LearnAct

'Community gardens as urban learning environments for low-threshold lifelong LEARNing ACTivities for sustainable development'

'LEARNACT' is a working and learning Grundtvig partnership project that Citizens of Europe leads as the main coordinator. It is being initiated by 4 European adult education organisations from Berlin, Zurich, Stockholm and Amsterdam. By addressing current economic, social and environmental issues, it aims to create lifelong learning opportunities which are open to all citizens and to contribute towards sustainable development in Europe.

LEARNACT will utilise community gardens as a vehicle to realise these goals. Community gardens offer a unique opportunity to create, shape and use urban spaces as learning environments for non-formal and/or informal adult education activities with citizens with different socio-cultural backgrounds.

  • A garden gives an unparalleled chance for grassroots political participation
  • The maintenance generates social interactions where people learn with and from each other in an informal context
  • Different non-formal education offers give people the opportunity to gain relevant and current knowledge of ecological issues
  • The production of local food transforms passive 'consumer' identities into active 'producer' identities and brings economic benefits

Community gardens are also 'real social places' where the learning process proceeds through 'learning by doing'. They offer citizens an excellent possibility to acquire and strengthen their civic and social competences and enable them to actively shape their environment and thus contribute to social, ecological and economically sound sustainable development in Europe.

Over a period of two years the partner organisations will visit each other to exchange their experiences of learning about sustainable development in community gardens and will present their best practices. Core elements of successful adult education strategies will be identified and the potential for European transfer will be explored.

Learners will be involved in all aspects of this learning partnership, be it through direct participation in mobilities, or through the development and delivery of local activities.

The learning partnership emphasises a process oriented working style by focusing on the collection of success stories within community gardens. As a result of the partnership, a success-stories-booklet presenting transferable educational approaches will be published for further use as an European learning resource in the field.

This project is financed by the Lifelong Learning Programme -- Action Grundtvig Learning Partnership -- and it involves 4 partners from 4 different European countries: Verein Interkulturelle Gärten Schweiz (Swiss), Folkodlarna i Skarpnäck (Sweden), Stichting Abela (Netherlands) and Citizens of Europe e. V. (Germany).

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