H2O Heroes: Uniting for Armenia’s Freshwater Future

In 2019, a group of passionate individuals laid the foundation for ECO Group, envisioning a community united by a shared commitment to environmental stewardship. This vision quickly evolved, and by 2020, we extended our reach beyond the confines of school walls, transforming into a dynamic youth-environmental initiative with a mission to make a tangible and positive impact on the world around us. Our goal was simple but ambitious: to foster a generation of environmentally conscious youth who are empowered to lead and inspire change.

One of our most impactful projects is the H2O Heroes Campaign, an environmental initiative dedicated to World Water Day. This campaign is the result of a powerful collaboration between ECO Group, the Alternative Youth Center, and the “Eco Group” youth-environmental NGO. Together, we aim to combat the pollution of Armenia’s freshwater resources and to raise awareness about the importance of environmental conservation.

The H2O Heroes Campaign is a testament to the power of collaboration in addressing environmental challenges. The campaign involved young activists from Vanadzor (the 3rd largest city in Armenia), aged 16-30, who participated in various stages of the project. During the first phase, participants attended capacity-building trainings on topics such as “Freshwater Pollution and Combating It in Armenia” and “How to Make Visual Creative Postcards.” These trainings equipped them with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand and address the pressing issue of freshwater pollution.

One of the highlights of the campaign was a visit to a water treatment plant. Here, participants had the opportunity to see firsthand the stages water goes through before reaching consumers. This experience was eye-opening for many, as it underscored the complexity and importance of maintaining clean water sources.

In the second phase of the project, participants put their newfound knowledge and skills to use by creating informative postcards. These postcards were designed to raise awareness about the issue of freshwater pollution and to encourage others to take action in combating this problem. The creative process was not only educational but also empowering, as participants saw their efforts materialize into tangible advocacy tools.

“This campaign gave me good friends and a deeper understanding of freshwater issues in Armenia,” says participant Angelina Yeganyan. “It motivated me to work towards a green and clean planet. The knowledge I gained and the friendships I formed are invaluable.”

Another participant, Aram, shares, “I loved this program because it taught me about our ecosystem and sustainability. I also learned to use Canva (a platform for creating viaul content with no design experience) confidently, which I can now apply in other areas of my life. This campaign was an amazing learning experience, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

The partnership between ECO Group and the Alternative Youth Center for the H2O Heroes Campaign highlights the importance of joint efforts in addressing environmental challenges. By bringing together diverse groups of young people, we are creating a powerful network of environmentally conscious individuals who are equipped to lead the charge in conservation efforts.

“I believe campaigns like these empower and motivate young people to tackle environmental issues creatively,” says Seryan Yenokyan, the President of ECO Group NGO. “The Alternative youth center is a vibrant space where young people can gather, play interesting board games, and brainstorm innovative initiatives. It’s a place filled with youthful, creative energy and a welcoming environment.”

Monika Chilingaryan, the Vice-president of ECO Group NGO, adds, “Alternative has so much warmth and care that you don’t want to leave. It’s a second home for many of us.”

The success of the H2O Heroes Campaign has inspired us to continue our efforts and to expand our reach. We are committed to organizing more environmental campaigns under the umbrella of “Youths4EcoCampaign.” Our aim is to tackle various environmental issues through innovative and collaborative approaches, empowering young people to be the change-makers of tomorrow.

As we look to the future, we remain dedicated to our mission of fostering a generation of environmentally conscious youth. Through continued collaboration and creative initiatives, ECO Group and the Alternative Youth Center are paving the way for a sustainable and greener future. Together, we are not only addressing today’s environmental challenges but also inspiring the leaders of tomorrow to build a better world.


Bolygó – a Community Space for Youth in Hungary

As a young person, I see and feel every day that we are surrounded by environmental problems, yet I feel that I am alone among the ecological problems that affect everyone. Every difficulty or crisis affecting nature and society can be solved together, by joint action and cooperation, and for this we need communities that explore the roots of the problems from a scientific point of view, and that are open for everyone.

I found Bolygó community space with these thoughts in my head. At Bolygó the answers to the environmental and social problems of the 21st century are sought through the discovery of the root causes of the issues. Here, with the help of recognized specialists in a wide range of sciences, you can get to understand the human-caused environmental and social problems, and with the help of the enthusiastic staff members, you can not only make conscious changes in your everyday life, but you can also act for a better future. For me, Bolygó is an ideal space for action!

