Sustainable Lifestyles”, co-funded by the European Commission, from 22nd of August to 27th of August at the Eco-Ostello Monte Barro, in Gabiate, Italy, managed by Legambiente Lecco.

The venue is situated in the Regional Park of Monte Barro in a picturesque zone – which we wanted, with this occasion, to promote and present its beauty on an international scale.

Legambiente Lecco

Legambiente Lecco is a non-profit organization, that is active in the field of environmental protection, with the main aim of promoting and developing sustainable and well-balanced with the environment lifestyles, whereof man is an integral part – goal that fit like a glove with the main objectives of the mobility:

  • Increasing awareness of the environmental impact of human activities.
  • Raising awareness about waste and food waste through practical upcycling workshops, utilizing items like newspaper, plastic bottles, glass, tetrapak, clothes, and herbs. 
  • Sharing of best practices in waste reduction and recycling among European countries.
  • Providing young people with a multicultural learning experience.

The Youth Exchange

These objectives were explored, during 6 days of non-formal based activities, by a total of 39 participants (including 8 group leaders & 1 facilitator) from 6 countries – Italy, Romania (Asociația Hair Redivivus), Portugal (Cooperativa de Inovação Educativa para a Transformação Social), Poland (Polish Ochotnicze Hufce Pracy), Hungary (Association Travelnest) & France (Association Hors Pistes), through ice breaking & getting to know each other activities, international evenings, practical workshops on learning skills related to upcycling (newspaper to create paper, glass and tetrapak to create decorations, clothes, plastic bottles to create jewelry, corks), team building activities, practical workshop on the identification of edible plants in the forest close to the hostel, as well as preparing natural sauces out of them, offered by an external expert, practical workshop on the creation of deodorant & charcoal toothpaste, using natural ingredients, discussions, debriefing and reflection groups. Additionally, the participants even visited “Cascina Selvetto” for a workshop on herbs to address food waste issues.

Since the project was designed and organized under the umbrella of Associazione Joint’s strategic accreditation on the inclusion of youngsters with fewer opportunities, the exchange involved 15 such participants (50% of the total number of participants), many of them with a level of English close to zero. This led to structuring the activities as practical as possible, in order to make them as little based on verbal communication. 

More so, the entire schedule was personalized based on participant’s feedback, with sessions organised & facilitated by the group leaders of the different countries, with the support of the facilitator. This division of roles between partners had the aim of empowering the leaders, as all group leaders were given space to structure & manage at least one activity.

Curious to discover more? Here’s the story of the project, captured in pictures.

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