The problem of the environment became more and more pressing. The economic evolution of the world had led, on the one hand, to wellbeing, but on the other hand, had not taken into account Natural Resources. Sustainable development was on the agenda of all countries and represented a challenge for a return to green values. The European Union had sustainable development as one of its priorities. However, all this was not possible without proper education. Awareness could be raised through innovative pedagogical paths to change consumption patterns and to involve young people in this new approach. There was a strong demand from educators in specialized institutions to offer young people in difficulty a valuable and innovative pedagogical program, enabling them to regain self-confidence, open to the world and broaden their career prospects.
The “Ecological thinking” project provided concrete and innovative solutions through attractive and participatory educational actions, with an environmental objective.
The main aim of the project was to raise awareness of ecological and environmental protection and practices among all participants in their everyday life and work.
During the project, the participants created local, regional, and international networks and were encouraged to actively participate in finding solutions for the current ecological problems in their regions.
Within this project, we refreshed and shared our knowledge on sustainability, tested methods and instruments, and developed innovative and creative concepts and projects.
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“Before this training, I had no experience with Erasmus+ youth exchange and training courses. I am very pleased that this is my first training because it inspired me to become more active in the sphere of informal education, which has always been a big inspiration of mine. Through the training, I saw some of the advantages of informal education, practiced working in a group, and developed public presentation skills. Ten days of training led me to be more eco-conscious and think about things that I would change both in my daily routine and on a professional level. They inspired me to explore deeper and encouraged me to come up with ideas and answers by talking to people, as well as by objective introspection. I explored more about urban ecological projects and movements in Berlin, which is important to me on a professional basis, as those ideas could improve environmental awareness in my country.
I would recommend people to apply for Erasmus projects because, in combination with formal education in schools and colleges, they provide deeper knowledge on contemporary topics and problems of our world. Participating in trainings, we can upgrade our ideas and knowledge both on personal and professional basis.” – Tadija Vasiljevic.
“It’s fun to observe how different we are and how similar we are. I’ve spent 10 incredible days in Berlin together with people from 6 different countries in my first Erasmus+ program on the environmental thinking. I am so grateful for the chance to go from the usual routine and meet new people in person, building deep connection and even friendship, singing and talking during the day and continuing it during the night. It gives a lot of inspiration and faith.” – Katsiaryna Sokolovskaya.
“There is a Romanian poem that goes something like “at the beginning, the man used to be just a leaf, but then, by one coming all together the leaves succeeded, grew and became a tree”. It’s the same for me. It’s interesting how many things we can contain in our eyes and souls, how many stories… learning with you was more learning about us as a whole. Of course, at the beginning everything was new, and sometimes it’s hard to follow all your dreams and needs, but one by one as leaves we became a tree and Berlin became the city of our friendship.
We enjoyed so much each other’s presence knowing that it’s not gonna last forever. And that’s the best part of the projects: you go, you have no idea of how it will be, and just let yourself feel. Every day turns into the best. Learning about nature was for me more learning about our human nature, our future to find new prospects for our needs and habits. Thank you for being all together, for not feeling ashamed of my perspectives, sometimes about the mistakes I used to do because of my emotions. Learning about myself is nice in such an environment. Thank you! I know the world is a safe place with all of us in our countries doing the best for the environment! That’s why you should definitely do Erasmus projects, enjoy your youth and discover the world full of wonderful dreamers!” – Alina Tofan.
“One of my favorite subjects is the Erasmus+ world. I have participated in Erasmus projects before, on topics of environmental protection and healthy living. They all broadened the horizons of my knowledge, offered me a solid base from which to delve further, deeper into the respective subjects. The projects that had environmental themes as their target, like this one, made us aware of the importance of civil responsibility and the duty we have to leave beautiful things behind us. But also I think they gave us the opportunity to know ourselves more deeply, because these facts are somehow intertwined.
I have deepened my knowledge in the respective fields, improved my English skills and also the social ones. It is a unique, different experience that takes you out of the ordinary, which I recommend to anyone. You see the world with different eyes. We cannot explain the characteristics of Erasmus projects, the friendships that are made. Once you have lived this, the Earth is no longer a foreign place, but a big house, because you have friends in many places.” – Flavia Ioana Spătaru.
