Climate Action Day 2 in Mohill

GEAI (Good Energies Alliance Ireland) is currently running Climate Action days for Transition Year students in Mohill Community College.  This activity is lead by our team of EVS volunteers.

IMG_1515On November 20th we met again for the second Climate Action day. The aim of this session was to take a closer look at the actual problems the world (and Ireland in particular) is facing, and come up with the ideas for our personal actions, something easy to do and at the same time interesting for the students.

IMG_1516.JPGThe issues about the challenges students came up with were brilliant:

  • Apathetic governments;
  • World leaders not believing climate change is an issue;
  • People aren’t open to change;
  • Organic products too expensive;
  • Deforestation for extraction of palm oil;

And many more.

We were all impressed by this piece of work, and in the second part of the session we came up with action plans for the nearest 3 weeks.

IMG_1527IMG_1529We had 5 groups working on the following topics:

  • Nature and biodiversity;
  • Green energy and transport;
  • Waste, plastics and recycling;
  • Food and composting;
  • and an extra one which took the political route and decided to interview local politicians.

IMG_1543IMG_1545Next time we’re going to meet in the Organic Centre in Rossinver. The students will present the results of their work. We look forward to it!

IMG_1505For more pictures follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/geaireland/

Alexandra Peralaika

Ballinamore fights climate change

Ballinamore is on its way to becoming a Sustainable Energy Community (SEC)!

Ballinamore's Energy Action

On 30th October, a meeting of Ballinamore citizens interested in the transition of the town to a low carbon economy agreed to form an Energy Group and to start working with SEAI and a mentor to create an Energy Masterplan for the town.

Noeleen O'Callaghan at Ballinamore's seminar

Noeleen O’Callaghan from Leargas, Erasmus +

“This is an important step for Ballinamore,” said Mairín Martin, Chairperson, Ballinamore Area Community Council. “It is horrific to think that our town is spending €2 million each year on energy, the vast majority of which is oil, gas and coal.  It is clear that climate change is now happening and every town and citizen must play their part in working to save the planet. The most important thing we can do as individuals is to move away from fossil fuels for transport and heating. We must look at the possibilities of generating our energy from wind and solar. We also must consider how we can reduce our transport costs, currently around €1 million per year!”

Mel Gavin at Ballinamore's seminar

Mel Gavin from IT Sligo

The meeting was well attended, convened by Good Energies Alliance Ireland and supported by SEAI and the Erasmus+ programme. GEAI presented the results of an Energy Survey they did in Ballinamore. Mel Gavin from I.T. Sligo presented a potential Energy Roadmap to 2025 that responded to many ideas put forward by residents to tackle climate change. The meeting was enjoyable and very informative. A meeting of the new Energy Group will take place shortly and will look at the ways Ballinamore can be supported to get on a path to lower both its energy costs and its carbon emissions.

 

 

Mohill students take climate action

GEAI (Good Energies Alliance Ireland) is currently organising three Climate Action days for Transition Year students in Mohill Community College.  This initiative is facilitated by our EVS volunteers who are proving to be a big hit with the students!

IMG_1407For the first day in the school on October 23rd, the aim was that students would learn more about climate change and its impacts globally and on Ireland. The morning started with an ice-breaker where the students and our volunteers had great craic, and after that the real work began. It included a presentation given by the GEAI team about climate change, its impacts on Ireland and the world and what we can do to tackle it. The students were very well informed about climate change, but were happy to get more information on the topic.

IMG_1410After the presentation it was time for more work. Choosing pictures that we had laid in front of them, the students showed their interest in different aspects of climate change such as extreme weather, food production, energy efficiency, power generation and pollution. According to their interests they were divided in groups. The volunteers facilitated table discussions and the students participated with great enthusiasm. They talked about their topic, finding their causes and coming up with ideas to address the issue.  At the end of the session they presented their discussion results and we felt very proud of them.

IMG_1402.JPG

Irish Halloween for our EVS volunteers

 

Volunteers with their Halloween pumpkin

Nino, Sarah and Siri with their Halloween pumpkin

Halloween is an important part of the Irish culture as it is an original Irish festival, marking the time when the bright summer and autumn moves into the darkness of winter. We, the EVS volunteers, were delighted to enjoy Halloween this year!

 

Over the past few weeks, we saw the shops and houses decorated with skeletons, pumpkins, spiders and their webs, bats and all the scary stuffs you can imagine.

Nightmare on Highstreet in Drumshanbo

The Haunted House in Drumshanbo

We also enjoyed decorating our home with spiders, bats, a black cat and obviously, a magnificent Halloween pumpkin proudly carved by ourselves!

 

A lot of Halloween events took place in County Leitrim and we enjoyed a Halloween party in a pub in Carrick-on-Shannon. Finally we went to the “Haunted House” in Drumshanbo during Halloween night. In the darkness of the labyrinth, people dressed up like monsters and creepy creatures emerged from nowhere, with frightening noises and screams. What a creepy experience!

Even the weather on Halloween night seemed to be in a scary mood, with fog, yellow moon and frost!

 Now we can say that we have had the creepiest and best Halloween in our lives!

 

 

The Belarusians are coming!

Our Advanced Planned Visit started on Wednesday November 7th 2018, when Del picked us up from the airport. Two of us came on an APV: me, Sasha, a volunteer whose year-long EVS project was about to start, and Alisa, volunteer coordinator of Fialta, my sending organization. The first thing Alisa did was to get into the driver’s seat, which wasn’t surprising for Del, though – it seems like everyone needs time to adjust to differences when they’re in Ireland for the first time and driving on the different side of the road is one of those things.

Our first encounter with Leitrim was when we stopped for lunch at a nice little café, the food was good, the people – really friendly and looking genuinely interested in what these new people are here for, which was nice. Since then I have been impressed by general friendliness and that is one of the things that helped me settle in faster.  After lunch I had a chance to drop my bags at volunteers’ house and have a quick look, then we headed straight to the office of GEAI in Ballinaglera Community Hall. We went straight into planning my upcoming EVS, both sending and hosting organizations had to make sure I understood volunteer’s role, was familiar with aims, objectives and main ideas of the project, knew what was expected of me and could ask about important aspects before the project started. In the evening we enjoyed a homemade dinner with the representatives of GEAI and had a chance to get to know each other in a less formal way. Also, that night we visited a local pub where a music session was happening, that was something I’ve never seen before and I was greatly impressed. Although by the end of the night I was falling asleep right there, because by that time we had been up for about 22 hours (there is a 3-hour difference with Belarus and we had an early flight).

Next day we were planning Climate Action Days for school together, and it was great to start participating actively straight away.  And in the first couple of days we were able to see a few totally different types of Irish weather – from a bright sunny day to lashing rain, which also gave me an idea of what is waiting for me in the coming year. The next dinner we had was cooked by the volunteers, each one made a national dish and it was absolutely delicious. For us it was great to have two homemade vegetarian dinners in the row, we were taken great care of.

So this Advanced Planned Visit happened to be a very important step before the start of the project, gave the two organizations opportunity to discuss important issues and helped me, the volunteer, settle in easier and get ready for the project.

(Sasha)

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