I participated in a podcast production training jointly organized by Greenpeace and Bolygó. The purpose of the training was to give young people a voice in environmental protection. The podcast is an excellent genre for exploring and discussing questions and answers, and due to the informal nature of the genre it is possible to talk about an almost inexhaustible range of topics related to environmental protection. Every minute of the training was practice-oriented, and together with the other participants we solved the tasks, which weren’t really tasks, rather we worked for a common goal together, which resulted in an interview and a podcast at the end of the training.

We were able to learn from Hungary’s professionally recognized media personalities in a friendly atmosphere, learning a lot of useful tips. At Bolygó, it was easy to get to know each other and learn the theoretical and practical foundations of podcast making, because in addition to the inspiring space (chill corner and tea making), we found helpful wings with the enthusiastic people working here. I was a little nervous about what to expect about the training, but the nervousness turned into excitement right from the beginning! Joint planning and thinking, good vibes, meaningful breaks and professional technical conditions characterized the two-day training.

We even had the opportunity to express and clash opinions that are usually hidden deeper in the person, which for me was a unique experience. I think that the message and purpose of Bolygó is authentic and future oriented. I think it is one of the best places if you want to do something for the environment and your fellow humans!

Bolygó will open the door for you if you are still sitting in the room of climate anxiety! I wholeheartedly recommend the programs and courses organized by them to all young people!

Written by David Schmidt, a young member of Bolygó, Budapest Hungary


Open Getar River in Yerevan!

“I’m trying to find myself, and I realized that one of the ways to do that is to understand the place where I live and the issues it faces. Activism around issues of Getar River helped me a lot in this regard,” says Anna Karapetyan.

On April 25th, 2024, visual artist Anna-Lea Kopperi together with the members of the Alternative Youth Center held an environmental art happening titled Open Getar River!. The participants walked along the visible and invisible Getar River, inviting the residents of Yerevan to think about the importance of having a river flowing through their city and drawing their attention to the problems of pollution of the river.

Anna is one of the young people who participated in this project, contributing from organizational work to implementation. She was born and grew up in Yerevan but had not heard about Getar’s problems before. Getar, one of the two rivers flowing through Yerevan, was being polluted and litterred for decades. In the 2000s, instead of cleaning it of sewage and garbage, the government decided to close it in tunnels and cover it with asphalted streets and parking lots. The parts of the river that are still open, are badly polluted. This is an important environmental problem not only for the residents living in the areas adjacent to Getar but for all the citizens of Yerevan.

During the walking action, young people wore cloth hats in the shape of fish and held in their hands fishes made of white cloth. This symbol was chosen as a tribute to the fact that years ago the river was full of fish while now rats dominate its ecosystem. For Anna, walking in masks was the most powerful aspect of the action; it kind of emphasized that it doesn’t matter who we are – what’s important is to raise the issue.

“My parents were born in Yerevan, too, but they did not know about Getar’s issues. By participating in this project, I showed my parents what an important idea I was fighting for. I learned a lot and can better inform my friends and relatives now,” Anna notes. “Anyone living in Yerevan should know about the Getar River, as it is one of the most significant elements of our city. And we need to turn it back to a clean and openly flowing river.”

Written by Alisa Harutyunyan, a young member of Alternative Youth Center in Yerevan, Armenia


From a Photography Workshop to Exciting Professional Photography Gigs

Hi, my name is Mbali Radebe, and I consider myself a change maker, poet, content creator, radio presenter, and aspiring project manager. 

I joined Ubuntu Hub in September 2022, and the project has had a significant impact on my growth, both in my interpersonal skills and in my career. As an aspiring project manager, I had the opportunity to collaborate with innovative and brilliant minds towards a common goal. I learned more about the importance of environmental care and mutual support, experienced the power of learning by doing, and, most importantly, had the chance to bring my ideas to life.

One of the standout moments during my time at Ubuntu Hub was the photography workshop held at Braamfontein with “We Are,” featuring Lee-Roy Jason, one of South Africa’s top photographers, as one of the speakers. Following this workshop, Lee-Roy Jason welcomed me as a member of his photography team. This led to photography opportunities on major stages, capturing household names in the South African entertainment industry, and securing collaborations with renowned brands.

