Thank you volunteers!

Volunteers’ Week

This week it’s Volunteers’ Week in Belgium, a time to think about and thank the work of all the volunteers who have been collaborating for years to make the CATAPA project possible.

Thanks in a million!!!!

As every year, we have the opportunity to welcome two volunteers in the framework of the European Solidarity Corps, a programme funded by the European Commission that brings young people the opportunity to volunteer around Europe in social and environmental projects. It offers an inspiring and empowering experience for young people who want to help, learn and develop.

Currently, in Belgium, there are a large number of volunteers working on multiple projects, which are managed by JINT (Nationaal Agentschap voor Erasmus+ Jeugd).  

Our two 2021-22 ESC volunteers, Connor and Laura, were invited to participate these days in a gathering with them. A space for volunteer training, to explore the interculturality of the group, to meet international people and to have a meaningful and educational experience.

During the training, bonding activities took place among the volunteers as well as reflection sessions about the volunteer tasks in order to learn from each other.

Do you have nice #catapistas pictures yourself? Send them to! Or share them via social media with #catapistas & don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @catapa_vzw or on Facebook @catapa.belgium.

Are you a catapista yourself? We’d love to hear what you would like us to organise in the future! Share your ideas via this form.

Thanks a lot & see you soon!

Study and Lobby Working Group Launch

We are pleased to announce the launch of CATAPA’s new Study and Lobby Working Group. The Working Group will produce cutting edge research and lobby on the following themes;


Research Theme 1: Planned Obsolescence: Ctrl Alt Del Campaign

Our current linear model of consumption and production is a driving cause of the climate crisis. In this “throwaway” model, the drive for limitless production and consumption of electronics places quantity above product quality.

Products are made with a limited life span (planned obsolescence) or the design makes repair difficult or unfeasible. Some products are designed to fail, with system faults purposefully incorporated to reduce their lifespan. This is a deliberate strategy on behalf of the electronics industry to encourage users to purchase ‘new and improved’ products. This is planned obsolescence.

Ending planned obsolescence requires policy change on the Flemish and EU level. The planet urgently requires strong politicians willing to take a stand against the electronics industry and implement strict regulation obliging multinational companies to produce eco-designed products. Electronic products must be repairable and made to last, instead of disposable products made to break down quickly and be replaced. 


Research Theme 2: EU Critical Raw Materials

CATAPA strives towards a world in which the extraction of non-renewable resources is no longer necessary. Achieving this requires a fundamental transformation of our society and relationship to nature. 

Under the guise of ‘green mining’, the EU’s Critical Raw Materials list outlines a strategy for the resourcing of over thirty mined resources, such as lithium, deemed ‘necessary’ for the green transition.

Securing such an increased demand for raw materials requires an expansion of mining operations within the EU. More mining will lead to severe negative socio-environmental impacts, such as human rights abuses, pollution and loss of land. The transition to renewable energy must be just. 


Research Theme 3: Right to Say No

A just transition includes local communities having the Right to Say No to mining projects. Under the ‘social licence to operate’ (SLO), a non-binding voluntary commitment to ‘good practice’, corporations are able to greenwash their operations. Local communities have no legal instrument to oppose unwanted mining projects. 

Where local communities resort to direct action to resist mining operations, they are dismissed, labeled as terrorists and face severe repression and human rights violations. 227 environmental defenders were killed in 2020.

Additionally, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement system (ISDS), embedded in international trade agreements, enables corporations to sue states, predominantly in the Global South, over opposition to proposed mining projects.

The ISDS system must be dismantled. Fairer, democratic consultation mechanisms must be adopted. Local communities must have the decisive, legally binding say over the fate of mining projects. 


Research Theme 4: Alternatives to extractivism

We’re living in an age of crises. The current mantra and false solutions of endless growth, consumption and subjugation of nature is pushing the planet towards socio-ecological collapse.

So, what is the solution?

To meet this moment, we must dare to imagine and embody bold alternatives such as Degrowth. Our economy must be based on social and environmental justice. We must repair our relationship with nature and recognise our co-existence within the web of life. 


Get involved!

Joining the Study and Lobby Working Group provides you with a means to improve your research and lobbying skills. Your work will support CATAPA’s vision and mission, and will be published on the website and social media platforms. 

There will also be an opportunity within the Working Group to develop other projects, such as an Open Journal, Book Club, Symposiums and more!

Sign up: 

Want more information? Contact connor.cashell[at]

ESC Catapa 2021

CATAPA’s new ESC Volunteers

CATAPA’s new ESC Volunteers

This past September we welcomed two new members to our office. They are part of the European Solidarity Corps, a programme funded by the European Commission that brings young people the opportunity to volunteer around Europe in social and environmental projects. It offers an inspiring and empowering experience for young people who want to help, learn and develop.

This year, CATAPA is further focusing on the topics Degrowth and a Wellbeing Economy. We currently have two working lines: Education & Movement, and Communication & Campaigns.


I’m Connor, from Ireland, and I am gonna be working in the Education and Movement’s field. I studied BA Politics and International Relations and a Masters in International Development at the University of Sheffield. During my studies, I had been focused on neo-extractivism in Ecuador and alternatives to capitalism’s socio-ecological destruction such as Degrowth and Buen Vivir.

ESC Connor

The ESC programme has provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute towards a cause I deeply care about, experience a new and unfamiliar culture, and push myself beyond my limits


I’m Laura, from Barcelona, and I am gonna be working in the Communication & Campaigns field. I studied Journalism and I recently finished a Master in Corporate and Strategic Communication. I had the opportunity to work as a journalist in Colombia in a media with a focus on Human Rights and, as a result of this experience, I want to focus my work on the defense of Human and Environmental Rights. Therefore, I believe that doing European volunteering in an organization that works with affected communities and fights for a greener and fairer planet fits perfectly with my objectives and my values.

ESC Laura

The ESC Volunteering is the perfect opportunity to contribute to a cause you believe in, develop yourself in the personal and professional field, as well as to step out of your comfort zone and discover a new country, people and culture