At the beginning of February, a cohort of 20 participants and 4 organizers of the Erasmus+ Youth for Water and Climate (YWC) Programme traveled to Budapest to meet live for the first time and spend a week focusing on capacity building in the water and climate sector.
During the 8-month programme, the participants will have two Blended Mobility opportunities, live events, one in Budapest, Hungary and the other in Stockholm, Sweden to meet with their peers and participate on in-depth learning led by the organizers.
During the event, the organizers, acting as tutors, guide the participants through a rich agenda that was built on the four modules of the intellectual outputs of the entire programme. The intellectual outputs are the core content of the programme, that the participants can access via GWP Toolbox based Community of Practice platform. The agenda of both Blended Mobilities is supposed to enhance the experience and exposure to the outputs and further disseminate the knowledge that organizers weren’t able to fit into the online content.
The main highlights of the first Blended Mobility were:
- Focus on the first two released online modules, as well as initial development of crucial skills such as leadership, conflict management and communication.
- Multiple meeting opportunities with experts from the field of water and climate. The meetings took form of a lecture, a network evening, as well as two field trips in order to visit the Technical University of Budapest and a wastewater processing plant near Budapest. One of the most esteemed experts the participants met was Professor Andras Szöllősi-Nagy, former rector of IHE Delft and former Secretary-General of UNESCO’s Global Hydrology Programme in Paris for 20 years.
Another important aspect of the entire event was the fact that the organizers strived to create a non-formal environment, providing a framework for peer-to-peer exchange and mutual learning. It is believed that this relaxed and open-minded environment encouraged participants to engage to the fullest of their potential.
A portion of the agenda was reserved for the mentorship relationship introduction. As a part of a wider YWC programme, the participants are eligible for a mentorship experience. This allows them to receive a mentor, chosen by organizers before the official launch of this programme, with an attention to maximize the compatibility of a mentor/mentee specialization, values and other demographic aspects. The participants were instructed on essential factors influencing this new relationship, like setting up goals, discussing progress, solving issues, etc. The participants now posses all necessary skills and information in order to engage the first meeting with their respective mentor. On top of it, both sides will soon be equipped with Mentor/Mentee Guide, a reference document to help them navigate the relationship further on.
Apart from the mentoring experience, the programme will support the participants with finding internships, and an online curriculum to support the development of professional and/ or entrepreneurial experience.
Before the second Blended Mobility in August 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden, the participants are to engage in the rest of the intellectual outputs, accessed via Community of Practice, actively seek the support of their respective mentors, and organize additional events in order to further enrich the overall experience and get as much out of this programme as possible.
Some of the messages that our participants took home from this experience:
“It is important to train soft skills, lead with head-heart and courage and learn from other’s experiences and perspectives.” – Sarah
“it’s great to belong to this community, made me realize a lot of things! So grateful for you guys.” – Luca
“I always appreciate networking opportunities. And this was an extraordinary one with diverse professionals from water and climate sector.” Chandrakant Singh
“How valuable it is to discuss and exchange thoughts with others from all over the world with different backgrounds and experiences.” Ulrika
- To find out more about this first cohort of the YWC programme, go to the following link: https://youthwaterclimate.org/meet-the-inaugural-cohort-of-the-youth-for-water-and-climate-programme/
The YWC developed and implemented by the International Secretariat for Water – Solidarité Eau Europe with the support of cewas, Global Water Partnership, Global Water Partnership Hungary, Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe, and GoodPlanet Belgium.