FoE Croatia education
Summer camp "School of Sustainability"
In recent years, Zelena akcija/FoE Croatia has developed and is actively implementing quality trainings for activists and other civil society organisations through the „School of Sustainability“ project. Using a holistic approach and expertise, through our trainings and seminars we seek systematic responses to systemic challenges and are committed to building capacity to advocate for environmental, social and economic justice. We emphasise reflection and strengthen ties for personal and collective empowerment.
We believe that educators, who are also activists, play an important role in social movements, because they increase the ability of successful social action. Therefore, our goal is to educate as many people as possible who want to become catalysts for innovation in social movements, to communicate and spread new approaches, frameworks and tools.
All our work on education helps us to learn from sharing experiences, and to build cooperation and learning together through spreading new curricula and practices in different social movements, cultures and countries.
The methodology we use in our trainings offers a range of tools, collective and personal, that can make our activism more effective and sustainable. These are tools that can help us avoid burnout and remain activists in the long run, which adds continuity to building our movement. We use these same tools to ensure that the collective and organisational dimensions of our civic activism serve as an example of the values we fight for.
- Summer camp „School of Sustainability“
Summer camp „School of Sustainability“ is designed as a seven-day education for students, educators and activists who are interested in the topics of environment, activism, climate and social justice, ie human rights.
As such, the summer camp provides us with space for discussion, reflection and working together through devising practical solutions.
Through the „School of Sustainability“ we want to continue to explore learning methods based on popular-transformative education that has its roots in Latin America and the principles of learning by Paul Freire (Pedagogy of the Disenfranchised) and methods devised by Augusto Boal (Theater of the Oppressed). The goal of such learning is not the mere transfer of knowledge but the learning of knowledge as a social process where we recognise that we all have knowledge, awareness and memory and that we are part of nature and that nature is part of us.
The summer camp addresses environmental issues through basic learning on the topic of domination and oppression that helps us better understand the world government's relationship to people and the country, and how we have come to this point in history as well as the importance of speech and why it is important to talk about sustainable goals and practices. The greatest emphasis is on the importance of critical thinking and dialogue.
As FoE Croatia is advocating for a change in the system through its membership in the Friends of the Earth network, at the summer camp we are also thinking about how we want and can achieve economic, social and, above all, climate justice.
The programme therefore covers topics such as climate change, energy solutions, the impact of consumerism and waste on the quality of our lives, and deals with ways and examples of how we can become actively involved in our community.
To help raise awareness of the learning content, the work methodology we use includes a lot of group work, joint discussions, devising concrete solutions and artistic expression through theater and sound.
The camp is held in the Regional Educational Center for Sustainable Energy „Solar Academy“ on the island of Solta, and is located in a former military facility that we remodeled to serve as an example that sustainable lifestyles are very possible and not uncomfortable at all. Accommodation is at the level of a mountain lodge, and the diet is vegetarian.
Therefore, everyone who loves staying in nature, who is eager to learn something new and different, wants to make new friends and be creative and open to different opinions is welcome in this camp.
- Training for "Sustainability School" trainers on the topic of privilege and oppression
At the training for trainers, we want to share with the participants the experience of FoE Croatia in working with methods based on popular - transformative education, and share methods of working with young people which have proven to be very successful in our experience.
Popular education has its roots in the struggle for class, political and social transformation in Latin America, and as a methodology it differs greatly from the classical methods we encounter in our education system. It is based primarily on the principles of Paul Freire's teaching (Pedagogy of the Disenfranchised) and the methods devised by Augusto Boal (Theater of the Oppressed) and includes participatory methods and the so-called head, heart and hands principle, ie learning through experience and reflection.
The goal of such learning is not merely to reproduce other people's knowledge, but to learn knowledge as a social process where we recognise that we all have knowledge, awareness and memory and that we are part of nature and that nature is part of us. Therefore, you can expect a lot of introspective, and therefore demanding, but also fun exercises and group work.
Through a diverse methodology of popular - transformative education, we explore diverse content. We discuss the themes of domination and oppression, the relationship of the global North and South, climate and social justice, the importance of critical thinking and dialogue, and environmental activism that encompasses both human and natural rights. For this purpose, a specific methodology has been developed that facilitates learning and understanding of the content and more easily supports the needs of participants, both individually and in groups.
