Through 3-7 July 2016 SPARE Ukraine program organized a study tour to Georgia. Sweet Osvit NGO implementing SPARE program in Ukraine in composition of Olga Lavrik Head of the Sweet Osvit and Ekateryna Miroshnicheko SPARE Programme Executive Director together with the representatives of the Ministry of Education of Ukraine: Natalya Beskavoy – Deputy Director of the general-secondary and preschool education department, and Roman Ghladskovski- Chief Specialist of the secondary education department visited Ecovision the environmental NGO working on SPARE program in Georgia.
Goal of the study tour was information sharing between two offices of SPARE program, lessons learned, best practices, and various pending issues. Agenda of the study tour covered all basic activities of the program in Georgia. Modest-size office with working environment, workshop and official meeting spaces along with exquisitely exhibited various visibilities speaks of the numerous environmental projects in the center of which is SPARE program’s success story in Georgia.
On the first day SPARE Ukraine shared its 2-year working plan the new commencement - SPARE ENERGY HUB program . SPARE Ukraine was impressed with “Eco-vision” environmental and educational TV show-program weekly broadcasted on Georgian GDS channel. Scenario of TV show-program was underlined as very informative on its narrative part with respective guest-speakers in studio, telling stories and answering questions of young environmentalist. Quiz-contest, the second part of TV show-program seems very interesting as it raises awareness of school children on energy saving, climate change, eco-systems and biodiversity through show-competition between two rivaling schools, and also engages much more youngsters as TV onlookers and fans of certain school team. Winners of quiz –contest are traditionally awarded with vouchers of ecocamps, that are organized within the SPARE program in various regions of Georgia including protected areas.
On the second day SPARE Ukraine visited Georgian colleagues form the Ministry of Educations and Sciences at the Ministry. Ekaterina Miroshnichenko, SPARE Executive Director interested in Georgian practice how NGO sector can help the state institutions to incorporate energy saving and energy efficiency themes into curriculum of school subjects. At first glance answer was simple, but very practical - support to develop as many as possible textbooks and workbooks on environment, and to systematically provide masterclasses and trainings of school teachers on energy efficiency, climate change and other related issues. It was underlined that the established and cultivated partnership between Ecovision and the Ministry of Education and Sciences represents a solid ground to promote incorporation of energy saving and energy efficiency themes into the curriculum of various natural sciences subjects of school programs.
Yet another interesting component of SPARE Georgia program is ecocamps that are organized throughout two month summer period, and takes place simultaneously in two locations - mountain and seaside regions. Distribution of hundreds of children is a very important part of camp’s logistics. Young environmentalist from mountain parts of Georgia have to enjoy the seaside territories with the characterized climate and the unique ecosystem that totally differs the region from their native land, and to take children from western lowlands in the camps organized on the slopes of amazing Caucasus mountains.
On the 3rd day SPARE Ukraine visited ecocamp in the village of Tsemi near famous sparkling water resort Borjomi in coniferous forest. SPARE Ukraine enjoyed of being a member of jury of interesting contest on creating publicity and a songs on the energy saving theme. As Roman Ghladkovski recalled he was so impressed with creativity of Georgian children that the melody of the impromptu created songs accompanied him for a long time, keeping on a positive mood.
The study tour teamed by SPARE Ukraine and the representatives of the Ministry of Education of Ukraine was fruitful with the intensive information sharing on the best practices and achievements by both sides, meeting with colleagues from the Ministry of Education and Sciences of Georgia. SPARE Ukraine is inspired with the works and qualities performed by Georgian colleagues and intends to bring some experience of Georgian colleagues to the SPARE Ukraine program. Ukrainian colleagues are impressed also with beautiful nature of the country.