July 28, 2021 - August 5, 2021
When we organize youth projects and volunteering camps in the countryside, it can sometimes feel like a parallel universe: Youth from all around Europe engages in an intense intercultural exchange, while there is not necessarily a lot of interaction with the local community. We want international youth projects to have positive effects to their immediate surroundings, to counter stereotypes, to reach target groups we usually don’t reach with peace projects, to contribute to a positive and sustainable rural development and to give youth access to a more diverse image of what the place they are visiting is like. Connected to this, we want youth in rural areas with geographical obstacles to have the opportunity to participate in international youth projects and to gain from this experience and we want to strengthen our organisations’ capabilities of reaching this group of youth with fewer opportunities.
The objectives of the project are the following:
– to exchange tools, methods and approaches to increase the local impact of international volunteering and youth projects and to promote peace, tolerance and active citizenship in the countryside
– to share communication strategies and institutional ways to reach more youth from remote areas
– to create, improve and share non-formal education methods on interactions between international volunteers and local inhabitants
– to network between the organisations involved in this application
– to organize a youth exchange where the methods and tools shared at the seminar will be applied
– to create a space of exchange, mutual understanding, solidarity and learning for youth with fewer geographical opportunities from different European countries
– to create a stronger discourse about the need to create a local impact with international volunteering and youth projects within the international voluntary service movement by creating a manual on the topic
One activity will be a seminar for 23 youth workers from 1st-7th December 2019 in the village of Kötschach-Mauthen in Kärnten, Austria (A1), in which we will explore how we can make our international youth projects more connected to local realities. Participants will be youth workers, active members, staff and volunteers from international voluntary service and youth organisations from 11 countries (Austria, Ukraine, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Ireland, Spain, Estonia, Poland, Belgium and Italy). They will exchange communication strategies, best practices, non-formal education methods and approaches to the topic and will plan follow-up projects connected to rural development.
The second activity will be a youth exchange for 30 participants from Austria, Ukraine, Spain, Ireland, Slovenia and Croatia from 27.07 to 5.08.2021 in Chechlnyk in Central Ukraine (A2), which is targeted towards young people from geographical areas with less possibilities. The youth will experience the local realities of people in the place where they are staying and will have both an intense intercultural exchange with the community in Chechlnyk as well as between each other. The youth exchange will make use of the “Image Mapping” methodology, which the Ukrainian NGO Pangeya Ultima has developed over the last years to strengthen the local impact of their international youth projects.