The Erasmus+ project NGEurope is all about leadership, engagement, education, excellence and finding solutions. It empowers community leaders to take action on social and environmental issues and creates tools and support for facilitating civic action and participation. The project engages with individuals and communities interested in green and social entrepreneurship and helps them to develop their ideas into a viable enterprise, which can act as a catalyst in creating social and environmental change.
Within the project, a training course was developed, which will be conducted five times in five partner countries. So far, the course was held in Portugal, Greece, Spain, and Ireland. The final edition will take place in Austria in November.
The most recent training course was hosted by Leave No Trace Ireland in Castlebar, Ireland, this summer. Twenty participants from Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Austria took part. The participants brought a wealth of knowledge to the training from their own diverse experiences and the trainers used their facilitation skills to ensure this knowledge was captured.
After an introductory field trip visit to the volunteer led initiative Swift Conservation Ireland, days 2-5 of the course involved the sharing of techniques on starting and managing both environmental and social NGO’s. Examples of both national and international NGO’s were examined and the participants engaged in in-depth discussions, whilst also investigating their own ideas for NGO’s.
A critical part of the training course is the networking among partner countries and participants on this course engaged very well and created strong links with watch other and engaged in discussion how they can support each other on other projects.
One of the training course participants put her experience in her own words:
“The NGEurope training course offers a great opportunity to widen your horizon about social entrepreneurship. On the one hand you will acquire theoretical knowledge – for example about well thought-through structural organisation – on the other hand you get a chance to put theories into practice in various exercises. You will learn about goals, motives and believes prevalent in the NGO world and you can get in touch with other Europeans who are interested in NGO work or who already run their own NGOs. It is a great experience with inspiring people.”