Launched in 2013, the yearly educational program "activEco" is currently one of the key projects implemented by the EcoVisio Association.
The main aim of activEco is to empower creative and motivated young people to focus their energy on the transition of our society to sustainable living. Through facilitating an exchange between young people from the South, North and Center of Moldova, including Transnistria and Gagauzia, as well as neighboring regions of Ukraine and Romania, the program contributes to an ongoing constructive dialogue and democratic grassroots peacemaking, trying to work beyond current language and ethnicity controversy present in the region. This approach also makes tackling ecological issues more efficient and comprehensive.
The program involves the young people from all around the region (Moldova, Ukraine, Romania) into a process of constant interactive learning, capacity building, and practical implementation of the acquired skills as well as multiplication of the impact in a broader society. “activEco” comprises a capacity building curriculum, seed funding for volunteers’ micro projects and peer-to-peer mentoring. This way it offers a secure platform for learning, sharing and trying out innovations in the field of sustainable development.
The major outcome is that at the end of each program year there is a group of skilled and inspired multipliers of sustainable development strategies, who are eager to engage in the growing network of changemakers in the region. As of December 2018 (after completion of its 6th edition), activEco has 185 graduates from Moldova, Romania and Ukraine, who have implemented close to 100 civic projects in the region and, in their turn, engaged thousands of people.
In the period 2014-2016, it consisted of two program lines: Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship. Since 2017, Social Entrepreneurship is a separate program: "Social Entrepreneurship - Make It Matter". Moreover, the activEco program itself has also been transformed - after four years of broad work on sustainable development, the team decided it's time to gather the synergy of our alumni and other activists, and focus on concrete issues that need solutions on local and national level.
Thus, in 2017-18, the program has adopted a new structure - not the initial one of three seminars (Impulse, Project Management, Reflection), but directly invites the participants to meet the proposed Challenges at the Challenge Workshops, and, together, work out the solutions that they could implement together. Some examples of the Challenges: "Sustainable Mobility", "Green home and office spaces", "Tree Growing", "Food for Thought", "Urban & Community Development", etc.
What will happen in 2019? We will be able to tell you soon!
The program is conducted through the collaboration with the German NGO “Active Commons” and the Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg (a program of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and MitOst e.V., which provides training and support for international facilitators).