Younger Europeans dedicated to the surroundings provide progressive options for sustainable growth

COMMITTED GENERATION. They are aged between 18 and 30 and, alone or in groups, invest in favor of the planet. Within the framework of the European Youth Conference, five projects were awarded and highlighted. Enough to make this generation true players in the challenges of tomorrow.

An itinerant laboratory of curiosities, which travels to schools in priority neighborhoods or isolated rural areas. “Wonderlab”, the project led by Justine Goyon, 29, and her association Les passers de curiosities is part of of the five winning projects of the “Youth and eco-commitment” competition, the results of which were announced at the European Youth Conferencewhich took place from January 24th to 26th at the European Parliament in Strasbourg – and remotely due to the health context.

Children from 4 to 11 years old can discover various ecosystems there, in a fun way, around an investigation designed in the model of escape games. The call for projects allows Justine to benefit from a financial allocation of 10,000 euros, in addition to the support of the Pastoral da Juventude teams. “We are at a turning point in our project. The tests are finished, as well as the prototype, and we need more resources to start the next phase”, explains the young woman.

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“Being part of a community of young people on the move”

In addition to the financial aspect, Justine also enjoyed participating in the European Youth Conference. With the feeling “of being part of a community of young people who are moving to do great things”.

She was thus able to get involved in the production of a collective climate fresco, as well as a workshop on environmental education and sustainable development goals. 🇧🇷It allowed me to interact with young people from all over Europe who have the ambition to make this planet a little greener. I was amazed at their professionalism🇧🇷

An impression shared by the Secretary of State responsible for Youth and Engagement, Sarah El Hairy, at the end of the three days of meetings: “We saw high quality projects. In addition to the advocacy dimension, they are very operational, she welcomes. With ‘La Friperie du Sport’, for example, we are asking ourselves how to make the second life a mode of daily consumption, especially in sport, making sporting activity more accessible. This project led by ANESTAP (Association of Students of Science and Technology of Physical and Sports Activities) and which aims to collect and make used sports equipment available, is already implemented in several campuses.

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Solutions to take into account the challenges of sustainable development

Along with “Wonderlab” and “la Friperie du sport”, three other projects were selected by the jury and participants: “Green Tsunami”, which offers a new solution for greener festivals, “Ouroboro”, a project to recover plastics on the back and “Recipient”, which develops reusable packaging for food products.

More generally, the call for projects has allowed highlighting innovative solutions carried out by young people : aquaponics kits, exchange of plants and seeds, plastic collection, apps to share eco-responsible places, etc. A way to show that everyone is full of ideas for adapt to climate changepromote the circular economy and the management of waste and natural resources, act for biodiversity or even develop citizen education for sustainable development.

This was also what motivated Lola Ott, 28, from the Octop’us association. Her project, “Revolution is in the hair”, was selected to also be presented during the European Youth Conference. 🇧🇷This call for projects is an opportunity to make our solution known to the widest possible network, with this European dimension., explains the young woman from Strasbourg. And the opportunity to raise awareness that hair is no longer a waste, but a resource.” The association uses cut hair to clean water in case of oil spills or pollution.

A total of 55 projects have been submitted by 117 participants from 15 EU Member States since last October. Substantial material for thinking about tomorrow’s solutions. “Young people must not be used as a pawn, a guarantee to make proposals about the challenges of society, they must be able to really participate”, insisted Sarah El Hairy.

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