About ORA Network
In 2009, several European organisations launched an ongoing dynamic educational process called Observe Rethink Act or "ORA". This process gathers together Youth Centres, Nature Reserves, environmental NGOs, social development organisations, cooperatives, art collectives, cultural organisations, and Eco-centres. They came together in order to broaden the opportunities for the social, cultural, environmental and economic inclusion of young people in their communities.
The concept underpinning ORA is to provide young people with the direct opportunity to Observe their context (both at a local and international level), to Rethink their own role (both as individuals and as members of society) and to Act as responsible citizens to strengthen their communities. Participation in the process has improved the efficiency and enriched the quality of the work done at the grassroots level by every organisation involved.
ORA works by combining different Non-formal Education methodologies and using several elements related to sustainable living. This has allowed ORA to create a positive local impact and encouraged wider engagement from young people for all the organisations in the network.
In order to strengthen the relationship between the partners and make it sustainable in the long term we decided to create shared platform by establishing an international network connecting organisations from different European countries.
This network was founded as an official organisation with the signature of the statute in July 2014, during an international meeting held in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In February 2015 it was then registered in Germany as "ORA Network e.V." (E.V. = Eingetragener Verein = registered association).
This network works together to plan shared initiatives, co-ordinate activities and design projects within the framework of Observe Rethink Act.
Our vision is of an inclusive and participatory society without discrimination, where people achieve their full potential in harmony with the environment. In our work we are driven by the values of solidarity, cooperation, equal opportunities, intercultural understanding, and respect.
By designing and realizing workshops, trainings, seminars, exchanges, multimedia and artistic production, public events, and awareness raising campaigns, we aim:
- to facilitate active citizenship and participation as well as promoting voluntary work and youth activism in local communities and on an international level.
- to empower young people, adults, youth workers, and educators; in order to increase competences, skills and the quality of work done at the grassroots level.
- to support the activities and the development of Youth Centres, cultural associations, Eco-centres, artistic collectives, association for social promotion.
- to provide information and education about the processes of Nature and more specific environmental topics such as climate change, renewable energy, sustainable mobility, waste management and collective goods.
- to preserve and raise awareness of biodiversity and protected areas (national parks, urban gardens, nature reserves, and Sites of Community Importance as defined in the European Habitats Directive).
- to create innovative educational modules and toolkits using Non Formal Education methodologies and approaches.
- to explore and give space to new waves of social, alternative and underground art and creative expression.
- to activate critical thinking and responsible behaviour among citizens.
- to explore, promote and give support to innovative, alternative, responsible and sustainable economic models.
Tools and Methodologies
We regard learning as an intergenerational and lifelong process, and therefore we realize our activities and projects using the principles of Non Formal Education. The ORA Network should seen as an educational process which constantly improves and adapts tools and methodologies, according to needs and context. In order to achieve its goals, ORA applies educational approaches based on different models and methodologies, such as active pedagogy and operational objective processes. At the same time, ORA develops and uses specific educational toolkits, workshops, trainings, seminars, exchanges, multimedia and artistic products, public events and awareness raising campaigns.