Sustainable Communities in Armenia, Georgia and Germany
The climate crisis, the mass extinction of species and other ecological problems threaten the life of many people on our planet. All of us, but especially young people are and will be affected by these developments. Though, many of them don’t have possibilities to participate to change this situation. At the same time, there is a big potential to learn from another and co-create solutions. That’s why we - EcoHub (AM), Neighborhood (GE) and Villa Fohrde (D) - developed the project “Create Sustainable and Participatory Communities”. We connected youth and regional actors from Armenia, Georgia and Germany to exchange about challenges in their regions, learn from another about sustainable development and implement actions.
What we did: 7 Steps for Sustainable Communities
We took 7 steps to connect people and co-create sustainable development in our regions:
#1 Online trainings: In May 2021, we started with 4 trainings for facilitators from our teams and countries. We learned about Education for Sustainable Development, climate crises and sustainable perspectives in Caucasus and youth participation in rural areas.
#2 Community workshops: In June and July we offered workshops for local actors from Vanadzor, Zemo Magharo and Potsdam-Mittelmark (see map below). We shared approaches to promote sustainable development and youth participation.
#3 Youth seminars: In June and July 15-20 youth came together in each seminar house. They gained a deeper understanding of the climate crisis and sustainable development, connected with youth from the other countries and developed initiative for sustainable change. Villa Fohrde cooperated with the Jugendforum Nachhaltigkeit Brandenburg.
#4 Initiatives for sustainable change: Between July and November young people brought to live 14 actions for sustainable local change. For example a video for youth participation in climate plan of Brandenburg, tree planting in Sighnaghi (Georgia) and a clay club for kids in Areni (Armenia).
#5 International exchange: In September managers, facilitators and one cook from the three educational houses met at Villa Fohrde. They learned about biomimicry, visited organizsations such as Naturefriends and shared sustainable management practices.
#6: Sustainable development practice tool: Based on our learnings and experiences we developed a practice tool for sustainable development. It includes project management tools, recommendations for participation in communities and inspiration for youth projects. You can find it here.
#7: Evaluation & perspectives: In December we looked back to our cooperation, evaluated it and developed ideas how to further co-create for a just and sustainable world.
Who we are: 3 educational houses
We are three dedicated teams running educational houses in rural areas of Germany, Armenia and Georgia. The EcoHub-team started to renovate Boo Alternative House five years ago in the mountains of Vanadzor, Armenia. The house serves as training place for up to 25 young Armenians, idea space for regional development and location for international guests. Neighborhood is located in Georgia’s wine region of Kakheti. Since 2017 a team and volunteers renovate the house and are developing it as an educational space, community center and place for sustainable tourism. Situated at the shore of the river Havel, Villa Fohrde is a sustainable seminar house. Officially recognized by the government of Brandenburg as educational center, the team runs trainings on sustainable development, civic education, arts and culture, and health since 1991.
Reach out to us
, EcoHub Foundation
, Villa Fohrde
Sustainable and Participatory Communities is funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany in frame of the Eastern Partnership Program.