School of Sustainability – one of the most outstanding Projects for inclusion

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Phot: Friends of the Earth Europe/School of Sustainable)

The efforts have paid off: The European School of Sustainability had been recognised by the Global Education Network Europe (GENE) as one of the 20 most outstanding projects for inclusion in 2018!

Each year, GENE awards initiatives for their ability to challenge peoples’ views of the realities of the world and to inspire real positive change, locally and globally, through the use of creative, participative, synergistic, and innovative methods. The work at the European School of Sustainability has been recognised as it “created a stronger analysis of development issues, especially related to environmental justice and empowered a range of target groups to engage in public mobilisation on a local, national, and international level”.

What made this project so special?

At the heart of the European School of Sustainability lies its own philosophy of education, drawn from our Latin American fellows’ equivalent Escuela de la Sustentabilidad. Like in Latin America, all the activities that took place in our School of Sustainability were based on a pioneering methodology. Popular Education, coined by the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire in the 1960-70s, encourages its participants to challenge power relations in our society and to create alternatives through cooperative activities. In contrast to the traditional model of education, learning is here a highly democratic process, in which educators and learners are equal participants, and are all producers of knowledge through a continuous dialogue.

More information about this key approach in the European School of Sustainability activities can be found in the introduction to Popular Education. For more tools, case studies, curriculum modules and other resources used in the European School of Sustainability, please visit the Tools for System Change website.

From local to global

For three years, the European School of Sustainability organised and promoted all kinds of events across Europe. This project has brought together initiatives aiming not only to develop a critical understanding about social and environmental global and local issues, but also to educate people to be able to organise by themselves and pass their knowledge on to others. Workshops promoting composting among a group of families in Spain, training how to work with refugees in Croatia, cooking classes linked to global and local food issues in Hungary, an online mapping and website for finding plastic free shops in Malta, a huge base camp gathering almost 500 activists at the UK.The European School of Sustainability empowered us to build a better world.

Facts and figures

Ended in March 2018, the European School of Sustainability was one of the biggest projects Friends of the Earth Europa have ever coordinated. 23 European partners -including national groups, Young Friends of the Earth and Friends of the Earth International-joined forces to push forward this initiative that promoted public understanding and engagement with climate and energy justice, sustainable agriculture, economic justice, and biodiversity in 21 countries across Europe. The project involved more than 40 training sessions and webinars as well as 1,462 local and national level activities that reached almost 40,000 people. At least 10,5 million people were reached through broad outreach activities, and more than 30 calls for solidarity action were supported.

Source: Friends of the Earth Europe

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