With EU & ADA Support, CENN Green Camp for Young Leaders & Innovators Hosts 120 Participants

It is always up to youth to bring about the changes necessary for the improvement of society, climate change being among the priorities facing us today. CENN, the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network, is one of the few organizations dedicated to building a better, greener environment in the South Caucasus. It is clear for CENN that to shape a better future, we need educated and trained young leaders. That is why, for over ten years now, CENN has organized the Green Camp for Young Leaders and Innovators. The camp this year hosted over a hundred participants across Georgia.

From July 25 through September 16, with the support of the EU ENPARD program and Austrian Development Cooperation, the CENN Green Camp hosted the 9th round of Green Camps at the Bulachauri Green Center. Within this period, CENN Green Camps hosted a total of 120 participants, of which 60 were from Tsalka municipality, 20 from Keda municipality, and 30 from different regions of Georgia.

GEORGIA TODAY asked CENN’s Executive Director Nana Janashia how the CENN Green Camps contribute to the idea of “shaping the future by changing today.”

“At CENN, we especially value the support from the young generation: the ones who believe in the cause the most. By strengthening youth and providing a new, wide range of opportunities for them, we believe that small actions taken today by CENN’s environmental ambassadors in their communities can make a huge impact globally in the future,” Janashia told us.

The 2020 CENN Green Camp envisioned an intensive educational module, within which young people were offered an interesting, fun, and educational program concerning environmental topics. Experts from different fields conducted classes on Sustainable Development Goals, green innovation, climate change, the sustainable management of forest resources, sustainable waste management, the circular economy, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) issues. Besides environmental modules, the participants were able to learn about democracy, citizenship, advocacy, digital communication, and informational technologies. Plus, the camp participants became acquainted with the European LEADER approach to rural development and the work conducted by Local Action Groups in Georgia. What’s more, to put their newly gained environmental knowledge into practice, camp participants hiked around Truso Gorge and Juta and observed natural resources in the valley.

Nana Janashia summed up the history and idea of the Green Camp for us.

“CENN has always been on the frontier of youth engagement in environmental activism. For over ten years, we have been running the Green Camp program for nationwide environmental education, and conducting the Niko Ketskhoveli Youth Environmental Award for young people from all over Georgia. From the remote Mulakhi community in Mestia to urban Tbilisi, young people have been shaping the conversation about our environmentally sustainable and green future. Empowering the young generation by creating new opportunities and providing a platform for them to voice their vision of our shared future were reasons why the CENN Camps came to fruition with the support of our generous donors.”

The intensive educational program of the CENN Green Camp aims at raising youth awareness of various topics, and at creating new possibilities for future leaders from around Georgia. Being a Green Camp alumni has many benefits, and according to CENN’s executive director, “Having completed the camp, alumni go on to join the Green Camp Alumni Network, enabling them to participate in future opportunities within CENN’s environmental youth initiatives. In addition, we support our active alumni’s career development and we even have a few former Green Camp alumni currently employed at CENN.”

The CENN Green Camps were made possible with the support of the Austrian Development Cooperation project ‘Sustainable Forest Management for Rural Development’ and the EU ENPARD-supported Keda LEADER and EMBRACE Tsalka projects.

As long as CENN’s donors, the EU, ADA, USAID, and others, continue their support, the Green Camps will be taking place in future. Every year, CENN makes a call for participants on their communication platforms, and interested young leaders are always welcome to apply. Although the selection process is quite competitive, with the number of received applications varying from 1000 to 1300, the acceptance rate is high!

24 September 2020 17:13