Youth Exchange ‘’Eco-Entrepreneurship: Future is Green’’
From 20th to 27th of April 2023, youth exchange was implemented in Avala, Belgrade, Serbia, where 35 youth participants from North Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cyprus were introduced to the concept and implementation of eco-entrepreneurship.
Youth exchange was organized as a part of Erasmus+ KA2 project “Eco-Entrepreneurship & Circular Economy: On the Path to Sustainable Change”. The project is set in line with the priorities of the Erasmus+ programme. and is based on the need to increase the capacities of 6 youth organizations representing the program to work with the concepts of eco-entrepreneurship and circular economy, to be able to develop competencies of young people as well as young people with fewer opportunities , and to transfer the principles of circular economy in their practices to become more green, sustainable youth organizations ready to face ecological and sustainable challenges of 21st century.
During this youth exchange, all participants made an environmental and social impact, for example, avoided waste, used less paper and more digital tools, had their own cups to avoid plastic cups and had a cleaning action as a way to make the environment cleaner and socialize between each other. Talking about more activities during the project, the participants had a chance to make their own eco businesses in groups and compete with each other. They were also introduced to the Erasmus+ programme, Youth pass, ESC – what it is, and what it offers for young people. Energizers were the key during these activities – to make participants more active and engaged. As the final result of the project, participants made board games, where the goal was to introduce players about waste and how to make environmentally friendly decisions in daily life, as well as, introducing players to some eco-facts.
Find out more about the project and exchange in the project’s handbook here.
Feedback from participants
Giota from Cyprus says : ‘’The whole experience was amazing, all people were very friendly and the program was very good and productive and we learned a lot of things about eco-entrepreneurship and eco-friendly practices.’’
Nikola from North Macedonia says : ‘’ It was an amazing experience. I learned about the topic of non-formal education and I believe it will have an impact on how I will think differently about my behavior in the environment.’’
Annija from Cyprus : “This project was a great opportunity to meet new people and culture. As well as look at activities related to eco-business from a different angle. I would highly recommend every young person aged between 18 and 30 to take the chance and take part in an Erasmus+ project at least once, as it is a great opportunity to improve knowledge, language skills and make new connections.”
Adila from Bosnia and Herzegovina mentions :’’ This was my first Erasmus program so I was very excited to come here. I was also pretty scared but that fear went away after I met these amazing people. I learned so much and made life time friends in such a short time.’’
Klaidas from Cyprus: “I think this new experience not only taught me about ecology and eco-businesses, but it also made me realize how many like-minded people you can meet on these sorts of projects. It is a great opportunity to learn something valuable and make new friends along the way.”
Zandis from Cyprus: ‘’This was my first time participating in this type of short term project. The project gave me an opportunity to supplement my knowledge about eco-business, as well as to get to know other young people from different countries. The week was full of activities, energisers and workshops, that gave the full experience of participating in this project.’’
Natalia from Cyprus: „ It was a very fruitful time. The project coordinators were extremely committed to their work, and I am sure we all gained a lot from it. The new experiences and the new people we met will stay in our memories for a long time.”
Opportunities with Erasmus+
Erasmus+ projects encourages youth and its workers to travel abroad for networking or training in order to advance their skills for future career choices. These periods spent abroad include training sessions, study trips and other activities, like this project. It is a possibility to expand each individual’s horizons with the help from the European Union. Projects like these can also encourage younger people to take part in more of these kinds of projects and start their own self-development at an early age.