Are you active in the fields of environmental protection/education, climate change and/or other environmental struggles? Do you work for, volunteer for, or are a member of a group or initiative dealing with these topics and based in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo* or Serbia? Do you wish to learn more and share your experiences and knowledge with others?
Then join us at this 7-days summer school on environmental activism from 20th until 26th of July 2022 in Novi Sad, Serbia. The summer school will offer you a unique chance to discuss and to exchange ideas on topics related to climate change issues and environmental struggles with a focus on the Western Balkan Region.
This summer school is part of the project “the Green Valley”, funded by the Western Balkan Fund and co-funded by the European Union to promote regional cooperation.
Why this summer school?
With this summer school, we wish to create a space for individuals and groups which are active at the local and/or regional level when it comes to climate activism, environmental awareness and climate change with a specific focus on the Western Balkan region in order to meet each other, learn about each other’s experiences, struggles, best practices and concerns.
Moreover, we would like to support you to raise your and your initiatives’ capacities in different fields such as climate-related and environment-related issues but also advocacy, self-organization and any other topic/content you might need in order to make your activities more effective.
What will you do, exchange, learn?
- You will have the opportunity to exchange different experiences and best practices with fellow activists based in the Western Balkans Region and particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia;
- You will hear about, and become more familiar with, different environmental-related and climate-related challenges but also movements, initiatives and efforts within Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia;
- You will acquire many, locally and globally-related information on environmental issues, climate change and climate justice;
- You will enhance your knowledge and awareness of environmental rights and environmental activism in the Western Balkans;
- You will acquire tools, strategies, and best practices of mobilization that can be reproduced and adapted to one’s own contexts of intervention;
- You will have the possibility to network with different activists and organizations from the Region.
What does the summer school consist of?
The summer school will take place in Novi Sad, Serbia from 20th until 26th of July 2022, travel days included. It will involve 18 participants coming from Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo* and Serbia. The group will be accommodated at the VaradInn hostel, and all costs will be covered by the organizers.
The summer school will not consist of frontal teaching. it will require active contributions by all participants. It will be a mixture of group reflections, discussions and exchanges from participants, interventions from external experts, field visits and of course time to bond and network.
Prior to the summer school, there will be an organizational online call with all selected participants to prepare for the summer school. All selected participants will be required to attend.
After the summer school, participants will be encouraged to share their reflections and experiences in written form. In the 3 months after the summer school, an online report about environmental struggles and activism in the region will be created by the organizers and it will incorporate reflections that emerged during the summer school and written by participants.
The training team comes from different countries and backgrounds, and it possesses both theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the field of environment, climate change and activism.
Please note that the agenda below is a draft and there might be changes. All selected participants will receive a detailed infopack with the final agenda.
Who can apply?
- We are looking for activists, staff members and/or volunteers of environmental organizations, initiatives and informal groups with a strong interest in the topic of environment and climate change and in particular persons already actively engaged in the topic.
- Participants must be residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia or Kosovo*
- Participants must be above 18 years old.
- Knowledge of English that allows full and active participation in the program (which will be entirely in the English language) is required.
Which costs are covered by the project?
Travel from the country of residence (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia) to Novi Sad, Serbia. Please note that reimbursement of travel costs will be possible just from/to these countries to the location of the summer school.
- Health insurance for non-Serbian residents
- Food and accommodation during the summer school
- No fee is required at any point
How to apply?
You can apply by filling in the application form. Applications are open until June 26.
All participants will be notified by July 1st about the result. Selected participants will receive a detailed infopackage containing all the necessary information.
Who are the implementing partners?
The forum is organized by IPSIA from Bosnia and Herzegovina, GAIA from Kosovo and Volonterski centar Vojvodine from Serbia.
GAIA was founded in 2010 in Plemetina, Kosovo. GAIA Kosovo is the official branch of Service Civil International (SCI), one of the world’s largest international volunteering organizations founded in 1920 dedicated to promoting a culture of peace through the organization and coordination of voluntary projects all over the world. GAIA works towards achieving peace by creating spaces and opportunities where people from various backgrounds can meet, talk, listen to and develop understanding for each other. GAIA envisions to restore and create new relationships not only between people but also between people and nature.
IPSIA Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a branch of the Italian NGO IPSIA. IPSIA BiH has been working in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1997 in particular in Una Sana Canton, with young people and local communities. IPSIA’s topics are local development, environment, tourism, volunteering, sport, and migration. It works mainly in the fields of international cooperation, socio-economic development of local communities and environmental awareness. Since 2018, following a large influx of migrants transiting on the Western Balkan Route and particularly on the Una Sana Canton, IPSIA BiH has been working to provide humanitarian aid and psycho-social activities addressed at migrants, with a constant focus on local communities and youth.
Volunteers’ Centre of Vojvodina – VCV is a non-governmental organization established in Novi Sad, Serbia, in 2005. Volunteers’ Center of Vojvodina strives for the promotion and recognizement of volunteering as a tool for development of individuals as well as society through organizing volunteer actions and promoting volunteering, its values and benefits to different groups in society. Moreover, VCV locally organizes non-formal educational activities such as workshops, presentations, movies screening and others, aimed mainly at youth and focusing on various relevant topics. The local projects (mainly solidarity-oriented actions) are volunteer-based and include awareness raising campaigns mainly linked to human rights, climate/environmental awareness and social justice. Since 2008, VCV is the Serbian branch of Service Civil International (SCI), one of the largest global voluntary peace movements, that was established 101 years ago.
Accommodation and food
The project has been financed by the Western Balkan Fund. The costs related to accommodation and food will be completely covered by the hosting organizations.
Participants will be accommodated in hostel-type rooms in the VaradInn hostel, where most of the meals will be also served and most sessions will take place.
The hostel has free parking as well as Wi-fi.
Food will be vegetarian and vegan, seasonal and mainly locally sourced.
The project covered three meals and 2 coffee breaks per day.
Participants will help out in setting up the breakfast with the provided ingredients, and every person will be responsible for washing their own cups and plates.
The travel costs will be covered up to the following amounts:
- From Bosnia and Herzegovina: 71 euros
- From Kosovo: 71 euros
- From Serbia: 26 euros
Travel reimbursement will take place once every participant sends scanned copies of travel tickets and original by post to the applicant. We encourage you not to travel by plane, due to the highly negative environmental impact of flights, and to use buses and trains instead.