Join forces for sustainability
Fernanda Tenorio (23) and Vanessa Costa (25) , both from Brazil, are on exchange in Norway to contribute with a new perspective and find new solutions.
Fernanda has a Bachelor in Social and Environmental Sciences and Vanessa is a biologist. Through Hostelling International, a north-south FK Norway exchange project between Norway and Brazil they got an opportunity to change their work place for a year. Hostelling International Norway has worked on a defined strategy for promoting sustainability among its hotels. During their exchange period Fernanda and Vanessa are focusing on sustainability and conscious tourism. FK Norway met them for a short interview in Bergen.
What was your motivation to participate in a FK exchange project?
"This was an opportunity to make a difference and contribute in something important. I wanted to contribute with my skills and at the same time experiencing another culture and a different country", Fernanda says.
"The exchange programme with FK gives me the opportunity to share experiences, create new things in collaboration with others and learn a lot", Vaness ads.
Workwise, what tasks and responsibilities do you have?
Fernanda answers quickly; "We bring another perspective from antoher "world". At the same time, we are gaining new knowledge and will bring that back to the hostel at home."
Vanessa explains that during these nine months in Norway they have worked in Gjøvik and now in Bergen.
"For us it was worrying to see how much food that was wasted every day. This is not sustainable. We contacted the organization Too Good To Go to establish a partnership with them. In Gjøvik we suggesten to have a register and find out how much food that is wasted each day and find soloutions to reduce it. This is good for the hostel and for sustainability. We have also worked to improve the communication between the hostels and guests. Last week we suggested some tools to improve the registration and sale of rooms on various booking sites Hostelling uses."
In April, toghether with Naturvernforbundet, they organised a clothes swapping day at HI Gjøvik Hovedtun. It was a sucess with slogan Do you know how buying new clothes impacts the environment?
They tell FK that they are busy and that it was a challenge to adapt to the Norwegian culture and way of coommunicating. "We find it difficult to get to know people", they say.
Vanessa and Fernanda have had amazing experiences in Norway as mushing in Lillehammer and learn Norwegian folk dance in Gjøvik.
Towards the end of the conversation Fernanda says that she has become more tolerant and patient, and that they both love the flat structure in the Norwegian society. This may be a good way to be sustainable too.
Read more about this project and the participants activities at sayhitonorway.com