Another profoundly impactful event at Ubuntu Hub was “Make Something Week,” held in Braamfontein with a surprise trip to Tembisa. This week-long initiative taught me that anything is possible through collaboration, a willingness to learn and teach, and by gathering the right resources. I gained insights into upcycling and the consequences of consumerism. Being part of the team that orchestrated the entire process, from planning to execution, was an enriching experience, and our team spirit remained strong throughout.

Written by Mbali Radebe


Our Forest, Our Heritage

Dear Environmental Gurus,

What story are you willing to tell in your future? In a world filled with climate anxiety, our feelings, uncertainties, and loss of control are sometimes considered void. It’s easy to feel helpless, but it’s not okay not to care. Growing up as a child, traditional medication was the best cure for minor aches, illnesses, and mental health issues plaguing our communities currently. If not for biodiversity health’s sake, at least let’s do it for humanity. Forest inhabitants deserve shelter that man destroys and exploits without remedy for future generations to come. Here’s a brief account of my journey as a climate justice activist.

Did you know? Every time we open social media, more than half of the world is connected. Television news is bombarded by environmental disasters and our forests are menaced by wildfires, drought, pollution, and invasive species.

Oh, I remember! Growing up in the Grassfields area of Cameroon, in the beautiful, spacious, and evergreen vegetation along the Donga Mantung Plateau, was the best experience of my life. Indigenous people and local communities knew how to deal with hunger, illnesses, and when to plant agricultural products. All this was possible due to the presence of our forest, but today I bleed because these features are fading away.

But here’s the catch: I do remember the forest was the only rich heritage we had. From one generation to the other, they acknowledged its health, food, and security benefits; even the animals rely on it for livelihood. Sadly, I lack words to further explain what we have done and where we have fallen today.

The World Day of Forest brings a lot of nostalgic feelings to many Africans, and I hope even you reading this. Please pause for a minute and reflect deeply. Ask yourself the question: “What have we done to our forest & environment?”

Our actions matter, and we should avoid being eco-paralytic. We do not need a diploma to act. What I do is support organizations working for forest conservation, sensitize my communities on eco-friendly methods, or plant more trees locally.

Even when centuries pass, our works will be remembered. You really just need to care. So, I’m starting with the person in the mirror—that’s you. And as Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

So, do we really care? 


Harnessing Youth Innovation at Ubuntu Hub: Driving Climate Advocacy on Earth Day

As we mark another Earth Day, the urgency of addressing climate change has never been clearer. From rising temperatures to extreme weather events, the impacts of climate change are being felt around the world. In this pivotal moment, it is essential to harness the creativity and innovation of young people to drive climate advocacy and propel meaningful action. In this blog, we will explore the role of youth innovation and creativity at Ubuntu Hub in promoting climate advocacy, and how their fresh perspectives can inspire transformative change.

Young people possess a unique ability to think outside the box, challenge the status quo, and envision a better future. Their fresh creative perspectives, coupled with their proficiency in technology and social media, make them powerful agents of change in the fight against climate change. By harnessing their creativity and innovation through art, we can unlock new solutions to address the complex challenges posed by climate change and accelerate progress towards a more sustainable world.

Art has long been a powerful tool for raising awareness and inspiring action on social and environmental issues. Through visual arts, music, poetry, and other forms of creative expression, young artists at Ubuntu Hub are shining a spotlight on the impacts of climate change and calling for urgent action. Whether it is through powerful murals, thought-provoking poems, or stirring music performances, art can convey the urgency of the climate crisis in ways that resonate deeply with people of all ages.

Moreover, education is key to empowering young people to become effective advocates for climate action. By integrating climate ideologies, sustainability, and environmental justice into Ubuntu Hub programs, we equip youth with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to understand the complexities of climate change and engage in meaningful advocacy efforts. Hands-on learning experiences, training programs, and workshops, and youth-led initiatives are invaluable in nurturing the next generation of climate leaders.

As we celebrate Earth Day and reflect on the state of our planet, let us harness the power of youth innovation and creativity to drive climate advocacy and accelerate progress towards a sustainable future. By empowering young people to use their voices, talents, and ideas to advocate for climate action, we can inspire transformative change and build a more resilient world for generations to come. Together, let us stand with youth around the world and commit to taking bold and decisive action to address the climate crisis.

Happy Earth Day!

By Kutloano Ramotshela


Earth Matters: Why We Need to Take Action Against Climate Change

Pollution, climate change, and injustices are all pressing issues that our planet faces today. These problems not only affect the environment but also have severe consequences for human health and well-being. As inhabitants of this planet, it is our responsibility to take action and address these challenges before it’s too late.