Through this concept of „Training for Trainers“, together we examine, learn, build awareness and shared understanding and explore how to integrate equality, diversity and inclusion into the learning and development process, and what facilitation tools and approaches we can use to support participants' needs (individually and collectivelly) to explore topics that will emerge in the group, but also in the wider society.
By providing a safe space for research, learning, and deepening understanding of how to integrate equality, diversity and inclusion into the learning and development phases, we achieve an understanding of that same process at each stage of creating group dynamics.
The idea of the training is to bring together people interested in learning new methodologies in the context of environmental, social and economic justice and redistribution of power not only within society, but also within ourselves.
Training for trainers is especially designed as a place of learning and questioning for professors and teachers, experienced trainers and facilitators, but also for those who want to become trainers. Therefore, we especially encourage primary and secondary school teachers to participate.
- Seminar „Small School of Sustainability“
It's designed as a 4-day seminar for young people, activists, students and everyone else with an open mind prone to critical thinking. The seminar is based on the methods of popular - transformative education, which is the basis of all educational activities of FoE Croatia through the „School of Sustainability“. The goal of such learning is not the mere transfer of knowledge but the learning of knowledge as a social process where we recognise that we all have knowledge, awareness and memory and that we are part of nature and that nature is part of us. It is a methodology that is constantly evolving and adapting depending on the groups and needs of individuals, but also global needs based on education for sustainable development and promotion of its goals.
The „Small School of Sustainability“ also offers a range of tools, collective and personal, that can help make our activism more effective and sustainable. The methodology we use can help us make different dimensions of our activism examples of the values we fight for, which can help us stay inspired and creative in our approach in long-term.
- School of Civil Disobedience
In today’s society, people recognise the necessity of activism and take responsibility for change. Civic initiatives are flourishing throughout Zagreb and Croatia, and citizens are increasingly deciding to resist and self-organise. Pupils are striking for climate change, citizens are fighting for public space and the protection of green spaces, blocking harmful government decisions and promoting local and sustainable alternatives. This informative and interactive education of civic activism and disobedience serves to better prepare current and future active citizens for their upcoming actions and victories.
This two-day practical training, through theory, discussions and interactive simulations, covers the basics of activist organising, so that each participant is ready to launch their own initiatives for environmental protection and human rights alone or in a group. Through theory and practice, we find answers to questions such as: What are our fundamental civil rights? Where is the line between legal and illegal action? What type of civic activism and nonviolent action to choose? What are the key steps in planning an action, campaign or protest? How to mobilise others and how to communicate with the media? How to function harmoniously as a group? All the theory is accompanied by a series of examples, as well as experiential exercises and fun simulations.
The idea is to learn together to be more willing to recognise the key steps that need to be taken towards social change, as well as potential pitfalls. The training is intended for all citizens who want to activate or refresh their knowledge with new examples, knowledge and methods.
- Who needs intersectionality?
The notion of intersectionality is increasingly present in activist circles, and refers to the understanding of the fact that different aspects of environmental and social problems (gender, race, class and others) intertwine and must be taken into account when creating solutions for a just, sustainable and solidary society.
In a two-day training, we explore how our struggles (for women's rights, workers, migrants, animals, LGBTIQ + people, for a clean and healthy environment, the fight against poverty ...) complement the bigger picture and make a common struggle for a just society. Using the tools of popular education based on experiential learning and active participation, we create a space in training where we learn together from each other in order to strengthen ties between individuals, associations, fields of activity and unite the struggle for social justice. In addition, participants learn using methods that could be useful in their further work and their own education.
The training is primarily intended for members, volunteers, leaders, activists of existing initiatives whose areas of activity are social, environmental, economic and gender justice.
- Intersectionality and group dynamics
The aim of the workshop is to empower participants to lead participatory meetings and improve the decision-making process within the working group.