“Environmental thinking” was my 2nd training course and 10th Erasmus project. I have participated in 6 youth exchanges, 1 training course, an ESC and an Erasmus Student exchange. Throughout all my experiences I have mainly learned how to communicate and work with others. I have learned that my opinion is valid and that others appreciate it. I have learned that everybody has something to teach, give, contribute to. Erasmus provides a platform for people from various ages and countries to come together and share their perspectives and opinions about different subjects, improving their awareness of the world and the people that surround us.
Regarding training courses specifically, like this one, I have learned how to create tools to further my knowledge and the knowledge of others about a certain topic. More than the actual subject we are working on it all comes down to the people you meet and the discussions you have. When coming together with people with totally different backgrounds you understand that we are all so different but still so similar. And you understand the humanity of each and every one of us, our strengths and weaknesses. You understand that we are all just humans and all we can do is try to improve each day, little by little. You understand that you are not alone, that so many people think and go through the same, how important it is to understand, to respect, to listen to others. In the end it all comes down to personal growth. You affect others as much as they affect you just by passing through their life. And you decide how much you want them to impact you and what impact you want to cause in the life of others.
Erasmus is about bringing the world together. It’s not just about Europeans but everyone that has an active will to participate, learn, exchange, create a change, be the change. Erasmus is an opportunity to change your life, to change yourself, to see the world through other lenses, to test and be tested. Erasmus is a chance, and Chance International is giving us that chance. Like in everything in life we make our own choices and I have chosen to live. What better way is there to live than to experience life with others?!” – Joana Silva.
“These 10 days were more than an experience, both in terms of personal discovery as well as the discovery of incredible people that without CHANCE International I would not have the possibility to meet and create these bonds.
I would like to give special thanks to Ivan who, in addition to having the patience of a saint, managed to create an open space for communication, the sharing of personal experiences and the possibility of a vision of a better future. A world in which our opinions and actions matter and are validated.
This adventure was a key memory that will live in my mind rent free.
Thank you so much to the people I can call friends and who were part of this time of change in my life. I wish you all all the small/big wonders that life can give you.” – Eva Catarina Morais.
“Better late than never. I’m 12. Participation in Erasmus+ seems to be extraordinary. The guys who go abroad as a part of the program seem to be celestials with great abilities.
I’m 33. A new stereotype — I’m too old to participate in a program. Come on, I have enough of these prejudices. I apply for a program and right on my birthday I’m going to Berlin for a week to participate in Erasmus+.
All stereotypes are broken. I spent a week in one of the most atmospheric cities in Europe in the company of charged guys.
The outcome is simple — go search for opportunities, and dream bigger.” – Volha Mazharouskaya.
“Talking about what shaped me as a personality I am today, what influenced significantly the life path I follow, there definitely would be a word about Erasmus+.
My first experience with Erasmus happened to me in 2020, when I became a participant of the mobility program and went to France as an exchange student for a semester. Thanks to the organizational and financial support by Erasmus, I spent five months in Lyon. This experience let me boost my French skills, become better at communications with representatives of different nationalities, and learn numerous things about myself which usually happens when you put yourself in a different social context.
In 2022 I got acquainted with the concept of Youth Exchanges and Trainings by Erasmus+. I had a chance to participate in two projects related to environment which took place in Lithuania and Germany. I am extremely grateful for such opportunities as they allow me to find like-minded friends all around Europe, get new perspective on my lifestyle and inspire for positive changes in the world. The Lithuanian project helped me to figure out what I should do next in my life as back then I had found myself professionally lost. On the project I met at least five people who did their ESC volunteering experience and I decided why not to try it as well. And the next week my project will already start. Regarding the German project, I got particularly impressed by how conscious, creative and determined participants are, and I find such an environment beneficial to me. I am grateful for having made friends from all over Europe.
I am sure that Erasmus+ makes my life better and I am sure that I will participate in many other projects in future.” – Daria Doronkina.
“I had several pleasant experiences thanks to the Erasmus+ program. My journey in Erasmus+ projects started in August 2021, when I saw a project opportunity in Lithuania. I applied out of curiosity and was selected.
All of the projects were special in their own way, each offering something important and specific. “Environmental Thinking” was a 10-day training course held in Berlin, where I gained new knowledge in the field of the environment, together with a very good team. In addition to all this, I was able to practice English, which is very important nowadays.
I would recommend anyone to be part of the Erasmus+ projects because they can meet a lot of wonderful people, they can accumulate useful information in an informal way.” – Matej Radu Gabriel.