July marks the end of BirdLife Malta’s 20-month Action for Nature project. The international exchange initiative has seen a total of 84 youths and leaders participate from Malta, Hungary and Norway to improve the NGO’s nature reserves as part of an environmental campaign.
This month’s final week-long exchange follows two successful exchanges in 2016 which saw a number of vital works undertaken at Foresta 2000 and Is-Simar Nature Reserve in collaboration with Tarxien Venture Scouts, Dingli Venture Scouts, and Békéscsaba KIE.
Starting on the 30th June, participants from Norway (Jølster KFUK-KFUM-Speidarar), Hungary (Békéscsaba KIE) and The Scout Association Malta joined together to create an outdoor classroom area at Is-Simar Nature Reserve for BirdLife Malta to make use of for future school visits and events. When not undertaking works at the reserves, the scouts also took part in a variety of valuable personal development workshops which focused on improving skills in teamwork, communication, cooperation, and public speaking. After five fun-filled days, the hardworking group held a successful open day at the Xemxija-based reserve to show the fruits of their labour to the public and inspire more people to spend time in nature.
Above: Action for Nature exchange group (2017)
Whilst participating in the Erasmus+ funded Action for Nature exchange, the youths were also able to enjoy cultural exchange activities and a snorkelling adventure at Golden Bay in collaboration with SharkLab.
Speaking of the project, Sarah Brady, Education Officer at BirdLife Malta said: “Action for Nature is a fantastic opportunity for youths to learn and work with young people from different countries and cultures, with a common goal to enhance and improve an area for humans, wildlife and the environment. The difference in confidence in the participants’ abilities and in themselves demonstrates the need to bring young people together and to empower them to realise that they can make a difference. We really enjoyed working with youth organisations from Malta, Hungary and Norway and hope that with the support of the leaders, the lessons learnt from the project will have a long lasting impact on everyone who participated.”
Above: The fruit of hard work at Simar, Xemxija