Young people gather to discuss ecological justice!

From 3rd July to 10th July 2011 more than twenty young people from Europe and beyond, as well as from various denominational and national backgrounds gathered in Kiev, Ukraine, for an EYCE training course “Taking steps towards an ecologically responsible society. Theological and political perspectives of ecological justice”. The participants got the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of various aspects of ecological justice and acquire practical tools and skills for further promoting the ideas discussed. The training course was organized by the Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe in cooperation with volunteers in Ukraine.

Several guest speakers and workshop leaders contributed to the programme of the training course with their knowledge and expertise. Ecological knowledge and practical tools were offered to the participants by using a variety of non-formal learning methods. Rev. Peter Pavlovic from CEC Church and Society Commission spoke about the theological perspectives of ecological justice, the Biblical references for our responsibility towards creation and ecological debt.

Mr. Christian Jakob, a journalist from Germany elaborated in his speech on the history of the international climate negotiations, as well as the issues and arguments at stake. Together with the participants he looked into the expiration of the Kyoto protocol and the perspectives of the upcoming Conference of Parties in Durban.

On the 7th of July participants visited the United Nations building in Kiev. Mr. Giovanni Mozzarelli, representing the UN volunteering programme and Mr. Yuriy Pivovarenko, the project coordinator, presented the project “Let’s do it, Ukraine!” and gave an insight into the challenges of project planning. During the day in Kiev a flash mob involving recycled fashion was organised.

The highlight of the week was the “Challenge your Lifestyle!” day, where participants and the team restrained from using electronic devices, excessive water consumption and learned some practical skills in bread, candle and solar cooker making workshops.

The final part of the programme provided the participants with knowledge and ideas for use in their practical work through sessions on advocacy, project management and social marketing. Participants also developed a variety of good ideas how to address the issues of ecological justice in their own contexts.

The participants contributed actively to the process of the training course with their experiences and knowledge of the subject, and enriched the atmosphere of the event greatly with creative approaches to the activities. Finally, to mark the end of the training course a magnolia tree was planted at the venue of the training course, in the outskirts of Kiev.

EYCE would like to take this opportunity and warmly thank Nataliya Pylypiv and Katerina Vintonyak for their great support in organising this training course!

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