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Grundtvig IST Sustainable Living

Sustainable Living (Grundtivig In Service Training, GR-2014-294-002)

  • Session 1: 08/03/2014-15/03/2014 (Deadline for application at your national agency 17/09/2013)
  • Session 2: 26/04/2014-03/05/2014 (Deadline for application at your national agency 17/09/2013)


Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm & Guesthouse (Homeodynamic Development S.A.), which focuses on pilot educational activities, has developed an innovative methodology for the training of trainers (ToT) in sustainable living.

The main goal of the seminar is to promote awareness on sustainable living, as well as provide basic knowledge of the tools and methods to achieve this.

This course aims to provide an insight into the basic principles of sustainable water management, bioclimatic architecture, resource management and creation of self-sufficient personal or community spaces in both urban and rural environments.

The participants will learn about the hydrologic cycle and the urban water cycle, water saving and environmental practices and techniques, including water efficiency, rainwater harvesting, reused water, greywater recycling, decentralized wastewater treatment, etc. The course will also provide an understanding of the importance of sustainable agricultural water management practices, as well as the basic permaculture principles related to water management. Particular focus will be given to small scale developments and communities, as well as decentralised water management practices and systems; the case of “green islands” will provide a demonstration of such an approach.

Participants will be introduced in the bioclimatic architecture, providing an insight on the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources when designing the built environment and considering the living space. In this section we will present basic designing and planning principles with a sustainable approach such as orientation, solar gain, natural ventilation, natural shading, ecological materials, etc.

The seminar will also present an overview of how development and residential communities are putting pressure on our energy systems. We will present different “Systems thinking” for environmental issues on energy and resource management. Finally, we will introduce challenges and examples of best practices and experiences around the world for management of resources and energy policies giving tools for designing and living off grid.


Participants should pre-register for the course by contacting Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm & Guesthouse (Homeodynamic Development S.A) at education@eumelia.com. The organization will send the participant confirmation of their pre-registration and a pre-course questionnaire.

The pre-course questionnaire will cover the following items:

  • Present training position
  • Age of trainees and their reasons for learning
  • Previous relevant experience
  • English language level
  • Educational needs

The aim of this questionnaire is to help us organize the course in order best to meet their needs both in terms of the methodological input sessions and the language development lessons. The questionnaire will give participants the opportunity to highlight their expectations, targets and experience and enhance the exchange of ideas and mutual learning processes.

When the participant confirms their attendance on the course they will receive an Info Kit containing:

  • The course outline
  • Suggested reading material
  • A local map and details of their accommodation
  • Inclusive and optional social activity programmes


The understanding of participants is going to be further enhanced by hands-on examples/ small participatory exercises of basic calculations and design, small-scale field work in Eumelia farm and related field trips.

The Eumelia ToT methodology is anchored on the following key principle:

  • A trainee-centered curriculum tailored on the basis of a survey of training needs beforehand.
  • A participatory approach, i.e. an interactive trainer-trainee relationship, so that the beneficiaries develop a strong sense of ownership through the examination/adoption of their ideas.

The methods used in this ToT are:

  • Short historical reference using examples of rural traditional architecture in Greece
  • Description of the basic designing and planning principles with a sustainable approach.
  • Presentation of Eumelia’s approach on building efficiency and sustainability
  • Case studies / examples designed by “aka lab” architects
  • Simulation and Role playing games on resources management and “Systems Thinking”
  • Design of realistic projects based on conditions examined on the ground in the framework of the Eumelia ToT courses.
  • Hands-on team workshops: Construction of a solar cooker made of cob - construction of a sitting bench made of cob and mud bricks for future projects
  • A thorough evaluation of the training course by all the participants, so that their feedback helps us capture possible weaknesses and retain what they have found useful.
  • Not least of all, a relaxed natural setting that helps optimize team-work and maximize the performance of the beneficiaries.


Follow-up of the course will be achieved:

  • By sharing a contact list of all the participants and trainers information.
  • Through self-evaluation of lessons taught after the training event
  • Through peer networking with the preparation of future projects.
  • Eumelia is ready to develop a database tracking the performance of: (i) participants in the ToT courses and (ii) youth organisations benefiting from follow-up training.

After the course, teachers and trainers will have:

  • a toolkit of user-friendly training resources that will be easy to adapt to specific audiences and their needs;
  • a bibliography for each session, including relevant website addresses a network of contacts which will facilitate the exchange of training modules and innovative techniques.

Daily Schedule

Day 1

  • Arrival in Athens
  • Travel to Eumelia
  • Welcome Dinner
Day 2
  • Get to know session
  • Orientation
  • Extensive tour of Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm & Guesthouse, an example of a sustainable rural ecotourism & agrotourism development project
  • Team building activities
  • Goals and structure of the seminar
  • Welcome dinner
Day 3 Water Management
  • Basic concept of hydrology and water management
  • Water sensitive cities, water efficient devices and practices (rainwater harvesting, grey water recycling, reclaimed reused water)
  • Rural environments (sustainable agricultural practices, basic principles of permaculture water management)
  • Field work and exercises:
  • Case study Eumelia farm natural black and grey water recycling system, rainwater harvesting design calculations.
  • Reedbeds / natural wetland design calculation
Day 4 Day Visit
  • Visit to Castory:
  • Local architecture,
  • Water mills,
  • Natural resource managment
  • Sustainable village communities
  • Hiking and traditional lunch
Day 5 Bioclimatic Architecture
  • Short historical reference using examples of rural traditional architecture in Greece. Comparison of building techniques from the Greek islands and the region of Mani.
  • Description of the basic designing and planning principles with a sustainable approach: Orientation, solar gain, natural ventilation, natural shading, ecological materials, etc.
  • Presentation of Eumelia’s approach on building efficiency and sustainability
  • Case studies / examples designed by aka lab architects
  • Introduction to earth as a building material
  • Hands-on team workshops: Construction of a solar cooker made of cob
  • Day 6 Resource management and “Systems Thinking” for environmental issues
  • Introduce trainees to the concept and practice of “Systems Thinking” for environmental issues
  • Living off grid – the challenges and examples of best practice and experience around the world.
  • Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audits
Day 7
  • Simulation and role playing game: Resource managment
  • Open discussion, future networks and cooperation.
  • Evaluation, feedback and recommendations
  • Farewell dinner
Day 8
  • Departure from Eumelia for Athens
  • Departure from Athens

Application Procedure

The participants must apply to their national agency for funding and approval for participation, the In-Service Training is funded by the European Union program Grundtvig and all participants must be accepted by their national agencies, please find in the following link your National Agency and apply through them. For more information on the Grundtvig In-Service Training please visit the following link Grundtvig IST.

For pre-registration fill in the form below in the files section of this page and send it to education@eumelia.com

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