As part of the “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” project, EcoAlbania has visited six elementary and secondary schools in the Vjosa valley to educate students from the ages of 10 to 18 about environmental issues. Besjana Guri and Robert Shahini gave presentations in the classroom about the importance of ecosystem health, after that they carried out activities and experiments to draw attention to topics such as pollution and nature conservation. Since late December they have been to Selenicë, Tepelenë, Memaliaj, Përmet, Këlcyrë and Qesarat.
The presentations in the classroom dealt with six main topics: air, water, soil, forests, waste management and energy efficiency. In class the students were encouraged to share their previous knowledge on these issues. After that they were taught about these subjects in order to develop environmental awareness already from a young age. In addition, the students carried out various outdoor activities. On one such occasion they were divided into groups and were told to collect objects from nature, such as leaves, rocks or flowers, and make a pizza with it. Then they collected all the trash they could find and added it as a topping. After they were done, the students were asked which pizza they liked better; the answer was obvious – the pizza without any trash. In this way, the negative impact of littering on the beauty of nature became apparent to everyone. They also were part of other experiments like: air quality observation, soil and gravel properties, role-playing, etc. All the experiments were selected carefully by the team, from the FiKiBio modules book that was prepared by EcoAlbania in 2018.
Through this program, the students acquired knowledge about the most important environmental issues in Albania and the problems that are caused by it. Furthermore, they learned about ways to save the environment by reducing their environmental impact and that change begins with the actions of an individual. With the help of concrete examples they were given advice on what to do in their everyday life and were encouraged to inform others about it as well. The hopeful outcome is an increase in environmental awareness of the younger generation in the visited communities.
The following schools were chosen for this project:
- “Jonuz Gora” Elementary School Selenicë, visited on the 17th of December 2019
- “7 Marsi” Elementary School Tepelenë, visited on the 19th of December 2019
- “Nimete Progonati Bënja” Elementary School Memaliaj, visited on the 16th of January 2020
- “Meleq Gosnishti” Elementary School Përmet, visited on the 23th of January 2020
- “Kamber Bënja” Elementary School Këlcyrë, visited on the 24th of January 2020
- United School “Ormen Selami” Qesarat, visited on the 25th of February 2020