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Personal experience of an Earth Charter volunteer


Is your head full of ideas?
Write them down, communicate them to your network and make them real.


It starts with one.


The above sentence gives a short description of how I got involved with the Earth Charter and how I am proceeding in promoting sustainability and the principles of the Earth Charter. A short description of how everything started with me can be found online in the website of the Earth Charter International.

When I started working with the Earth Charter, there was no Earth Charter related activity in the country. I feel very grateful for having friends who are supporting my visions and beliefs. Now we have just started collaboration with the UNESCO Chairman and the University of Crete but still we are in the beginning.

With my friends we have translated the Earth Charter into Greek and we started with building a website. We all agreed that once there is website illustrating what the Earth Charter is, it is much easier to promote it to our networks. Elena, Irene, Steve, Teo, Apostolos are some of the contributors of our team.

For the website is necessary to buy a domain and name it, which isn’t very expensive at all. Of course there is a need for web-hosting and somebody to know how to start with the website. But I am convinced that somebody from your networks is willing to help you in that – like it has happened in my case.

In our website we are using WordPress as a platform since none of us is a real programmer. However, at this part I would like to thank Angelos and Nikos for their priceless contribution in building the website.

As it can be seen, it works as an interactive platform for all the members since they are able to post comments and other info at the website. It is a tool for communication and collaboration which I personally fully support!

Currently, we are working on promoting the Earth Charter in Universities, NGO’s and companies asking them to support our Youth Group to grow. Additionally, we are willing to be registered as an official NGO so we can participate actively in our community.

Some might think that this is impossible to succeed but I totally believe in it because there are so many other individuals waiting to be inspired and inspire others. For that reason again I suggest collaboration and communication. There are so many opportunities for our Youth Group to develop and get stronger in Greece. The most important is networking and to be connected. I feel so thankful to all people here in the secretariat for encouraging and supporting me with information, contacts and anything they can.

For Finland, where I study, I have the same ideas and plans as well. Promoting the Earth Charter in my university and give my friends the opportunity to know what is the content of the Earth Charter. In Finland it is even easier to succeed due to the active participation of students to come as interns at the Earth Charter International secretariat.

Sometimes, volunteering alone gets hard and discouraging but when I think that I have so many friends all over the world who are sharing the same visions with me, I just keep on trying to make it real! I feel so grateful for participating in the online courses that the Earth Charter is offering. In August, I was attending the Youth Leadership Sustainability and Ethics course and I have to admit it gave me new visions for the future. With the group of the course we are still working on preparing project proposals for our communities. Everything started when we had to discuss about our contribution and what we would like to do for our communities as youth leaders. Everybody explained their vision and then we decided that we will work for real with these proposals!

Most of the participants have joined this effort and we have already set an agenda for our meetings and our goals for the future. We are hoping as a youth group to organize an online Earth Charter Youth Global Conference in the future! In this conference, we will launch the proposals that are ready for materialization. Every member of the group is very motivated and committed and that makes me feel so lucky for collaborating with active young people from all over the world.

All young people that have visions like us, but who do not know how to start or they want to contribute in this effort,  are more than welcome to join our team. Feel free to contact me.
This is our interactive platform.

In addition to this, I am assisting and participating at the e-GLO 3 course where I met so many other people thirsty to learn and to contribute in transforming this world. Their ideas and motivation is a real source of energy for everybody! It feels that is a new era for the youth; to stand up and be active while working together with the older generations. They are wise but we are full of dreams, new ideas and energy, thus we have to collaborate.

“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.”
Pearl S. Buck

I hope young people all over the world will get inspired and join our efforts. This world belongs to all, so take the chance and be a part of it. Let us be the change!

All best,
Demi

Demi is studying in Finland and interning for the Earth Charter International secretariat for 6 months, Sep 2010 – Feb 2011.

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We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future.
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