The Centre for Environmental Activities ZRODLA
The Centre for Environmental Activities ŹRÓDŁA is an association, a nonprofit organization based in Poland with a mission to educate students, teachers, and the general public about environmental issues and expand their capacity to act for a more sustainable world. Źródła’s members believe in the importance of working directly in conservation and welfare efforts, as well as instilling in people a love for their surroundings and fellow inhabitants. Źródła was founded in 1993 as a branch of the Interacademic Ecological Lobby; it later registered as an association in February, 1997. It has the status of "public benefit organization" (OPP), which is the Polish equivalent of the 501(c)(3) code. It is an organization independent of the government (and local government) and business entities.
Our main work is workshops for children and students conducted in schools in Łódź and the Łódź Voivodeship. These are classes conducted using active methods, concerning not only (broadly understood) environmental protection and climate change, but also global education or regional education. We offer 80 workshops for schools (and kindergartens), divided into thematic categories. Our trainers can conduct sessions at school, in the field, or we can, instead, invite everyone to our education center. In total, we offer around 1,000 such classes annually. We are an officially registered educational institution (RSPO 130198). Besides workshops, we also carry out many other educational activities: nature trips and green schools, weekend family workshops, and summer day camps. For adults, we have training for teachers, librarians, or companies.
We implement larger educational projects when we have such opportunities, such as a one-year school for trainers. We train environmental and global education trainers. Also, we prepare educational materials, scripts, books, and reports for our own needs and other organizations and institutions. We are specialists in creating educational programs.
We also carry out activities through projects (financed from external or own funds), such as:
- Eco-calendar - a site with educational materials for the celebration of various days and festivals
- Information project on the role of water in nature and water-saving
- Introducing young people to the issues of climate change (2009)
- Into the wild - development of outdoor education
- Empty Classroom Day - an international project promoting outdoor lessons
In addition to education itself, the association also works in other areas related to the environment:
- Bełchatów 2050 - upcoming Just Transition in the Bełchatów region (the largest lignite-fired power plant in Europe)
- Anti-hunting activities (including support for landowners wishing to ban hunting)
- Promoting fair trade (we are the founders of Fairtrade Polska)
What does the name "Źródła" mean?
The Polish word źródła (pronounced: ZH-rood-wah) literally means springs or sources (like the source of a river or stream), but metaphorically, it also means the origins of something. In this sense, it has a similar meaning to the word "roots," and we like to associate our name with this meaning. We often repeat the proverb: "You have to swim against the current to get to the sources." This means that you not only have to put in more effort to discover the true meaning, but you also have to act differently from most others.
How to support us?
We are an independent organization, and the local government does not maintain us. Whenever possible, we use EU or EEA grants, but most activities would not be possible without the support of individual donors. You can support us by donating using PayPal. We are also registered in the Benevity and Deed.