The Cultural Shift team was created to bring awareness and shift the culture of our community, through the mediums that we were all using extensively, especially during the pandemic – the digital world. Through workshops, YouTube Videos, Social Media, and by developing our digital skills, the Guardians of Nature created the ‘Cultural Shift’ team.The Cultural Shift team wanted to focus on shifting the culture in our community and through the digital world inform and equip everyone with the skills and knowledge necessary – we aimed to create Guardians of Nature, as we were ourselves.
When aiming to shift the culture of our community we brainstormed a few different ideas and ways to achieve our goal. Our first steps were organising Green workshops, followed by Sports classes and an Albanian Class, as part of Shpresa Programme’s Albanian School to teach children Albanian through nature.
As part of the work that the Cultural Shift team did, we also organised a number of ‘Green Workshops’.
As the aim of our team was to shift the culture in our community and ensure that everyone around us, including friends and family, adults that are in charge, and especially young people are aware of the important factors of ‘Keeping it Wild’. Through presentations, games and riddles we visited the Albanian Classes and other projects of Shpresa Programme and informed them of the importance of ‘Being Green’. The green workshops we organised were about:
- Being Vegan and Vegetarian: Why your diet matters to the planet
- Social Activists of Nature: How to help Nature & Planet
- Our Wild Neighbours: Wildlife in London
Green Workshop 1: Being Vegan & Vegetarian
Why your diet matters to the planet
For our first Green Workshop, we decided to talk about the importance of being vegan and vegetarian. Nowadays fast food is dominating the world, even if we all know how unhealthy fast food is. Therefore, we decided to explain how fast-food damages our environment, and how we can protect nature by changing the type of food we produce and eat.
Humans don’t need to eat meat, as there are a lot of ways to get the nutrients necessary without consuming any animal products. Vegan & Vegetarian food is not expensive, as vegan food includes beans, rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables – the cheapest ingredients on the market. Varying from fruits, vegetables or soy processed versions of different foods, it is very important to the environment to go by the vegan pyramid instead of the one we are used of seeing.
Green Workshop 2: Social Activists of Nature
How to help Nature and Planet
In our second workshop, we decided to talk about consumption and researched how much humans waste on a daily basis. Over-consumption, we found out, affects everything. Our question is, will people ever become green, and why should they?
First because, becoming green saves lives, it massively affects fresh air and pollution, and saves animals. Being green promotes better health and healthy approach to one’s life, it also saves animals and improves children’s futures. It is also very practical as it reduces water bills and helps you save on energy, lights and water, massively.
During our workshop we talked about ‘Going Zero Waste’ and the 3 Rs, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, and how important these concepts are to the environment and nature conservation.
Green Workshop 3: Our Wild Neighbours
Wildlife in London
For our third and last Green Workshop we decided to inform people about ‘Our Wild Neighbours’ and talk about Wildlife in London. As we have learnt from London Wildlife Trust, wildlife in London is vast and beautiful, and not just in London, but everywhere in the world.From our research we have found that: Every year in the UK approximately 2.6 million cattle, 10 million pigs, 14.5 million sheep and lambs, 80 million fish and 950 million birds are slaughtered for human consumption.
We were especially worried about Foxes, Rabbits, Dogs, Frogs and Cats. There is a big difference between how these animals are treated in Albania and how they are treated here, therefore it was important to us to inform our community and teach them that these animals should be treated with love and care.
Sports Programme and Classes
As part of shifting the culture of our community, one of our goals was getting other young people and children involved. From the beginning of our project, we spoke about the importance of Sports and Physical activity which is in line with the mission of the Keeping it Wild project, which focuses a lot on encouraging people to make use of local green spaces.
Especially during a time when we all were at home still, it was very important to us to stay active. With LONDON YOUTH, we created a sports programme with the team of Cultural Shift.
On Saturdays, we had our virtual sessions where we taught children the importance of sports & physical activities and what we need to know to be safe and healthy. During the week we carried out Sports challenges that we sent to each other, using our SPORTS KITS that were selected and packed by us, from London Youth.
A summary of our Sports Classes & Activities
Green Albanian Classes with Diana
Through nature, we learn
As part of our work to shift the culture within our community, we created the ‘Green Classes with Diana’. The Albanian School at Shpresa Programme it’s an inspiring part of this colourful organisation and welcoming family. However, we wanted to add something more to the already successful classes at Shpresa Programme.
Beyond learning about our rich culture and language, we wanted the children to learn about nature, wildlife, and how important being connected with green spaces is. Teacher Diana, the sweetest teacher who also helped us with other parts of Keeping it Wild, was so kind as to professionally lead on the Albanian Classes, while we created the material, presentations, and activities, as carefully instructed by Teacher Diana.
Our Shirt Designs
As part of the cultural shift work we also designed t-shirts. The purpose of this was to encourage young people to become Guardians of Nature and join us on our green journey. We welcome all young people who want to embark this journey with us, and with a fun design like this, everyone will know who the green ambassadors of Shpresa Programme are.