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This Companion Guide document explores which sections of the new ERASMUS+ and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programmes are most suitable for and relevant to the work of Ecovillages and Ecovillage networks. 
It contains our experts’ views on how to best frame an application, how to best attract youth participation in our communities and how to create useful projects for young people within our communities, by availing of the relevant funding- funding which has significantly increased within this new iteration of the programme for those projects focusing on ‘green’ issues i.e. sustainability and climate awareness.
This Experts gathering was a high level 5 day meeting with experts from all over Europe i.e. those particularly experienced in applying for and running Erasmus+ and ESC projects, attending from 8 countries:GEN Europe, Green School Village Association- BULGARIA; LØS Denmark, 
Väike Jalajälg, ESTONIA; GEN Deutschland GERMANY; Stichting Liberta Care (NL) NETHERLANDS; Red Ibérica de Ecoaldeas SPAIN, and Cloughjordan Community Farm & Cloughjordan Ecovillage, representing IRELAND.
We all participated in 5 days of structured workshops and talks centred upon on the impact of the new Erasmus+/ESC programme priorities in relation to our work in Ecovillages and sustainable communities across Europe-  with a focus on how we might collaboratively strengthen and improve our applications so that we can make the most of the new themes contained within the programme which are, for the first time, focusing on green actions and climate awareness and related sustainability issues, as well as on citizenship and youth empowerment.
 
As well as enhancing our collective work, cementing our relationships and forging new European Ecovillage connections, whilst sharing best practices and approaches to running Volunteer projects during the course of this 5 day intensive meeting, we also co-produced the above document based upon our shared direct, practical experience: The Ecovillage Companion Guide to the 2021-2027 Erasmus+ and ESC Programme.
 
This document has been shared widely since its creation, including on the Gen Europe and Ecolise networks and sites, and remains a valuable resource for any sustainable community hoping to set up volunteer youth programmes.
ECOVILLAGE

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