Participants in this workshop have the opportunity to explore the knowledge and skills relevant to conducting participatory meetings through interactive learning. The workshop is designed as two days created for better mutual acquaintance and connection, creating group dynamics in which most of the needs of individuals within the group are met, research and awareness of power relations within groups and between groups, and thinking about how our newly acquired knowledge and skills could be used to improve the functioning of different groups within project / working structures.
The methodology of the workshop is based on non-formal education, which means that the goal is not to transfer knowledge but to learn knowledge through critical thinking and problem solving and encouraging the development of "emotionally intelligent relationships", not forgetting the principles: head, heart and hands.
The workshop is primarily intended for all persons who function or work in a group / working collective or are in the process of building a group, horizontal or vertical structures, formal or informal associations and initiatives.
- Sustainable Activism Training
The „Sustainable Activism“ training was designed as a 2-day training for various members of social movements; workers, volunteers in the civil sector, as well as activists dealing with social, economic, environmental and gender justice issues.
How is it designed?
It is designed to bring together different actors within different social movements and to form a lively and stimulating temporary community of activists, as a space for deep reflection, analysis and exchange of experiences on personal and interpersonal dimensions of our work - with the aim of empowerment and inspiration which we get from each other, but also from nature.
The training is based on the methods of popular and non-formal education, which is the basis of all educational activities of FoE Croatia.
In order for social movements, but also ourselves as actors within the movement, to be as resilient as possible to external and internal threats, we use methods of effective work with the personal and internal dimension of activism, helping us to take better care of ourselves and others within the movement, in order avoid burnout and be better empowered to act and continue to act.
The focus of the training is to offer tools that support skilled interpersonal work in our groups and networks, providing ways of organising that reflect the values we want to achieve in the world.
The goal of training
The goal of this learning is to share lessons learned, provide useful tools and methods, and bring people together to discuss, share, and develop ways to promote sustainable, creative, and effective approaches to activism / resistance / advocacy at the local level.
In addition to their own learning, participants should be able to transfer the acquired knowledge, skills, methods and tools within their own groups / organisations / work teams at the end of the training. We also hope that the training will create an opportunity to develop strong networks of mutual support and lasting relationships within and between different social movements.
Target group of participants
Different members of social movements; workers, volunteers in the civil sector, as well as activists dealing with social, economic, environmental and gender justice issues.
Training can be held in different formats:
1. in the form of sessions within longer trainings;
2. in the form of a one-day workshop;
3. in the form of a two-day training;
4. in the form of training for a maximum of 7 days.
- Training "Mobilisation, resistance and transformation"
This training is designed as a 2-day training for different social groups: high school students, students of natural, technical and social sciences or art faculties, as well as non-students; employees in the private or public sector, civil society organisations and the unemployed, interested in the topics of environmental, social and economic justice and environmental activism.
How is it designed?
It is designed to bring together people of different identities, age groups, levels of knowledge and experience, and in its duration allows them to get to know each other and connect. After building the group, depending on the interests of the participants, we learn how to organise various types of actions and protests, how to mobilise others to join the movement, how to design messages and build campaigns, how to communicate with the media and participatory decision making in the group. All learned practical knowledge is tested by simulating situations.
The training is based on the methods of popular-transformative (non-formal) education, which is the basis of all educational activities of FoE Croatia.
Special emphasis in this training was placed on learning about different identities within groups, inclusiveness, thinking and reviewing their own privileges, and exploring approaches to different topics with which participants will come to the training.
The goal of the training
The aim of this training is to transfer the experience of FoE Croatia's Activist Group gained by participating in various campaigns, actions, gatherings and trainings. Also, bringing together people from different socio-political contexts to expand the field of struggle using the intersectional approach used in the practice by the Activist Group, and FoE Croatia as an organisation in relation to other worldviews of civil society organisations from Croatia and beyond.
In addition to their own learning, participants should be able to create their own groups at the end of the training by applying the principles and practices learned in the training. Added value is an opportunity to network and connect individuals with similar interests.
Target group of participants: high school students; students of natural, technical and social sciences or art faculties; non-students; employed in the private or public sector, in civil society organizations and the unemployed, interested in the topics of environmental, social and economic justice and environmental activism.
In the form of a two-day or three-day training.