Biciclistas de Corella (Spain), Green Schools/Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, and Frie Fugle (Denmark) have collaborated with a youth association (LAG Suduva, Lithuania) and Alhama High School (Spain) to devise a project (SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY, SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY) that combines social inclusion, intergenerational relationships, community building and sustainable mobility.
Biciclistas de Corella and Alhama High School kicked off the project in September 2017 by contacting over ten ECF members, and Green Schools/Cyclist.ie and Frie Fugle answered right away. LAG Suduva joined in promptly too.
The international team kept in regular contact over subsequent months to develop the concept and submit an innovative and exciting proposal in March 2018. Four months later they were informed that their project had been approved and funded to the tune of €192,484 for the five organizations for the 3-year project.
“Sustainable mobility, sustainable community” intends to foster intergenerational relationships, youth empowerment, social inclusion, community building and, of course, sustainable mobility. To achieve these objectives the international team plans a series of exchange visits while advancing activities such as a special project blog and website, ‘eTwinning’ (an online platform that helps schools to work collaboratively), signposting and advertising biking trails, bicycle donation campaigns, DIY bike repair workshops – and plugging into the Velo-city International Cycling Conference taking place in Dublin in June 2019… There will be training courses for trishaw riders following Cycling Without Age’s learning scheme and, eventually, elderly people will be ferried about by volunteers to strengthen intergenerational relationships.
The philosophy of the project is based on the “STARS” programme approach – this means that youngsters (students and association volunteers) become “sustainable ambassadors” from the beginning and make all the activities, achievements and changes happen.
The first meeting of “Sustainable mobility, sustainable community” project will take place in Copenhagen in January 2019 and the second in Dublin in June 2019. Four more meetings will be organized in the 4 countries in the last 2 years of the project. Eight people from each organization will attend these international LTT (Learning/Training/Teaching) events: 2/3 adults (teachers, association members, town councilors) and 5-6 youngsters (students and association volunteers). The young people taking part in the project must come from diverse social, cultural and economic backgrounds so that they all can learn from and inspire each other.