Practical Training “Young, Wild and Living Green” – Brings Youth closer to Ecological Lifestyle

Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam – May 21st, 2016 – 35 youth leaders from 8 countries in ASEAN +1 had valuable time in the program “Young, Wild and Living Green” to share their experience, learn and discuss on different environmental issues. After 6 days of training, each participant had different emotions and personal thoughts; however, they had new insights in ecological lifestyle and together found the way to bring eco-lifestyle to their community.
The training course “Young, Wild and Living Green” has come to an end after 6 days (May 13th – 18th, 2016) in Cam Thanh, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam. 35 youth leaders from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam had time to learn and share their knowledge and discuss about different issues but all of them aimed to change awareness and behaviors towards sustainable lifestyle.
The learning journey started with environmental situation of some countries where they are living in and on a large scale of ASEAN +1.

Discussing about environmental situation of some countries in ASEAN

Giving solution to national and regional issues
Then, the concept of “Ecological Footprint” was given to see how their lifestyle especially consumption habit impact on the planet.

Calculating “Ecological Footprint” to see our impacts on the environment

An “Ecological Footprint” chart of all participants
During this course, participants also shared about the eco models in their country. This activity helped to build the interaction between trainees of this course and make them realize that sustainable lifestyle is not something new or far away but it is just around them, in where they live.

Sharing the eco-models in their countries
Furthermore, all participants had chance to visit the situation and some sustainable models in Hoi An.

Visiting Cua Dai – where there is estuarine shoreline erosion because of developing activities and exploitation of natural resources.

Visiting Thanh Dong – the first organic farm in Hoi An

Uncle Meo – farmer leader in Thanh Dong organic farm shared the idea and the process of building this farm

Visiting Taboo Bamboo handicrafts workshop

Mr Vo Tan Tan – owner of Taboo Bamboo shared the usefulness and benefits of bamboo

Making handicrafts items from bamboo
Moreover, the section with environmental experts helps young people get more ideas and new lessons that can be applied in their own community. They had time to talk and discuss with Architect – MSc.Nguyen Hoang Phuong about “Whether your house, where you live everyday, is truly sustainable”. After that, the young had a clear vision on how sustainable factor is so important and together gave solution through small changes such as rearranging the furniture or choosing the materials not only environmentally friendly but also safe to use.

Architect – MSc.Nguyen Hoang Phuong

Teamwork, discussing on factors that make a sustainable house
By sharing with Ms. Mai Thi Thuy Hang – the founder of organic food stores “Xanh Shop”, 35 youth leaders had learned more about organic farming under business perspective.

Ms Mai Thi Thuy Hang shared her story of swifting to organic business
In addition, a new theory and extremely helpful lesson called “behavior change model” was introduced to help youngsters apply in their future projects, sharing by Ms. Dang Huong Giang – Director of Action Center for the City Development. With more than 20 years of community organization experience, Ms. Giang gave a new approach in building projects towards changing behavior of the participants. At that time, they also got answers to some questions of the project in the past so that they could learn lessons for the future plans.

“Behavior change model” presented by Ms Dang Huong Giang
During the training, in addition to acquisition of knowledge in Cam Thanh community house, participants also had the opportunity to experience practical activities: farming at Canh En organic garden and building recycled playground at Ly Tu Trong Primary School.

Gardening at Canh En organic garden
Moreover, all participants had a good time in an activity to explore Hoi An and learn about its tourism, architecture and agriculture. After that, each group made a product to show the knowledge and opinions to their given topic.

Presentation, talking about what they have learned and explored
After training course, each of them had their own personal experience and feeling. “It is such an useful training! I will try my best to promote sustainable lifestyle to my friends and to respective communities. I believe that all the knowledge of organic agriculture, green architecture, ecological footprint,… will be more widely available for anyone to apply”, said by Khanh Trang from Vietnam. Israel Ding Ying from Myanmar shares that he had a memorable time in Hoi An and learned really interesting lessons, he would apply them into his life when he is back home.
Further information 
The training course “Young, Wild and Living Green” is organized by Center for Development of Community Initiative and Environment (C&E Center) with the support from The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).  
About Center for Development of Community Initiative and Environment (C&E) 

C&E is a Vietnamese not-for-profit and non-governmental organization established in 2008. C&E works to promote participation and improve capacity of local community groups and organizations for better solutions to environmental issues that are related to their life, contributing to the development of civil society and sustainable environment in Vietnam. C&E has a network of community groups all around Vietnam including young volunteers and civil society groups who work on sustainable development field.  At the moment, C&E is working on many projects related to Sustainable Development such as: “Education for Sustainable Development”, “Youth Action on Sustainable Lifestyles” and “Capacity Building for Community”.  
About The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) 

Launched in 2013, YSEALI is U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, including U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community. YSEALI focuses on critical topics identified by youth in the region: civic engagement, environment and natural resources management, and entrepreneurship and economic development. 
About Cam Thanh community house 

Cam Thanh Community House is a typical example of sustainable architecture trend, promoting cultural factors and innovation method using local materials such as bamboo, coconut leaves, adobe brick. This work of art represented Vietnam and won the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in the category of civil - community architecture.