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CHANGE UP | Civic Europe
Environment and sustainability


Building active participation towards sustainability


Who is behind this?

Isabel Silva

GAF - Grupo Aprender em Festa


Who is joining forces?

CERVAS-Centro de Ecologia, Recuperação e Vigilância dos Animais Selvagens


Agrupamento de Escolas de Gouveia


Instituto de Gouveia - Escola Profissional


Other partners: Animar (Portuguese Association for Local Development); Casa da Esquina (NGO); Instituto Piaget de Viseu (Higher Education)


Idea pitch

The “CHANGE UP” is a community intervention project, facilitated by GAF (NGO), with people in Gouveia Municipality (PT), a rural council located in the inland of Portugal. The project aims to promote a democratic culture of living in diversity, encouraging civic engagement towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda at the local level with the community by strengthening access to knowledge, while creating a wider conscience of creating an Europe sustainable for all.

Where will your project idea take place?

Gouveia, rural locality, situated in the center region, in the mainland of Portugal.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Gouveia is characterized by a low population density, consisting of about 3.500 inhabitants. The project “CHANGE UP” seeks to respond to the identified needs, such as the lack of theoretical and technical knowledge on how to put the SDGs and Agenda 2030 into practice in the municipality of Gouveia. Through the planned activities, it will be possible to disseminate these principles and promote their applicability adapted to the local context. It aims to close the gap between migrant people, small producers, decision makers, youth volunteers and the resident community, enhancing their knowledge and practices for the sustainable development of the territory. It also aims to promote the reduction and recycling of waste and more efficient use of endogenous resources.

Who are you doing it for?

Our target group is the local rural community of Gouveia municipality, namely people from migrant backgrounds, small producers (women, pastors, new settlers), young people (namely disadvantaged), local policy makers, national civil servants, local groups (environment & climate, farmers, social, volunteers and others). Through the action and experience of GAF in participatory methodologies we will have an approach of proximity with the people involved, through verbal contact and using digital tools. With our actions we also aim to inform people form adjacent territories, where there is also less opportunities for civic engagement and participation.

How do you plan to get there?

The project “CHANGE UP” will start in November 2020 until November 2021 (12 months): Organize the action plan throughout the time frame of the project; Activate GAF local, national and international partnerships; Organize and develop participative/non formal and capacity-building activities: 8 participative training workshops; 12 editions of street actions – happening once a month through November 2020 until November 2021; 5 community meetings - Citizenship Forums. The Sustainable Development Goals and civic education for sustainability approachs will helps us frame the intervention, as well participatory methodologies (collaborative meetings, discussion forums, participative videos, campaings, etc).

What are the expected results?

The community strengthen their knowledge about Sustainable Development Goals/2030 Agenda, local and European policies enhancing civic engagement and participation; Youth strengthen their capacities to advocate for sustainability using media-digital tools; Migrant people feel more included in the local community, strengthening a democratic culture of living in diversity; Small producers, namely women, have equal opportunities to participate in local life in the public space; Local associations strengthen their capacities to enable a rich dialogue between all partners towards the establishment of a sustainable multilevel governance system; Local authorities adopt policies and practices to foster sustainable development and the engagement of under-represented groups in local affairs.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

The “CHANGE UP” project strengthens democracy and active citizenship, through the following activities: a) Participative/non-formal training workshops about the SGD’s, Agenda 2030, civic engagement at a local and European level and participation and tools (videos, campaigns) to create awareness and active action of the participants in a co-creative process, developing a combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation, especially with young people; b) Street actions, namely Ecomarkets, aim to involve small local producers, decision makers, youth volunteers and the resident citizens, as it creates an intercultural social space in the community; c) Community meetings - Citizenship Forums aim to bring citizens to participate by identifying problems and creating shared solutions.

Why is this idea important to you?

The action of GAF- Grupo Aprender em Festa (which means group that learns in a collaborative and fun way) have been guided by humanistic, education, active citizenship, development, participative democracy values. Our vision and dream for action is to move towards a more inclusive, cohesive and happier communities in harmony with the environmental surroundings, and also to strengthen the rural region overcoming the inequalities in relation to large urban centers and access to opportunities. With this project we hope to continue and improve our mission in the community.

€ 46000,-

Total budget

€ 46000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel expenses: 26.500
Travel expenses: 3.000
Equipment: 4.000
External collaborators: 7.000
Presentation Results: 2.500
Public Relations and Communications: 3.000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Open to suggestions that can add positive inputs to our idea project, to help sustainability to be more embeded in our daily lives and for citizens to have a more active role in decision-making processes towards that goal!


GAF - Grupo Aprender em Festa

sandra silvestre


Isabel Silva

Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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