Community Climate Action: Practitioners Training Programme

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Call for Youth Workers & Community Workers to Join Us

This residential programme will equip practitioners to support young people and communities, making their voices heard for equitable climate action.

Friends of the Earth, with support from Community Work Ireland (CWI), the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) and the National Women’s Council (NWC), are joining forces to deliver an innovative programme upskilling youth work and community work practitioners to play a vital role in embedding social justice in the transition to a decarbonised and climate resilient future. 

Over three days, participants will explore the intersections between social and climate justice, diving deep into several essential issues for local climate justice and a just transition, including: 

  • Strengthening personal resilience/emotional capacity in the face of climate crisis.

  • Building powerful and inclusive participatory democracy.

  • Fostering collective local resilience in our food, energy and economic systems.

  • Supporting justice and solidarity in the transition locally, nationally and globally.



What is just transition? 

Just transition means an approach to social and economic transition from a carbon intensive to a decarbonised and climate resilient society. The just transition approach emphasises decent work, quality jobs and fair sharing of the burdens and benefits in the transition process. 

What role do youth workers and community workers play?

Community workers and youth workers have significant expertise working with marginalised and disadvantaged groups to support their collective participation and empowerment. These skills will be vital to ensuring equitable and effective climate action.  

This programme aims to foster community and youth work practitioners' ability to recognise their potential in guiding communities towards a fair and just transition.

These will be practitioners who can advocate for the rights of young people and communities and support them to stand up and make their voices heard in climate policy making. 

This training also acknowledges this is work that builds both collective and individual capacity. To support this, the programme will also play an important role in networking communities and organisations to more effectively scale up our efforts and ensure a wider impact.

A community of practice support network will be in place following the completion of the programme to facilitate information sharing and support amongst participants. We will set up a WhatsApp community group for easy engagement and provide supplementary sessions online/in-person to bring participants back together for peer support, peer reflection, and opportunities to collaborate and coordinate with one another.  

Who is this programme designed for?

  • Individuals currently or recently working in youth work and community development organisations across the island of Ireland, north and south. 

  • Students and graduates from professional programmes for community development and youth work at QQI level 8/9.

What approach will we use?

Participants can prepare for an eclectic mix of approaches in an immersive residential setting. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet and discuss with experts and innovators who are driving exciting projects and programmes addressing the climate crisis in our communities. A strong emphasis will be placed upon peer learning and reflecting upon participants’ ongoing work in community and youth work settings using the range of creative and participatory methods offered. Prepare for active participation and engaged learning by doing. 

What dates will the programme run on?

The programme will run from 6pm on Friday, 17th May, until 4:30pm on Sunday, 19th May at the Gyreum Eco Lodge in Sligo. Participants will be free to arrive from 5pm on the Friday, with the training concluding by 4:30pm on Sunday to facilitate travel plans. Food and accommodation will be provided for all participants; food served will be vegan and vegetarian. There is a small travel budget available for those who would otherwise be unable to participate without it. 

What some participants had to say about the training programme pilot:

I now understand how [a just transition] applies to communities, both local and global ones, and that there are a variety of methods and processes that support potential actions and projects to create improved environmental opportunities, unheard voices to be listened to or educate more people to understand we have the power to change the current situation.
I have a clearer idea of what a just transition looks like in practice, and how it informs work to combat climate injustice and can be incorporated into action initiatives on a number of levels (individual, institutional, community etc).

Application deadline is the 17th of April 2024.

For further information please contact:

Emma Jayne Geraghty, Friends of the Earth:

Funding and collaborative partnerships acknowledgement

This residential retreat has been funded by Irish Aid through Friends of the Earth’s GCE project. We are deeply grateful for the support of our funders and also that of our collaborative partners in the further development of this training - Community Work Ireland, the National Youth Council of Ireland and the National Women’s Council and their Feminist Communities for Climate Justice project.

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