Following a successful ReWi Visions youth exchange project bid which saw six Pembrokeshire College Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate students spend seven days in Jyvaskyla, Finland during the autumn term, the same students are now preparing for their counterparts from Muurame High School to come to Pembrokeshire.
Made possible thanks to PLANED and LAG JyväsRiihi Leader Development Association, this international project was put together to highlight the many benefits of a circular economy.
With Finland embracing the idea of circular economy and the elimination of waste, the exchange was planned to let students explore this concept with a view to embedding it into their daily lives. Whilst in Finland they learnt that, before buying anything new, the question is asked: ‘do I need to buy new, is there an alternative to adding to singular new products, can I rent, borrow, share or adapt?’. They also learnt to question where there is waste, could this be an opportunity for bio gas or re-designed and re-purposed.
The Finns are known to be entrepreneurial, pioneering and positive. Creativity, shared problem solving, common purpose and common sense are applied through communities of people understanding the value of working, networking or sharing together. This was seen in business, education, families and rural communities.
Curriculum Area Manager for the Creative Arts, Cath Brooks, was part of the exchange and commented: “With a packed schedule planned for the Finns visit to Pembrokeshire during April we are hopeful that they will see that we brought ideas back from our visit and are implementing them for positive change. We all arrived back determined, through small personal daily considerations, to begin to effect bigger changes. Through questioning whether we really need to buy new we are all making much more informed choices and helping to reduce the amount going to landfill.”
Jodie Williams, an Extended Diploma in Fashion and Textiles student was part of the exchange and commented: “Visiting Finland was an unforgettable experience, I learnt how environmentally aware the Finnish citizens are and how motivated they are to make an impact on all generations.
“The workshops that the Finnish teachers and students created were very beneficial for my skills and personal development, my favourite activity was creating a sustainable business, I learnt a variety of entrepreneurial skills such as pitching ideas, which was very relevant to what I want to do in the future. I enjoyed hanging out with the Finnish students and finding out the similarities and differences between Finland and the UK. My final challenge for the Welsh Baccalaureate individual project will focus on how the mood and atmosphere of an interior space can affect an individual’s mental well-being, influenced very much by my visit to Finland.”
We now look forward to the return visit in April.