On 1-7 July 2016, forty CSOs’ representatives from eight Ukrainian municipalities gathered in the National park of Buzhkiy Gard to take part in Energy Master Class organised by the Regional Environmental Center and NGO Ecoclub Rivne. Participants camped by Pivdennyi Buh river to learn more about renewable energy, energy efficiency and behavioral changes necessary for the civil society development.
On the first day of the training, delegates learned about the most important aspects of the national energy system from leading experts of NECU, Covenant of Mayors and Ecoclub Rivne. Participants brainstormed on low carbon economy strategy for Ukrainian cities and came up with an action plan on carbon footprint reduction.
The next day presentations about renewable energy sources in Ukraine followed. Delegates from LINK communities were given the floor to showcase the progress their localities had made in renewable energy usage. As well the theory of change was explained to CSOs’ representatives. Participants found out how they could change social habits and contribute to the civil society development.
On the third day, participants learned about the main financing tools to support energy efficiency practices. Representatives of Slavuta city shared their experience on how to introduce energy management system in the municipality, while delegates from Poltava shed light on energy efficiency practices recently implemented in their region. At the end of the day CSOs’ representatives were invited to different practical master-classes: construction of solar water heaters, creating post-cards with seeds on the recycled paper, making organic fuel of easily accessible materials.
The agenda of the fourth day was designed with a purpose to deepen participants’ knowledge on financing tools for energy efficiency initiatives; at the same time participants learned about advocacy and measures to strengthen their communities. Topics discussed during the day were diverse ranging from legal instruments for effective campaigns to common grounds for the unity of communities and possible financial sources of funding energy efficiency initiatives.
On the fifth day of Master Class, Tsvetelina Filipova Borissova from the REC gave recommendations on how to write up a proper grant proposal in order to apply to the LINK CSO local grants and be a successful winner of it. Participants immediately used her recommendations while drafting their group proposals. During that day also topics on IT and media tools for NGOs’ activities were covered and the day was finished with the Andriy Zinchenko’s vision of the global economy shaped by energy innovations.
According to the feedback, combination of intensive education with summer camp activities provided an opportunity to learn more effectively while enjoying the company of same-minded colleagues from across the country. All participants reported that they acquired new skills and created networks that will help them in their future activities.