GEN International (Scotland, UK) will bring to this consortium the administrative and organisational skills of coordinating the project. In addition, GEN brings the innovative approach of the ‘pattern language’ curriculum of the SIRCle project, where the broad framework of the learning journey and outcomes is clearly outlined, while the detailed content is left to the local trainers to contextualise. This approach is inspired by the structured design process of architect Christopher Alexander. The ‘Core Story’ (or ‘syntax’) is the development and empowerment of change makers and support of their social innovation projects. ‘Learning Patterns’ (the ‘vocabulary’) that support this journey are then dropped in as needed. The SIRC-LE project will focus on developing further experiential ‘Learning Exercises’, that can be dropped in to make the materials accessible and attractive to the youth, in particular, both in Africa and in Europe.
LOES is the umbrella organisation for around 40 eco-communities and likeminded projects in Denmark. LOES carries a strong network experience and a proud tradition of education based on ‘learning by doing’ experiences and dialogue, which positions LOES as a strong actor, promoting participatory methods and innovation in capacity development initiatives. Creating green local businesses is part of its core strategy.
Betterworld Cameroon will bring on board its extensive experience in intercultural exchange gained from organizing international youth camps, and hosting national and international volunteers from several youth exchange programs like the German Weltwearts program, UK Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and Voluntary Action for Peace (VAP), Cameroon National Employment Fund and others. BWC is developing a cooperative (BetterCOOP) that would help to create local/international marketing channels for local products with priority to youth-led enterprises. The proposed project will help to advance responsible corporate citizenship. BWC will bring its expertise to contextualise the SIRCle curriculum to meet the needs and local realities of unemployed youth in Cameroon and Africa at large.
GEN Ghana, as an association of grassroots communities and institutions (academic, research, civil society and traditional chiefs and opinion leaders), brings to this project collective wisdom from strong committed institutions with over 30 years experience training youth, women, civil society and basic school children in sustainable practices. Institutions like Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture KITA (www.kitaghana.org), and the Ghana Permaculture Institute (www.permacultureghana.wordpress.com) are committed to training youth for self-employment and supporting small scale farmers, women and youth to see farming as a business. GEN Ghana engage in possible solutions to youth unemployment in Ghana and has developed practice guides on eco-strategies for resilience. This project will bring further impetus to scale up the local initiatives already started.
The Sustainable Innovation for Resilient Communities (SIRCle) project created an innovative, open source curriculum that integrates training materials and tools for active citizenship with those for social entrepreneurship. Innovation lies in the development of a ‘pattern language’ approach where the broad framework of the learning journey and outcomes is outlined and the detailed content left to local trainers to decide. The first SIRCle pilot courses have been run in six countries and seven languages across Europe.
The partners of SIRCle have agreed to take the developed materials into this new project; to share them with LOES and test their application in African contexts too. It is felt that all benefit from the development of further Learning Exercises being developed more specifically for the needs of youth in general, and African youth in particular. The materials will be shared online (open source license, incl. ‘Share Alike’ and ‘Attribute Source’), across both projects.