Tashkent, Uzbekistan: The Ecological Boomerang project or 'Eco-Boom', as people commonly refer to it began its activities in Fergana in September. A joint initiative of UNV and the UNDP resource centre in Tashkent, and financially supported by UNV Uzbekistan under its IYV+10 Mini-Grant initiative, the project began its first training of trainers in October.
The training session was attended by the volunteers of the resource centre and students from local schools, colleges and universities, and was also carried out by volunteers: Yuldasheva Mukaddas, Abdurahimov Husniddin, Yuldasheva Barno and the volunteer coordinator Mirsaid Uzakov.
During the session, every participant had something to contribute to the discussion about the global nature of ecological problems. Abdurahimov Husniddin, an Ecology student at the Fergana State University, gave a useful and informative lecture on global ecological issues which intrigued and educated the audience.
The participants shared their knowledge, received factual information from the trainers, played interactive games and shared different points of view on the subject of global ecological issues.
During the second part of the seminar, we divided the audience into small groups and each group was given the assignment to point out both positive and negative aspects of a given ecological situation/action, such as logging, for example.
After the discussion, small groups had to share their thoughts with all participants. This was a fascinating activity that sparked interesting discussions and allowed the groups to reach a consensus. This exercise helped the trainees develop the ability to objectively view both sides of a problem and to unite with a well-defined agenda towards reaching a common goal.
The second day of the seminar was as useful and productive as the first. After watching a short film, the participants were divided into teams. Each team chose an ecological problem they considered to be the most global. The teams were asked to develop a strategy to solve the problem they had chosen, and to list preventive measures for their eco-problems.
The proposed solutions were rather creative. One of the teams, for instance, suggested using bicycles as the main means of transportation, as opposed to cars.
During the last day of the training, the participants were introduced to the activities of the Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER), the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as well as to the deeds of the local Fergana volunteers.
During the training we realized that such informative events are indeed necessary and should take place more often and reach out to a broader audience.
Our volunteers conducted 11 activities, 2 trainings for trainers and 9 seminars, in which 236 participants (115 boys and 121 girls) were trained and informed on issues related to ecology, sustainability and environmental responsibility.
This is only the first step towards the realization of a large ecological project. We have high hopes that our actions will bring positive results, and that we the youth will be able to leave a positive mark on our environment.
By Yuldasheva Mukaddas, UNV Mini-Grantee, and Mirsaid Uzakov, volunteer coordinator