At the beginning of this year, GWP CEE, together with GWP, GWP Hungary, Solidarity Water Europe, CEWAS, and Good Planet Belgium, started turning a won grant, awarded by Erasmus+, into reality. The point of the Erasmus+ Youth for Water and Climate program is to equip youth with enough knowledge to realize their full potential and become leaders and entrepreneurs in addressing the challenges of sustainable management of water resources and contribute to the SDGs.
First, the partners sat down to discuss the goals of the program. They wanted to address the needs originating from their collective knowledge and the ones highlighted by youth. The common denominators were capacity building, employability and a structure to better connect organizations and youth. As such the following objectives have been developed:
- To develop common and innovative methodologies to strengthen a global youth partnership addressing climate and water related issues and enhance their outreach and impact.
- To support European youth in acquiring transversal and specific skills in collaboration with program partners at global, regional and country levels allowing them do develop bankable projects or accessing employment opportunities and thus contributing to building a water secure world.
During this and previous year, four Transnational Partner Meetings took place to develop the program Curriculum, Intellectual Outputs as well as additional materials which will be accessible to all European youth on the Youth for Water and Climate platform and will develop a sustainable youth program. This will be addressed to a yearly cohort of 20-30 young professionals. The first cohort will target youth aged 18-30 years old from France, Sweden, Slovakia, Hungary and Belgium.
The program will have 3 phases:
1. Preparation research and development of materials: This phase focused on program development and the 4 intellectual outputs: Youth Water and Climate Career Curriculum, a Mentorship guide, Community of Practice and a Youth for Water and Climate Program roadbook.
2. Implementation of the pilot: An open call was launched. The selected participants will start their journey with 3 modules, 1- Taking up a Career in Water & Climate Change, 2 - Innovation & Problem Solving ,3- Leadership development. Following these 3 modules, youth will be separated into 2 groups according to their specific interests, (i) Entrepreneurship (4a) or (ii)Professional development (4b). The youth will also take part in other learning activities, such as a Mentorship program, internships and International events to either take part in capacity-building workshops or advocacy activities.
3. Wrap Up and Evaluation of Tools and Program: This phase will be dedicated to the evaluation of the project's results and improvement of the outputs produced using quantitative and qualitative data collected throughout the various activities.
In the long term, the methodologies and outputs developed will be available to be replicated in other countries and regions. The youth participating will be the beginning of a community of ambassadors for improved youth engagement and connectivity with partner organizations.