We are sitting on mats, late at night, watching a movie about a group of brave people who decided to protest against nuclear weapon tests in the middle of the ocean. This is the story of Greenpeace - one of the world's most prominent environmental protection organizations. And this movie night is happening in a summer camp about the green reconstruction of Ukraine. More than 60 camp participants, speakers, organizers, and volunteers spent three days in the Carpathian mountains to focus on the best green way to rebuild a destroyed infrastructure; but also - to learn about Greenpeace and be inspired by the best cases of green advocacy.
Forty-three participants from around Ukraine gathered in the Carpathian camp to learn about green technologies in reconstruction. It was the first Greenpeace camp in Ukraine and the first massive event by our organization in the country. Also, it was a first step towards building the Greenpeace community in Ukraine and going deeper into the topic of green reconstruction.
The idea of the camp was born last year - to organize a shared space for people working on reconstruction in their communities and for practitioners who can help them understand the topic and introduce the best green technologies for their projects. As a result, people from 14 regions came to the Carpathian mountains for three days to focus on green reconstruction and to have some time to share their experiences with colleagues.
First, participants heard a lecture from energy efficiency specialists focused on the basic principles of energy audits.
The same day, they learned more about solar panels, specific for each region, and the installation of heat pumps. The next day, participants had a chance to work on their projects in groups. Together with experts, they calculated and planned green technologies for their future projects.
"We came with one view of what we want to do in our municipality and now are going back home with much more concrete ideas and plans," said Angelica Penkina, from Shostka.
However, participants also had a session about the best practices of green reconstruction, which our partner, Ecoclub, led. A separate session, focused on green solutions for cities, was presented by Ecoaction.
Together with lectures and practical work, participants had time for personal recovery - they went on a hike, had a nature connection practice with a psychologist, took a team quiz in the evening, got an introduction to the history of the Carpathians, and gathered in a warm circle near the fire each night. In three days, the participants went home with a detailed plan of what to do next if they wanted to implement green technologies for rebuilding their schools and hospitals.
Moreover, Greenpeace will support ten green reconstruction projects created by participants after the camp.
Greenpeace CEE started the project Greening Ukrsine Reconstruction last year to showcase the best green technologies for reconstruction. The pilot project - reconstruction of Horenka Hospital - was finished in February 2023.