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 2016 (after completion of its 4th edition), activEco has 116 graduates from Moldova, Romania and Ukraine, who have implemented 63 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. So, in 2017, the anniversary year, the activEco doesn't consist of the familiar structure 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.
The topics of 2017 are as follows:
- Challenge #1 - Organic Agriculture, May 5-7, 2017: how to boost Organic Agriculture in Moldova?
- Challenge #2 - Sustainable Mobility, May 19-21, 2017: how to change Mobility in our region to a more sustainable and human?
- Challenge #3 - Green Home & Work Spaces, September 15-17: how to change our way to "produce" and consume energy? How to make our home and work spaces "greener"?
- Challenge #4 - Tree Growing, October 13-15: how to grow more trees in Moldova?
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), and is further supported by the Ministry of Environment of Moldova. The main program funder in the recent years was the Federal Foreign Office (Germany). Some components of the program are partially supported by other donors and partners.