Project „Increasing Quality of Activities Targeting Rural Youth“ has been co-founded by the European Commission through the Erasmus + programme and implemented by NGO „Youth Workers Alliance Vranje“. Partners are experienced youth organizations coming from North Macedonia (Next Generation), Montenegro (Mladiinfo Montenegro), Kosovo (OAPA), Greece (International Centre for Sustainable Development) and Denmark (Draft Copenhagen).
Key issue address by the project ‘Increasing Quality of Activities Targeting Rural Youth’ is lack of possibilities for personal and professional growth for young people (16 – 30) coming from rural areas of partner’s countries. Small cities, villages or remote areas in most cases do not provide opportunities for young people. They are missing access to quality free time activities, services or information on local, regional, national or international projects open for youth. In most cases, just young people who decide to study at university in bigger cities or in the capitals learn about opportunities provided by youth organizations, youth councils, parliaments, Council of Europe or Erasmus + Programme.
During last year 5 events were implemented.
Kick Off Meeting in Paralia, Greece 16 – 22 May, 2019 – Main aim of the 5 – days meeting was to review the plan of the project activities, set communication rules, review plans for visibility and dissemination period and specially to focus on the development and launching of the Capacity Building Activities and Dissemination Activities in each country. During the meeting, the representatives of the organizations shared their expectations towards the platform and the role that they should play in the process of supporting exchange of practices in the field of Rural Development. The Kick off meeting aimed to develop capacities of participants of mobility activities to respond on the needs and interests of young people in rural areas and to develop their potential through quality activities and to support developing new international projects focus on rural youth.
Study Visit in Fuglebjerg, Denmark, 14 – 22 June, 2019 – The main purpose of the 8 days study visit was to provide the participants an opportunity to learn directly from practices of visited organizations and institutions, to get to know approaches that these organizations apply at their work with young people from rural area, to discuss common challenges, to raise knowledge on Erasmus + Programme and to brainstorm ideas for future project.
Training Course in Leskovac, Serbia, 14 – 22 July, 2019 – The training course had several parts. First part provided the participants space to share and reflect on the process of applying lessons learned from study visit in their environment. In this case, the participants identified possible obstacles and brainstormed ideas how to overcome them. The second part focused on developing participant’s competencies to deliver quality activities targeting rural youth. The participants took part in discussions, debates, simulations, role plays. After that, the participants focused on developing their capacities to include community in their work with rural youth and implement activities leading to positive community change. Last part of the training course focused on planning capacity building activities.
Youth Exchange in Prizren, Kosovo, 01 – 08 October, 2019 – The youth exchange had several aims. One aim was focused on the participants that participated on the local workshops and improved their knowledge gained on those workshops. As second it aimed to empower young people and to initiate active participation and leadership. The goal of the event was also to develop competencies for project making, community mapping and using media tools, fundraising and crowd funding tools for making their initiative possible. The participants focused on developing their capacities to implement activities leading to community change. This youth exchange gave opportunity to people with fewer opportunities to do mobility abroad and meet people from other countries.
Seminar in Struga, North Macedonia, 09 – 16 November, 2019 – On this event, partner organizations expressed strong interest to include representatives from other sectors (educational, regional, local and national institutions) and to consider common created politics for supporting rural development. The seminar was based on presentations of practices, existing policies, discussions about common challenges but also a reflection of specific cases in all 6 partner organizations. The final product of this seminar is a set of recommendations for the youth organizations and other interested parties and aims to create forward-looking steps to improve the efficiency of the practices and develop the quality of services provided to young people from rural areas.
Between these 5 events each country had the responsibility to organize several capacity building activities. Main aim of these local workshops was to provide the participants coming from rural areas information on possibilities for personal and professional development and to encourage them to become actively involved in local, regional, national or international activities
Also each country held several dissemination activities with aim to share the project results and raise knowledge of other stakeholders on Erasmus + Programme and other possibilities.
- Dissemination activities in Partner Countries
- Project Blog/Web Page http://ruralrules.online/
- Project Fan page – https://www.facebook.com/Increasing-Quality-of-Activities-Targeting-Rural-Youth-450531909040334/
- Series of Articles
- Project BOOKLET