European Friends of Vjosa

Wiek in Rügen Germany, was the small city that brought together 30 young people from 12 countries. The training course “Environmental Training for Eco-trainers” was organized by YEE (Youth and Environment Europe) and FӦJ Active E.V. (Voluntary Ecological Year) on 20 to 28 March 2015, with the support and funding of Erasmus+.


Eco Trainers © Oz Osborn

Participants were from different backgrounds and experiences in the preservation and protection of nature in their countries. I was pleased to be one of the young participants, as representative of EcoAlbania NGO, who were trained on non-formal education methods. The used methods during the training were: Learning by learning, Informal methods, framework for planning training, Communication, Challenging behavior, Methods of environmental education, Motivation, Inspiration, Leadership skills, Co-working, etc.

I founded this methods very effective in terms of raising the understanding and practicing in our daily life.

Each day of the training was planned in such a way, that each of the participants had the opportunity to express his/her creativity and at the same time to prepare for the final session which would culminate with the presentation of a workshop. In 40 minutes we had to summarize the methods learned on our way. Two of the participants Natia from Georgia and Lena from Germany presented the issue of the giant dam in Georgia… What a coincidence the same situation with Vjosa River in Albania! However, I continue to keep this information to myself even for a while…

At the end of the day filled with tension, excitement and variety of games, I asked participants whether they were interested to watch a short movie about the last wild river in Europe. They were very interested. The training room was transformed into a cinema, where everyone was curious to see the Vjosa River. The short movie “The Vjosa River – Europe’s Wild Jewel”, filled the empty space of the lesson room. They were impressed by the beauty of Vjosa River, the last wild river in Europe. Everyone showed interest to come and visit this Vjosa and the thermal waters of Bënjë, as well as to practice rafting, canoeing, hiking, birdwatching.


During outdoor activities © Liana Cernov

At the end of the movie, I presented the real situation, the threats and the campaign “Save the Blue Heart of Europe”. The participants asked many questions, but the biggest interest was about what are EcoAlbania and international partners as Riverwatch and EuroNatur doing to stop the destruction of this precious treasure. I presented the actions taken in this regard, such as the meetings with local community, press conferences, the coverage of the issue in the national and international media and the declaration “Vjosa National Park” which was signed by Environmental NGO-s and local people.

Eco-trainers of Europe were the first who signed the declaration “Save the blue heart of Europe”, in outside Albania and provided their support in presenting the situation in their organizations. Linda Mazumacha, one of the participants from Latvia, in my personal envelope of impressions asked me to continue the campaign with more energy, wishing us luck to save this river.

I am very happy that to contribute in the preservation of the Vjosa River, a national and spiritual treasure, for us, for future generations and people who admire nature from all around world. People who want beautiful nature, not the stone walls …Dams. People destroyed the Berlin Wall, the wall that divided for many years the people and their lives…and now, why we should build walls among the river, which will divide many lives of living organisms, especially fish and eels?

Eco-trainers said their word against dams … What about YOU?

By: Earta Nuna/EcoAlbania