Fostering the Growing Environmental Awareness of the Youth!

While the world enjoys the various technological innovations of the 21st century, the vital issue of pro-tecting the environment and our surroundings often finds itself in second place. CENN is one of the leading NGOs working on protecting the environment by fostering sustainable development throughout the South Caucasus. CENN places a lot of emphasis on youth-focused sustainability programs in Georgia, based on the belief that the younger generation will shape the country’s future and change attitudes in the long-term.

The six-day Green Camp was held within the frameworks of CENN's waste management program (WMTR), which is funded by USAID. The Green Camp brought together 22 youth participants from the regions of Kakheti, Ajara, Shida Kartli and Tbilisi. It is one of 10 youth Green Camps to be held by CENN throughout the summer of 2019, each with a specific environmental theme. Carrefour joined the Green Camp this July to provide supplies for one of the camp's activities.

The overall focus of the Green Camp was to educate participants on the underlying principles of sustainable waste management and the current waste-related projects ongoing through the Waste Management program. However, given the interconnected nature of environmental issues, the campers also learned about a range of topics including environmental conservation, sustainable forestry, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and environmental leadership skills.

Sessions included interactive activities such as a bird watching hike focused on the importance of biodiversity, discussions and debate examining the concept of a linear vs. circular economy and the 4Rs (“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover”); a training was given on public speaking skills and environmental communication; and a ceramics-making workshop was offered using natural clay and led by artists from a Tbilisi ceramics studio.

Towards the end of the week, after participants had already learned about the significance of reducing packaging waste, they had the special opportunity to participate in a DIY Zero Waste Workshop led by a guest from the Embassy of France with support from the MAF Carrefour. Campers learned how to make their own toothpaste and household cleaner from natural ingredients with minimal packaging, and got to take home their creations in reusable glass jars.

The Carrefour supermarket chain supported the Green Camp by donating all the necessary material for the DIY Zero Waste workshop, and giving the campers goody bags packed with reusable items, while the members of the Carrefour Georgia team, namely, Nino Ramishvili (Head of PR and Communications) and Josef Kocandrle (General Manager of Carrefour East Point) joined the activity and spoke about the waste-reduction practices launched by the company so far. “One of our sustainable projects is the environmental campaign ‘Honor nature,’ which we started last year to raise awareness about how plastic harms the environment and the advantages of using reusable bags instead,” stated Carrefour’s representative at the event. We were happy to hear about the Green Camp in Georgia and were glad to have a chance to visit and contribute to the theoretical and practical, environmentally-friendly activities. For those who have never visited CENN’s Green Camp, it’s an amazing very green and perfectly maintained location, where kids, in a very positive and interesting manner, are taught how to protect the environment. It was a great opportunity to share the same spirit and see the younger generation so interested.”

By the end of the week, not only had campers gained a deep understanding of the key principles of sustainable waste management, they also formed deep and meaningful friendships with participants from different regions of the country. This social aspect of the Green Camp helped campers expand their worldview and gain a more nuanced understanding of environmental issues facing the country.

WMTR Program launches the next camps on August 3.


05 August 2019 16:53