On July 29 - August 7, 2015, The USAID-funded Waste Management Technologies in Regions (WMTR) program organized its second summer eco-camp for 24 winners of the Waste to Craft competition. The competition held in public schools of Adjara and Kakheti helped the team select students to participate in the 10-day eco-camp in CENN Bulachauri Green Centre.
Eco Camp participants undertake a team building hiking trip to Khada Valley in Georgia to learn about the area's environmental issues
WMTR team designed an interactive agenda deploying tools from informational lectures, team building exercises, and crafting to a hiking trip to Khada Valley. The main goal of the eco-camp undertaking is to increase awareness of the young generation in environmental issues, particularly in sustainable waste management.
During the trip, students looked for and collected pieces of waste and wrote stories suggesting how those got into the wild. The best five stories selected by vote of students and camp organizers will be turned into a play. Another group of five students will design puppets, while the third group will stage the play.
Additionally, the camp featured lectures on Georgia solid waste management strategy and legislation, landfill management, climate change, environmental education on mineral resources, composting, environmental education at schools and the importance of self-governance in school education.
According to the evaluation forms, students were especially interested in the Aarhus Convention, climate change, energy efficiency, and composting. They unanimously stated that team building exercises were a most interesting and eye opening experience for them, and they now felt confident in their ability to share the information on environmental issues with their peers.
WMTR Eco-camp participants at the recycled crafts workshop
Giorgi Orkodashvili from Kakheti noted that the each and every day of the camp was a significant and unforgettable experience, especially the games designed to educate youth. Lela Sharadze from Adjara added the WMTR eco-camp was very different from the ones she had visited before as it offered new interactive ways of learning with a lot of games, and that she felt motivated to share her knowledge and plan some activities in her home Batumi.
The first WMTR eco-camp took place on August 4 - 13, 2014 with 27 students participating. The team is planning two more eco-camps will take place before August 27, 2015.
The Waste Management Technologies in Regions project was officially launched in the country of Georgia during March of 2014. The project is designed to assist the Government of Georgia with the development and implementation of integrated waste management and recycling systems. Pilot programs to combat the adverse health and environmental effects of Georgia’s many uncontrolled landfills and unofficial dumpsites are being executed in select municipalities.