What: Training Course on Sustainability
When: 12th – 18th July, 2012
Where: Quintandona, Penafiel, Portugal
Who: Organização para Promoção dos Ecoclubes (Portuguese ENGO youth movement working on environmental protection)
An international group of 13 youth environmental volunteers lived in Quintandona, Penafiel, Portugal, 12-18th July 2012 to learn and live on a 'sustainable local living' way.
Naturally, village rural lifestyle provides a more active and healthy way of being, due to the different practical tasks and direct contact with nature, part of the daily routine of villagers, in addition to all the cultural part that nourishes body and mind (theater, crafts and music).
The whole bound of activities along the training course intensified its practical skills; initially, all countries described their villages, being after invited to mix their perspectives to create a model of a sustainable village. Then, participants had the opportunity to visit different places to learn about diverse village skills. On the last days, the intervention of the various participants in agricultural land, practicing organic farming, allowed them to obtain a more intensive training in some of the village tasks. This practical component has been complemented by a theoretical approach, with discussions on the activities, presentations and partner group's intervention, like the testimony of a member of the Transition Movement of Paredes, nearby region. All this experience allowed participants to base concepts on sustainable living and evaluate benefits and losses of a rural experiences.
Mystical Sustainable Village was an excellent promoter off a proactive way of action considering different environmental issues, based on the exploitation of sustainable practices of living in a village on the basis of old knowledge that suffered innovation among the ages. All activities involved a very large and diverse sharing, encouraging a high understanding between all participants coming from different countries. During field labor was evident the commitment of all participants in an attempt to meet with common ancestral origins, which promoted the union of the group. In addition, many new practices experienced, but usefull and valuable worldwide, were only possible to realize with a work of honest cooperation.
TC was coordinated by OPE – Organização para Promoção dos Ecoclubes, with the support of the Youth and Environment Europe. It was funded by the European Youth in Action Programme.
Participants came from a wide range of organisations including:
Impressions from participants:
'I participated in this project as part of the organization team. I really enjoyed the whole dynamic which we developed. I believe that all participants left enhanced by sharing our cultures. The set of activities was well received by all. The goals set for the training course were fulfilled. The exchange of experience was very enriching, I am convinced that everyone was happy. I hope we can repeat similar projects!'
'Training conducted in Quintadona was a very nice experience and also very valuable. We learned many things that we put in practice in our daily life. Creating masks, making hand carpets, bread and building solar oven was very interesting and very attractive for us and using these practical things is funny for children in different activities.
The project was held in the frame of Youth in Action Programme. We would like to thank the European Commission for the financial support.