Gaia Micro Grants
The Gaia Working Group was created in 2009 as a working group within Service Civil International (SCI). Its aim is to implement activities and projects related to sustainable living, climate change and environment in general. To better support and empower volunteers, the Working Group has established the Gaia Micro Grant Fund. With this initiative, GAIA intends to support small and concrete initiatives within SCI, both at local and national level, with small grants. Thanks to donations from volunteers and SCI member organizations, the fund was able to support four great environmental initiatives in Hungary, Ukraine, Sri Lanka and Italy in 2011.
Dragon Dreaming - Hungary
Útilapu Hálózat – SCI Hungary organized five Gaia events: eco-village design, green activism, urban sustainable living and greening households, as well as sustainable project planning, all together named ´Dragon Dreaming´. With the enthusiasm and motivation of the Hungarian Gaia group, the sustainable living practices were well integrated into the organization of work camps, networking and other activities of the SCI’s Hungarian branch.
Turtle conservation project
SCI Sri Lanka organized a weekend work camp on a turtle conservation project in Ambalangoda, where 25 volunteers removed all the garbage from nearly one kilometre of beach. The volunteers were aged between 19 and 70 years and came from different ethnic groups (Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala) and countries (Sri Lanka, Finland and Sweden).
In Ukraine, SVIT organized the Ecodeya event, where young people enjoyed many great opportunities to learn and talk about bicycles in the urban space, recycling, environmentally friendly household chemicals, vegetarianism, volunteering, peaceful protest, yoga practice and organic food. Additionally, visitors had the opportunity to join workshops on creative recycling, production of hand-made soap and cream, making children’s toys from rope, and cooking vegan dishes and cocktails.
Information about the recent project by the Sardinia local group of SCI Italy can be discovered in the next SCI e-zine or GaiaZine. Till then, GAIA hopes for more environmental work camps, and of course for all other camps to be organized respecting the environment. GAIA encourages volunteers to travel to work camps this summer by train and bus instead of plane. The Working Group is always ready to support branches and volunteers with their endeavours for a healthy planet.