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Chapter 12 Eco-Conscious Community Development in Non-Formal Education

Abstract

Youth and Women Empowerment (YOWE), based in Ghana’s Eastern Region, is a community-based NGO that has been working since 2000 to support empowerment of vulnerable groups and improve their quality of life through community initiatives, adult learning, and advocacy. In 2018, YOWE partnered with the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University (CSD) to design and implement a series of training initiatives aiming, through a series of non-formal environmental education sessions, to increase women’s skills relevant to eco-friendly livelihoods and to raise community awareness of eco-friendly lifestyle choices. The chapter begins with a discussion of YOWE’s programmatic history of weaving eco-conscious practices into their various programs, drawing on literature as well as YOWE’s own experience to consider the main barriers to facilitating behavioral change amidst a landscape of poverty and lack of access to government services. The chapter continues with an overview of the project partnership with CSD, and a presentation of project findings, looking at changes in lifestyle choices and perceptions of how those choices impact the environment. The chapter close with a discussion of lessons learned and implications for how NGOs can integrate environmental education into various program priorities.

Open Access
In: Curriculum and Learning for Climate Action