INature is a new project, created by five young people from Madeira, under the Erasmus + Youth in Action programme through the European Solidarity Corps, which aims to encourage people to enjoy and protect nature through the creation of a non-formal teaching methodology on the island of Madeira, using a holistic outdoor education programme, where children, youths and adults have a direct contact with nature and learn about the unique makeup of gardens, forests and woods.
In addition to this proposal, this initiative is also committed to ‘sensitising’ children and young people to the preservation of nature, understanding the reasons for climate change, reducing the use of plastic and promoting activities involving children and young people with the natural environment as a way to enhance learning, and develop self-learning skills as well as mitigate unhealthy behavior arising from the use of too much internet or new technology.”
Despite the current epidemiological situation, INature has managed to develop several sessions in nature with the motto “Make rain or shine we are in nature.” The purpose is to make their target audience aware of the importance of disconnecting from new technologies and living in the ‘world outside’ and of the need to adopt attitudes to preserve nature and change life habits in order to enjoy a more fulfilling lifestyle. Such activities are also a way of overcoming debilitating social factors such as sedentary lifestyles, obesity, childhood depression, anxiety and social isolation.
So far twenty children and ten young adults from Funchal and Santa Cruz, have taken part in various activities learning about gardening, organic farming, collecting rubbish while walking along levada’s as well as using what they have found to create unique pieces of art.
Talking about their initiative they declared that “it is urgent to take children and young people off the streets and encourage them to explore and experience the beauty that surrounds them as a way to avoid physical and psychological health problems.”
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