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

Reimagining our Rural Communities

Nino, our Italian EVS volunteer, took part in the “Reimagining our Rural Communities” event organized by Leitrim Development Company in Drumshanbo on September 26th. The meeting was attended by various associations and organizations representing the entire county of Leitrim. The aim was to stimulate debate and share ideas and opportunities for the future of the county.

Leitrim is a rural county, and this has both positive and negative aspects. Sometimes the decisions made by the central government do not fit well with the real needs of the territory and there are different problems. The aim of this first meeting is to activate a virtuous process that, starting from the requests of the community and therefore of individual citizens, tries to imagine and put into practice solutions.

During the meeting four round tables were set up and the one in which Nino participated was called “Dreams”. The question was: What do you dream for Leitrim? The answers were really varied and just to name a few: development of renewable energy and recycling, better public services and implementation of practices such as car sharing. – Leitrim could become a model in this field and be, for example, the first sustainable county in Ireland. – In addition, more services – for example the health service is really lacking – and consequently higher quality of life, greater opportunities for young people, and finally greater sense of community.

The issues addressed were many, some generic while others specific, and what is positive is that several people have come together to talk. Maybe Leitrim’s strength lies in the fact that it is a small county, and together it is possible to create a common vision on it. So see you at the next meeting.

Pre-Departure Training for EVS in Greece

EVS Volunteers with GEAI

Good Energies Alliance Ireland is accredited as a sending organisation for young people in County Leitrim who would like to live an international experience through the European Voluntary Service (EVS) programme. This summer, for the first time, four young Irish participants will enjoy Greece for one month!

Pre-Departure Training for EVS in GreeceThey will work with a Greek organisation on a project which involves the care of forest areas in Xylokastro, a seaside town in the Peloponnese. It will be also a good opportunity for them to discover the Greek culture, meet new people from other countries in Europe and enjoy the beach and the sun!

Pre-departure Training

Before their departure, we organised pre-departure sessions for the volunteers and a joing session for the volunteers and their guardians to disseminate information about their EVS project and also to address practical considerations, e.g. travel arrangements, money, etc.  Non-formal pre-departure training was delivered by our long-term EVS volunteers to talk about the EVS programme and their fears, goals and expectations. They used non-formal learning methodologies, such as the tree of expectations and fears, the cultural iceberg and the curve of adaptation. They also explained the aims of EVS projects and the YouthPass certificate that they will receive at the end of their experience. In addition, they gave them information on cultural challenges, conflict management and practical tips for their stay.

This project will be a great opportunity for them, and hopefully, a stepping stone to further travels around Europe!

 

A New Climate for Education – an important Seminar

Last Friday, at the Teacher’s Club in Dublin, a seminar “A New Climate for Education“ was held, to discuss how Climate Change and sustainability are incorporated into schools curricula. This was organised by Green Foundation Ireland, Cultivate, GEAI and ECO – UNESCO.

Aedín McLoughlin, Director of Good Energies Alliance Ireland and the GEAI EVS volunteers attended this event.  During the morning there were really interesting presentations from the ecologist and TV presenter, Duncan Stewart; Breda Naughten from Dept. Of Education; and Peadar Kirby, Professor Emeritus at the University of Limerick. Young people had an opportunity to express their views and time was given for discussion on how best to implement climate change studies in schools.

The most memorable quotes that we took away with us included:

An increase in temperature of three and a half degrees is going to make our planet uninhabitable, and we need to get this information into the schools. We’re on borrowed time. We’re taking young people’s future, it’s a serious situation.” (Duncan Stewart)

“Are we sowing the seeds of new values, new energies, new questing people? Or are we conforming to the system?” (Peadar Kirby)

“I think the most important thing is that we don’t make anything worse. Each euro spent in an investment in the world we live in.” (Ben Mallon)

Also memorable was the great contribution by young people to the discussion.

You can find more information about the event itself here.

Time to celebrate the fracking ban!

On Saturday 14th October at the Ballroom of Romance in Glenfarne, Co. Leitrim, there was a hectic and vibrant atmosphere with people gathering from all around Ireland to celebrate the outstanding outcome represented by the ban of hydraulic fracturing activities on the Irish soil. While approaching the location of the party, one could admire the sparkling Love Leitrim’s Heart lit on the hill in the darkness giving a strong signal of hope to the rest of the world.

leitrim heart

The Leitrim’s Heart (Ph. Love Leitrim)

The six-year-long campaign has been difficult, putting considerable strain on people involved in it. However, looking at people’s faces there is no doubt that very effort was worth to be made. International activists Julia Walsh from New York and Helmut Fehr from Germany joined the party and gave speeches on how Ireland’s fight and victory against fracking has inspired them to keep pursuing their own campaigns.

Entertainment was provided by the well-renowned Kila Band, followed by Stephen Murphy’s touching poetry and the performance of Three Speaking Monkey and The Mullies Crowd and, lastly, the 70’s disco.

kila

Kila members performing

GEAI members and EVS Volunteers who attended the party would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Love Leitrim, which did a fantastic job in setting up the lovely venue!

IMG_4635

EVS Volunteers at the Global Frackdown party

 

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