Towards a climate neutral EU:
efficient allocation of EU funds

Prof21 – Educating youth for life in the context of sustainable development

Organisation: Focus Eco Center Website: Added: September 14, 2022
Project start date: January 04, 2018
Project end date: January 01, 2021


The project was started in 2014 May by CJRAE Bihor (Bihor County Center for Education Resources and Assistance) in partnership with Fundaţia pentru Dezvoltarea Societăţii Civile (Foundation for the Development of Civil Society) and Reper21 Association. It was funded by the European Social Fund through the 2007–2014 Operational Sectoral Programme for Human Resources Development. The projects main goal was to arm education in disadvantaged communities with the ability to teach children to tackle the challenges of 21st century life, including raising awareness towards sustainable development. For this a pedagogical community was developed on the principles of interdisciplinary, project based approach education, cooperation and forming of competences. The first successful project was continued in a second project between 2018 and 2020, this time coordinated by FDSC (Foundation for the Development of Civil Society) in partnership with Reper21 Association, World Vision Romania Foundation and Teach for Romania Association and funded by the same ESF through the Operation Programme Human Capital (2014–2020). The overall desired and obtained specific objectives were: 1. Improving the skills of over 1000 teachers who work in disadvantaged communities to foster children for a sustainable future and with better life competences; 2. Creating a community for teachers to share their ideas and from where to gain support in their efforts; 3. Improving the managerial skills of school principals to make better and more efficient plans and decisions; 4. Better integrating schools in to the communities they belong to and raising the awareness of pupils of their role and importance in the present and in the future. For the improvement of the skills of teachers a 10 day course was made: 3 days online on the topic of Education for sustainable development, 3 days face-to-face on the topic of Improving abilities for life and 4 days face-to-face on creating Educational projects. The goal of it was to enhance teachers with informal educational methods on the idea that Competences=Knowledge + Abilities + Attitude. Nine topics were discussed to increase Knowledge: climate change, balance of ecosystems, natural resources, consumption models, production models, economic systems, social justice and fundamental rights, natural hazards risk assessment and democracy; four Abilities were enhanced: ethical thinking, critical thinking, systematical thinking and prospective thinking and one Attitude was aimed: social responsibility. The course was accredited by the national education ministry with a 20 credit score for the participating teachers.

Financial data

2014–2015: 1500000 EUR (6675950 RON) from ESF fund. 2018–2021: 1400000 EUR (6629720.12 RON, 100%) from which ESF contribution was 1185000 EUR (5635262.1 RON, 85%) and national budget contribution was 210000 EUR (994458.02 RON, 15%). Total: 2900000 EUR (13305670,12 RON) from which ESF contribution 2685000 EUR (12311212.1 RON, 92.5%).


The project started with a needs analysis in the participating schools. This highlighted the isolation not only of teachers and school principals, but of schools as public institutions as well. Isolation from the national educational system, between colleagues, from parents and from the community all impacted the moral of staff. For this reason the project put much emphasis on reaching all the actors and binding them together, forming teams and a community. This was strongly thanked in later feedbacks with many participants feeling for the first time the benefits of team work and collaboration. Also the need to reach the different targeted layers (children, parents, school teachers, school principals) meant to adapt the project to their needs: 1. for principals: Teaching as Leaders; 2. for parents: School of Parents; 3. for teachers: Developing life abilities of pupils in the context of sustainable development; 4. for teenagers: A.R.T. – The role of educators in forming teenagers for their active participation in the community. This required a flexible approach. The long term duration (2 years) also helped to achieve the goals as well as the fact that it was funded in two separate occasions, continuing the success of the first results. An important recommendation is the direct support of the projects participants, which they appreciated very much. On one hand it was important that the course got to be accredited by the national educational ministry. On the other hand the teachers were motivated by the financial support they received for implementing the newly learned skills (a grant of 950 RON/teacher, in a country where education is chronically underfinanced, can be an efficient motivational tool). And finally the project left behind a lot of content for further use: prints (Sustainable School Catalogue, Best Practices Catalogue), educational materials for participating schools and an online platform ( that gathers videos, methodological practices and offers a communication surface for users. We recommend the application of this holistic approach to make the school a pillar of sustainability nationwide, especially in vulnerable communities.

Information sources

Informations through personal contact with Ana-Maria Pălăduş, vicepresident of Reper21 Association.

Other info

European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.