Environment and sustainability, Youth participation and empowerment

Make It Green Lesvos winner

Empowering Youth from diverse communities on the island of Lesvos to work together for a Green future while cultivating cross-cultural dialogue and establishing their environmental identities.


Who is behind this?

Polly Martin

Sporos Regeneration Institute




Idea pitch

The world is racing towards carbon neutrality by 2050 to reverse climate change. We want the Youth to be the forefront in this race. Local and refugee youth in Lesvos have few opportunities to learn about restorative and sustainable practices and no opportunities to co-exist and learn together. We want to change that. We will teach them about the environment and incorporate drama-based activities while doing it, so as to nurture cooperation, increase their self esteem and create active citizens.

Where will your project idea take place?

Lesvos Island, Greece

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

-Lack of opportunities for the locals
-No integration between the two communities
-Biggest migration hotspot in Europe, refugees in serious need of social inclusion and positive experiences due to dire living conditions.
-Locals live in fear of the Other and they feel that their culture is under threat. The only way to change their minds is to get to know the Others.
-Due to a big influx of people passing through Lesvos the environment has been affected. It is paramount to raise awareness within the communities.

Who are you doing it for?

- Key target group = Teenagers ages between 14 - 18 from both communities.
5 action groups, during the course of a year
- Ten day workshops - 12 participants max, 8 minimum to be able to run each time. Groups are small to ensure inclusivity and team bonding over the duration of the workshops.
- Total target number of participants 60 people
- Family day on the last day of the workshop when their families will visit the farm, socialise and see what the kids have done during the workshops. Total number of participants during family days approximately 200 people in a year.

How do you plan to get there?

We will hire transport to pick up and drop off the participants to ensure higher participation. We will bring them to our headquarters which is a farm in rural Lesvos not very far away from the camp and the town of Mytilini. On the farm they will engage in practical activities related to nature and the environment such as gardening, learning about plants and organic farming. For the drama based part we will use one of our outbuildings especially built for indoor workshop activities. By using forum theatre activities we will provoke discussions and give space to participants to speak and be heard. We also intend to have translators onsite throughout the sessions. During Family Days we will offer transport again. It will be a day for celebration as well as showcasing student's work.

What are the expected results?

We are confident that we will lay the foundations for more tolerance and more understanding. We are anticipating that through giving an opportunity to young people to mix and integrate, we will give ground for cultural exchange and hopefully create some friendships. Additionally we are aiming to provide education around environmental issues and guide young people to take further initiatives locally in the environmental and sustainability domain. We are also anticipating that educational drama will enhance their communication and social skills.

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

It will create a sense of community and belonging to young people from the refugee community. They will feel less marginalised they will be empowered to voice opinions and be more active citizens in any society they might be, whether that is Greece or any other European country they will reside in.
Young people will acquire knowledge around environmentally sustainable practices. They will be our Green Ambassadors, a title which will give them the confidence to be active in their community and start their own initiatives either through their school or at a community level.
It will be a medium to raise acceptance and tolerance between young people from diverse communities, eliminate extremism and unite them in efforts for the common good.

Why is this idea important to you?

Konstantinos Tsiompanos, the Managing Director of Sporos, has extensive experience working with children in Lesvos as a Forest School teacher and he is also a lawyer for unaccompanied minors. Polly Martin is the Operations and Development Officer at Sporos and has extensive experience working with communities in conflict in Cyprus as a workshop facilitator. Rachael LeClear is the Project Manager at EcoHub, one of Sporos’ core projects. She brings nearly a decade of educational administration experience. She joined the volunteer community on Lesvos in 2016, focusing on shoreline response and environmental remediation. We are extremely motivated to materialise this idea because we have seen real impact through similar workshops.

€ 39200,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Transport costs: Bus rental total €12000 (based on 200 euros per day, per car)
Project Management: €4500
1 x Farsi Translator: €2500
Materials: €1800 (for drama and environmental classes)
Environmental Educator: €7000
Drama Educator: €6000
Catering: €1200
Prints and promotional gifts: €2000
Social Media and Communications: €2200

Total budget: €39200
Funding requested from Civic Europe: €35000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to hear feedback about our idea from fellow practitioners, especially from organisations that work in similar capacities.

Project Journey

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Polly Martin

K Tsiompanos

Idea created on April 26, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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