Morocco, Italy and Austria. Politics, Nature Guide Trainings and jam sessions. Copywriting, Nature journaling and cardio. Hannah Arendt, Harry Potter and climate crisis. How could all these things stay together? Let’s ask to our ESC volunteer: get to know Youssef Hamza!
Green Steps Team is international and diverse. You can meet some of us during our events. Others maybe are working behind the scenes, or even on another continent, but we all play a part to succeed in our mission. This is possible thanks to individuals and their hearts, which is something that goes beyond their job description. To make you all feel closer to our community, we post a short introduction to one of our Team Members, to celebrate the people behind Green Steps.
Do you have a Nickname?
Yes, people usually call me Yos or Yozza. It is easier to pronounce, especially for Italian speakers. Some people in my country call me also Giuseppe (the Italian version of my name) or simply “Peppe”.
Can you explain to a stranger what do you do for Green Steps?
I am an ESC volunteer, working for Green Steps for one year. My main tasks in the association can be summarized in two categories: nature guide-related tasks and communication-related tasks. As a trainee nature guide, I support the team in designing our activities, facilitating them, ensuring safety and engaging with the participants. I attended first aid training and the Green Steps Nature Guide Training level 1 to get familiar with these tasks. As a communication assistant, I support the team in developing our promotion campaign. This means planning the social posting, supporting the team in the flyer and website content creation, promoting our activities on the local platforms, creating video content out of the events and publishing them.
What is your daily routine? What is something you like doing and your coworkers maybe don’t know about you?
The first thing you learn when you train to be a nature guide is that your routines are strongly influenced by the season and by the weather. My working routine during summer was different from the one I had during winter. Moreover, I started to be involved in the communication area starting from the second half of my volunteering year: this also changed a lot my working routine.
The Green Steps team knows yet already that I developed this year an obsession with ukulele and jam sessions. I have been passionate about discovering new music genres and emerging artists since I was 15. I studied political science; hence I am also interested in what I might call “the social sciences’ side” of the project. As an Italian, I fit into the stereotype of a football fan; I like to keep myself updated on how the season is going for my team, AS Roma. However, what my coworkers might not know is that I really enjoy going to the gym whenever I have the time to do so. What I really like about it is the feeling that I experience in my body when I do an exercise correctly. Spending those two hours helps me relax and makes me more aware of my body sensations.
Tell us a story about yourself: starting from “where are you from” to the choice of joining Green Steps.
What I would like to share here is my personal experience with environmental learning. Despite I think the awareness about the climate crisis got a bit better in Italy in the last few years, I would say that we are really far from having a sufficient understanding of what we are actually doing to our planet. I experienced this myself when I got in contact with Central European culture for the first time during my Erasmus experience in Germany. What impressed me the most was the fact that the climate crisis was a normal topic of discussion among youngsters in everyday life. Talking about the environment, ecosystems, biodiversity loss and sharing individual best practices to contribute to the healing of the planet was something new for me. It never happened to talk about it with my friends, it was a theme isolated in the context of formal conferences, newspapers, and university lessons. Realizing that in other countries my generation was more active in this field and that there were a lot of ways to do my part led me to look for an environment-related ESC project.
Mention a book you read as a teenager that still tells something about you, and that you would still suggest reading.
I would like to mention one saga and one book. I cannot think about my adolescence without the Harry potter saga popping up in my mind. I have never found in any other work this capacity of teleporting the reader in such a well-developed and engaging fictional word. The book I suggest is “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A report on the banality in evil” by Hannah Arendt. This book consists in the report of the Eichmann trial. One of the main messages delivered by this work is the following: as humans, we can do awful things just by not reflecting on the system we are a part of; we do not need to be an awful and evil person to do something awful and evil things. Arendt explains this concept through the image of Nazis officers justifying their behaviour through their devotion to the hierarchy of their totalitarian system (i.e. “I just did what I was asked to do”, ). Eichmann looked like an average man of his time. However, I find this concept suitable for also explaining our relationship with the planet. My generation grew up with the idea that overexploiting the planet and its resources was normal. If the exploitation of the planet is a systemic element of our economy and society, we then are active contributors to the climate crisis because we never question ourselves about the sustainability of this system.
How do you expect you and Green Steps to have an impact in the next years?
I wish more and more people to get to know what Green Steps is trying to do. And I wish more people to understand why it is important to change our relationship with the planet and our habits. Not enough people see the value of this project on a local and global scale, I hope this will change.
BFG quest with Jugend:Info NÖ
On the 12th of October, the Jugend:Info NÖ invited us to organize with them the BFG route in Sonnenpark for all the ESC volunteers in Lower Austria! To know more about the event, check out the following article and watch our YouTube video!
Big Friendly Giants walk in Viehofen
Take a look at our birthday Big Friendly Giants walk! Wanna know more about the trees called the "Scream" and "Guardian of the souls"? Then read the article!