The Earth is a beautiful and diverse planet that has been home to millions of species for billions of years. However, in the recent past, human activities have caused significant damage to the environment. The constant exploitation of natural resources, excessive use of fossil fuels, and improper waste management have all contributed to pollution and climate change.

Pollution is the contamination of our air, water, and soil by harmful substances. It comes in various forms, from plastic waste littering our oceans to toxic chemicals released from factories and vehicles. The impact of pollution is widespread, affecting not only the environment but also human health. The World Health Organization estimates that around 7 million people die prematurely each year due to air pollution alone.

Climate change, on the other hand, refers to the long-term changes in temperature, weather patterns, and sea levels caused by greenhouse gas emissions. The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas releases these gases into the atmosphere, trapping heat and causing the Earth’s temperature to rise. This increase in temperature leads to extreme weather events like hurricanes, droughts, and floods, disrupting ecosystems and endangering human lives.

In addition to pollution and climate change, there are also numerous injustices happening on our planet. These injustices include environmental racism, where marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by pollution and environmental hazards due to their socioeconomic status. There is also the issue of environmental colonialism, where developed countries exploit the resources of developing countries without considering the impact on their environment or the well-being of the local communities.

So why does Earth matter? The answer is simple: because our planet is our only home, and we need to take care of it for ourselves and future generations. We cannot continue to ignore the consequences of our actions and turn a blind eye to the damage being done to our environment. We must take action now to address these issues and make a positive impact on our planet.

Taking action against pollution, climate change, and injustices on our planet may seem like a daunting task, but there are many ways that we can all contribute to making a difference. Here are some simple steps that we can take:

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle: The first step towards reducing pollution is to reduce the amount of waste we produce. By practicing the 3Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – we can decrease the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills and pollutes our environment.

2. Conserve energy: We can all play a part in reducing our carbon footprint by conserving energy. This includes turning off lights and electronics when not in use, using public transportation or carpooling, and opting for renewable energy sources like solar or wind power.

3. Support sustainable practices: When making purchases, choose products from companies that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices. This will help reduce the demand for products that harm the environment and support businesses that are actively trying to make a positive impact.

4. Educate yourself and others: Knowledge is power, and by educating ourselves and others about pollution, climate change, and injustices on our planet, we can raise awareness and inspire action.

5. Advocate for change: Use your voice to speak up for the environment. Write to your local representatives or participate in peaceful protests to demand action against pollution and climate change. By coming together as a community, we can make a stronger impact.

It’s not just individuals who need to take action; governments and corporations also have a crucial role to play in protecting our planet. We need policies and regulations that promote sustainable practices, reduce emissions, and hold polluters accountable for their actions. We also need corporations to take responsibility for their impact on the environment and work towards more sustainable and ethical practices.

We are already seeing the effects of our actions on our planet. The rise in global temperatures, the increase in extreme weather events, and the decline of biodiversity are all signs that we need to act now. If we continue on our current path, the consequences will be irreversible and devastating.

By taking action now, we can still make a positive impact on our planet. We can work towards a future where clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment are accessible to all. We can create a more equitable and just society where everyone has equal access to environmental resources and protection.

In conclusion, Earth matters because it is our home, and we have a responsibility to take care of it. Pollution, climate change, and injustices are critical issues that we cannot afford to ignore any longer. It’s time for us to step up and make a positive change for our planet. Let’s come together, educate ourselves and others, and take action towards a more sustainable and just future for all. Our Earth matters; let’s make sure we treat it that way.

By DA CONCESAO CUMAIO also known as (jaysteeze thelazy.poet)

All photos belong to Ubuntu Hub, taken during their Earth Week 2024 activities


Planet vs Plastics: Earth Day 2024

Why do we need to talk about plastics?

Plastics pervades our existence! From habitats to bodies, driven by profit, disproportionately impacting poor nations through waste colonialism. Plastic production is in fact a human rights violation since the people and the most marginalized communities who have contributed the least to the escalating planetary crisis are affected the most.

Did you know that over 99% of plastics are made of fossil fuels? Petrochemical companies promote plastics as cheap, but their true cost includes biodiversity loss, human health risks, and climate impact.

