VolonTERRA – Active Schools Initiate Changes!


Young people and pupils in Croatia do not have sufficiently developed civic and social competences to become active and responsible citizens who will contribute to a sustainable future. While these competences are, according to the National Framework Curriculum (2011), the basis for the development of societies, there inadequate implementation is due to the fact that cross-curricular topics are neglected due to a lack of knowledge, skills, competences, and motivation of the pedagogical staff to implement them.

Therefore, environmental protection is not sufficiently represented in the Croatian education process. Although schools educate about environmental protection, they are often not environmentally aware and send an ambiguous message to students and employees. In order to fulfill the national sustainable commitments under Agenda 2030, measures must be taken to educate children and young people to become active and responsible citizens who are committed to a sustainable future. The project VolonTERRA – Active Schools Initiate Changes! aims to promote and develop the skills and competences of teachers and other educators in the field of active citizenship for the environment and sustainable development. The project focuses on integrating the acquired skills in primary schools in order to create a basis for transforming children and young people into active and responsible citizens who will work for a sustainable future.

Project goals:

The project VolonTERRA – Active Schools Initiate Changes! is dedicated to enhancing the capabilities and competencies of teachers and educators in fostering active citizenship for environmental sustainability. The primary objective is to seamlessly integrate active citizenship practices for the environment with the principles of education for sustainable development (ESD) within primary schools. This integration aims to establish a solid groundwork for the transformation of children and youth into proactive and accountable citizens, advocating for a sustainable future.


The project directly focuses on enhancing the skills and competencies of educational professionals, refining teaching materials and methodologies, and fostering collaborative efforts among project partners in the realm of ESD. Indirectly, the initiative seeks to cultivate environmental awareness among all stakeholders, promote the adoption of environmentally responsible principles, and encourage increased community and private engagement.

Project activities:

Main task 1 – Preparation phase: Design and development of an educational program and pedagogical and didactic materials for the implementation of education in the field of education for sustainable development (ESD).
Activity 1.1. Design and development of the educational program
Activity 1.2. Design, production and gathering of the accompanying educational and didactic materials
Activity 1.3. Gathering, design and printing of a didactic tool for developing and encouraging active engagement in protection of the environment (ESD board game)

Main task 2 – Implementation phase: Implementation of educational measures for teachers and other educational workers in the field of education for sustainable development
Activity 2.1. Informing target groups about the project and project activities and mobilizing for participation
Activity 2.2. Implementation of the designed/elaborated educational program (from PA 1.1)
Activity 2.3. The outdoor classroom – preparation and implementation of a given volunteer activity
Activity 2.4. Preparation and implementation of arbitrary volunteer activities
Activity 2.5. Monitoring the implementation and providing support to teachers, other educational workers and students involved in the educational program

Main task 3: Exchange of knowledge, experience and good practices and improvement of capacity of educational workers
Activity 3.1. Exchange of experience and information between Croatian and German partners
Activity 3.1.1. Study trip to Germany
Activity 3.1.2. Exchange trip to Croatia
Activity 3.2. Preparation and holding of final celebrations in partner schools (Outdoor classroom day)

Target groups:

Primary target group:

• 20 educators in the system of primary education in Split-Dalmatia County (97 primary schools) will participate in an educational program to improve their knowledge, skills, and competencies for leading a volunteer club in the field of education for sustainable development and to improve environmental responsibility in the school system.

Secondary target group:

• 200 pupils involved in the project activities held by the educators regarding volunteer club

• 97 elementary school teachers and educators from youth associations, centers for upbringing and education within Split-Dalmatia County, over 600 representatives of the Croatian Association for School Cooperatives, educational workers, and other employees working in the field of active citizenship for the environment and sustainable development through communication activities.

• 40–60 pupils involved in the work of volunteer clubs will develop environmental awareness and improve knowledge and skills for active citizenship for the environment and education for sustainable development.

• Four university students from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture, and Geodesy will participate in the educational activities for pupils.

• Experts working in public institutions responsible for the implementation of educational policies through participation in closing celebrations at schools and final conference.

Lead partner: Udruga za prirodu, okoliš i održivi razvoj Sunce
Project partners: Regionales Umweltbildungszentrum Hollen

Duration of the project: 24 months (January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2025)

FINANCING: total project budget: 159.998,00 euros.

Project manager in Sunce:
Margita Radman, Head of Department of Education and Information
[email protected]

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Students want to contribute and the schools are getting involved – we officially started the VolonTERRA project at the kick-off meeting (2024)