Seminar “Clean Environment – Clean Conscience”

Seminar “Clean Environment – Clean Conscience”, which was held on October 30-31 in Uzhgorod within the framework of the twinning project Ukraine-Armenia “Environmental Education and Awareness Building in Vayots Dzor Region of Armenia and in Zakarpatia Region of Ukraine” with the support of the Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt) in Dessau, Germany and the coordination of the Protestant Institut for Interdisciplinary Research (Forschungsstätte der Evangelischen Studiengemeinschaft, project Manager Prof. Dr. Hans Diefenbacher, Germany) in cooperation with Syunik Development NGO, Vayots Dzor, Armenia.

The aim of the seminar was to educate young people how to provide a responsible waste management and maintain a clean environment; formation of responsibility among the young generation for the world created by God – Nature.

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The first day of the seminar started on October 30 at Uzhgorod Secondary School No. 9, where pupils and teachers were invited to participate.

The seminar began with an introductory lecture by Alexander Bokotey, director of the Institute of Ecological and Religious Studies, who spoke about the purpose of the project and the seminar, and informed that the seminar is held within the framework of an interesting twinning project, which involves young people from 12 European countries. It was very interesting for the pupils of the school to learn about the events, which are held in parallel in the framework of such seminars in Armenia. The young people also received information about the planned activities within the framework of the Ukrainian project and future small grants competitions, which will be announced and implemented within the framework of the current twinning project.

The next report concerned the responsible waste management and was conducted by the Head of the Department of Nature Protection of the Tivodar Legotsky Zakarpattya Regional Museum – Bilanich Mikhail. The pupils learned about the importance of separate sorting of municipal solid waste and its harm to the environment and people, as well as watched a series of short films on the need of sorting waste and its further processing, with explanatory comments of Bilanich Mikhail.

Ruslana Jakhman, a researcher at the Nature Department of the Transcarpathian Regional Museum, conducted a wonderful master class on the topic of “The Second Life of Waste”, during which the students had the opportunity to learn from their own experience how to turn various types of household solid waste into interesting souvenirs and practical things. The young people could see for themselves how to give a second life to the things that we perceive as useless.

Andrey Donichenko, the chairman of the regional organization of people with disabilities of Transcarpathia “Parallel World”, introduced the ways of creating useful products from wood waste.

In the afternoon, the students had the opportunity to help the natural environment in practice by taking a direct part in cleaning the natural areas from waste, and after all the work they had done, they had a chance to take an active break, getting acquainted with the autumn nature of the outskirts of the village of Stripa and Uzhgorod district.

On October 31, the second part of the seminar took place in the conference hall of the bishop’s residence of Mukachevo Greek Catholic Diocese.

The second day of the seminar also began with the opening speech of Alexander Bokotey, who informed participants about theoretical and practical initiatives implemented by the Institute of Ecological and Religious Studies for younger generation. The young people who attended the seminar learned about the possibilities of involvement in environmental protection activities, the importance of implementing such measures and were motivated to continue active participation in the projects and initiatives in the field of environmental conservation.

A didactic video “What happens to discarded plastic” was also presented to the students. Mikhail Bilanich’s comments helped the participants to understand the importance of sorting MSW and recycling plastics.

Then Andrei Donchenko (NGO “Parallel World”) conducted a master class on the production of decorative elements from wood waste, during which students were able to practice in making souvenirs from recycled materials.

At the end of the seminar auxiliary bishop of Mukachevo Greek Catholic Diocese – Kir Nil Yuriy solemnly presented certificates and memorable prizes to the participants of the event.

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The seminar ended with an excursion to the halls of the Mukachevo bishops’ residence and to the office of the Commission on Ecology, where the participants were enriched with knowledge of the history and culture of the region, which is an integral part of the formation of environmental and spiritual values of the younger generation.

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According to the press service of the Institute of Ecological and Religious Studies

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