At the end of April, 25 young people from different parts of Moldova came to the village of Bahmut that lies near “Plaiul Fagului” scientific reservation in order to partake in the vision of Moldtopia and develop ideas that will bring them closer to the country we want to develop. Learning about social entrepreneurship and sharing their ambitions, they formed teams and began to work on the first step to their big Social Enterprises - namely, small activEco projects that will serve as a training stage, all the while contributing to the sustainable development of Moldova. Some highlights from the Social Entrepreneurship seminar:
There were also other ideas like Mini chicken farm "TRUST" that would have a plant to work with people with special needs; GreenHouse Bobeica, which would offer job opportunities and healthy food to villagers; Coworking space - building with eco materials and providing opportunities as a common working space; DOM Remesel, which would help more aged to have opportunities of interest; Environmental consulting and Flower World. More photos on activEco facebook.
The „Social Entrepreneurship Forum in Moldova” took place on April 29th in Chisinau. The Forum was designed to find out what is social entrepreneurship, meet social entrepreneurs from Moldova, see success stories and new projects, test ideas, find opportunities and partners with the help of moderated networking. And of course, there was enough space for activEco participants from Bahmut, who have been working hard and were ready to share their entrepreneurial idea to gain some valuable feedback from the Forum visitors and those who are already working in social area. More photos from this Event on EcoVisio facebook page.
As it already is a good tradition in activEco program, the Impulse Seminar on Sustainable Development, first step on the half-yearly path, took place in Lalova. This year, there were two Impulse Seminars to accommodate various language and timing needs, and the first one, held on May 4-9, 2015, was conducted in English, bringing together great participants from Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, UK and Italy. Together, through simulation and debates, they got acquainted with some local and international environmental issues and ways of tackling them: Think globally, act locally. As a result, the following project ideas were born:
More photos on activEco facebook.
The second of the two Impulse seminars on sustainable development, held on May 11-16, 2015, was also held in Lalova village. Carried out in Russian and Romanian, it gathered another batch of young enthusiasts from all around Moldova, sharing knowledge about what causes so much environmental damage to Moldova and how to avoid and remedy that. Moreover, they also found out more about the inner ecology or where does the impact start. They tried to establish where is each of us on this scale, measure our footprint and discover where our daily stuff like chocolate, coffee, jeans etc. comes from. As a result, there was not only a strong wish to watch more environmental movies, but also to do something tangible for the village of Lalova. In a matter of seconds, the whole group was on its way to find a place for that, and soon, they were working hard to renew the volleyball field. The villagers were astonished, but some of the neighbours recovered in time to join to the action. And, naturally, the seminar also brought to light a number of project ideas:
More photos on activEco facebook page.
While the new activEco participants were working on their ideas and wondering, who will support them on their way, the activEco team took special care to ensure the quality of mentors who will be in charge of this important task.
So, on May 29-31, there was a capacity building training for activEco alumni and friends, who would like to assume the role of a mentor either for the projects from sustainable development seminars or from the social entrepreneurship one. Apart from the activEco community representatives, there were also meteors from partnering programs such as Maysternya, for those activEco projects that will be implemented in Ukraine. It was an intensive seminar with lots of conversations and best practices’ sharing, as well as with theory on mentoring and coaching.
Meanwhile, a parallel seminar on proposal writing was being run for activEco participants, which was concluded with a gallery of projects. As a result of the weekend, all mentors and projects found their match. More photos on activEco facebook page.
This year the activEco programme was updated by another process-related event: for those who wanted to update or upgrade their proposals in between the Impulse and Project Management seminars, there was a special weekend in Chisinau dedicated to this cause. Apart from the learning advantages, it was also a valuable opportunity for the participants from all three impulse seminars to network, to meet other interesting initiatives, as well as with their future mentors from the parallel training.
The event was concluded by a projects’ bazaar, where the participants could present their ideas, mentors’ conference and assignation and, finally, the first official mentors-mentees meeting, where the first steps in their now common journeys were set up.
The Ungheni Project Management Seminar was special in many ways.On the one hand, it was traditionally the point where the participants, who have already had two months for the development of their ideas, could consolidate their teams, finalize project proposals and learn about various aspects of project realization. On the other hand, it also served as meeting point for the participants from three impulse seminars – SE and SD1, SD2, and three countries – Moldova, Ukraine and Romania. Therefore, it has been quite a challenge for the participants themselves (45 in number) and for the facilitators’ team (Masha, Nurana, Valeria, Julian and Ion). But at the same time, wonderful atmosphere and great synergy were created among the group members, and the train Ungheni-Chisinau carried back not only 22 promising projects, but also new friendships and inspiration, which will drive us through the next months’ project implementation and beyond.
More photos on the activEco Facebook page.
IarmarEco - the Fair of Ecological Opportunities and Social Entrepreneurship - is a socio-cultural event uniting EcoVisio and its many partners and supporters, aiming to bring together at least for a day the key stakeholders in the change-makers' world of sustainable development in Moldova - ecological and social initiatives, NGOs, producers and distributors of eco-products, social entrepreneurs; and to show the public what are the possibilities to change the daily routine to a more active, healthy and conscious lifestyle.
So on October 25, Sunday, the day of the Third Edition of IarmarEco, 35 participants of the “Harvesting seminar” attended the event, having the opportunity to present their projects to general public as well as participate in networking events (World Cafe) and Study sessions (on such topics as responsible consumption, cooperative economy, vegan food, social entrepreneurship and etc.) in a safe and productive space providing support, cooperation and mutual motivation among environmental and social activists.
More photos on IarmarEco Facebook page.
Following the results of evaluation of the previous years, the activEco team has decided to change the name of the Reflection Seminar to “Harvesting Seminar – Reflection and Future Opportunities”, as it better conveys the scope of the event: to reflect on the work done and to see what perspectives are open for the next years for participants to continue with their projects and activism for a more sustainable Moldova.
The “Harvesting seminar” was the last seminar in the activEco cycle and took place on 24-28 October, partially in Chisinau and partially in Vadul-lui-Voda. There were several particular features of this seminar: it involved a half a day work with mentors, reflecting together on the outcomes, reaching the milestones etc. and one day was dedicated to IarmarEco. In 2015, you could also remark on the increased level of participation of the young people in the seminar design (participants could work on agenda by themselves, had space for providing their own sessions and work in groups on topics of their interest).
During the “Harvesting seminar”, 22 projects performed by participants in frames of the program were presented and evaluated. Constructive atmosphere of the group inspired and opened up the doors for further perspectives. It came out clearly that several projects (initiated in both Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship areas) are planned to be continued in 2016. During and after the “future opportunities session” many participants have shown specific interest in continuing their activism and involvement in different ways: either by joining the activEco orga-team / the team of new facilitators, or becoming mentors or volunteers in further projects and initiatives.
Moreover, during this final seminar of activEco 2015, a deep whole activEco program evaluation took place, done by a professional external evaluator together with the team, participants and mentors.
More photos on activEco Facebook page.