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has started to negotiate on a legally binding plastic treaty that will include the whole life-cycle of plastic. However we demand that this treaty involves the most marginalized communities in the decision making process, to ensure that their health and safety are prioritized over plastic pollution.

So the simple answer to why we need to talk about plastic is: it can never be a part of a sustainable and just development. Companies try to greenwash by stating that plastic and planetary wellbeing can be combined – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

We demand policies that prioritize the health and safety of communities and wellbeing of the planet and future generations over the profit of petrochemical companies.

Support the planet in the battle against plastics by signing this petition for a strong Global Plastics Treaty!

And – go out on the streets and organize yourself because we are the change!

Video created by Planet One Youth


Long-term ESC volunteering in Planet One


Join us at Planet One, a vibrant community for the global youth movement striving for climate justice. Our makerspaces foster hands-on learning and activism for a sustainable future and operate in six countries: Hungary, South Africa, Kenya, Sweden, Cameroon, and Armenia, empowering the next generation to become catalysts for change. As part of our collaborative effort between Fryshuset and Greenpeace, you can bring your own creativity and contribute to our ongoing projects, amplifying youth voices worldwide. Together, let’s shape a greener, more equitable planet!

The volunteer will be part of the global team of Planet One and will be based at Fryshuset in Stockholm, Sweden. The main responsibility will be to support with editing, graphic design and, if possible, also illustrations, both for social media content and for an online handbook that will be developed during the year.


All costs are covered by the European Solidarity Corps program, including travel costs to Stockholm, Sweden. Accommodation will be provided by Fryshuset and pocket money to cover food, local transportation, etc., will be transferred monthly to the bank account of the volunteer.


Volunteers will receive two trainings organized by the Swedish National Agency: on-arrival and mid-term training. Additional trainings organized by Planet One or Fryshuset may be available.


We are seeking a volunteer (between 18-30 years old) with a passion for climate action and a drive for change, who possesses a range of creative skills and digital expertise to contribute to our team. We prefer candidates who have: Knowledge in graphic design, particularly with Adobe programs such as Photoshop and InDesign Experience of making illustrations Experience of video and photo editing If possible, knowledge of WordPress Additionally, familiarity with social media platforms such as YouTube and TikTok would be advantageous. You are encouraged to submit a portfolio.


 A total of 52 week(s) during the period 22/04/2024 to 21/04/2025


 Mårtensdalsgatan 6, 120 30 Stockholm Sweden


Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia


 Citizenship and democratic participation

 Environment and natural protection

 Creativity and culture


 Application deadline: 22/04/2024



Rising from Adversity: Karabo Seretsi’s Journey to Redemption and Success at Ubuntu Hub

“Arriving in the city of Johannesburg for the first time to attend an audition at Ubuntu Hub turned my life around.”

Meet Karabo Blake Seretsi, a 19-year-old from a small town in the North West province of South Africa. She grew up as an odd one out at home, school, and in the community, with a deep anxiety about talking or meeting people. Blake immersed herself in church activities, and spending time alone became her solace. This reclusive personality persisted until her parents convinced her to join sports at school, and she decided to be part of the hockey team, where she excelled and felt confidence in herself for the first time.

This newfound self-worth was shattered when her parents separated in 2020, and she had to move to the Gauteng Province with her mother, which also meant changing schools. This move coincided with the global lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She only got to attend her new school for two months before staying at home. This led to a relapse in her childhood personality disorders, and she was ultimately diagnosed with manic depression and generalized anxiety, requiring admission to a psychiatric hospital.

As time passed, her journey to recovery began, and in 2023 she met a new friend who sent her a text inviting her to Johannesburg for an audition for the Leak fashion show at Ubuntu Hub. She arrived in Johannesburg for the first time. “I had never heard of Ubuntu Hub before, but when I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by friendly faces and voices. The Ubuntu Hub staff explained the project to the audition group, and I really felt at home, like I had found a home.”

After the auditions, she was invited to be part of the 100 Movement, an NGO modeling agency that harnesses the talents of young and aspiring models without charging a fee. Then, Ubuntu Hub hosted Make Something Week, where she volunteered to be an MC for the musical show “a dream I always had.”

During the Make Something Week musical show, a TV producer was part of the audience and spotted her amazing talent, offering her her first job as a TV presenter for a show called Lyrics Debunked. “Ubuntu Hub has become a safe space for me and has opened up opportunities that I never thought possible for me.”

Story provided by Ubuntu Hub, Johannesburg, South Africa