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DISCOVER COUNTRYSIDE VIA BEING ACTIVE
Start date: 01 May 2015, End date: 31 Aug 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In July 2015 32 participants from 3-EU and 3 non-EU countries will came together in Estonia to participate in the project DISCOVER COUNTRYSIDE VIA BEING ACTIVE. The idea of the project first came up while YE "Dancing for Europe" in January 2015. That YE established platform and motivation for leaders and participants from Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Germany and Estonia to start their own project. The age of the participants was 18-30 years and they were young people coming from the cities and remote rural areas and were of different ethnic, cultural and social background for promotion of equity and inclusion. Our main objectives were: promoting importance of healthy lifestyle and healthy food grown in pure natural environment; spreading good practices and methods from environmental education, rural entrepreneurship and volunteering; establishing intercultural dialog, breaking stereotypes; learning through practice how to make bread, engage in crafts from waste material; providing young people (maybe first time in their lives) an opportunity to pass their knowledge; giving young people space to decide about their own programme and experience teamwork; giving young people skills for survival outdoors (setting up a tent, orientation and preparing food outside); teaching new techniques and games to young people to make them encouraged to practice them in their organisations in an attempt to improve the life of their community; giving young people platform to exchange knowledge and experience; encouraging organizations to share their knowledge at European level; increasing contact between local/national organizations at international level. During APV leaders revised their knowledge about non-formal learning methods and planning workshops, divided responsibilities of each country and agreed on participants profile and details of info-pack. During the YE participants learned how to plan and evaluate their learning, got feedback and guidance from more experienced peers. Every participant had a "buddy" - another participant, whose task was to motivate and encourage his peer throughout the project. This helped to establish more deep communication between the participants and possibility "to open" on a deeper level. Every day there were 30 minutes for individual self-evaluation and filling in personal diary. Participants gained motivation for taking responsibility during organizing their own workshops, during each activity there was free space for suggesting energizers and evaluation methods and many participants used this opportunity. Every activity was planned according non-formal learning methods and included warm-up, learning, reflection and evaluation. The organizers took care of the intercultural group process and well-being of participants by giving clear structure of the activities yet staying flexible and always leaving possibility to slightly change the activity according to the changes in group processes. Organizers and leaders of YE were able to raise strong personal interest of the participants towards the main topics of YE. Authentic experience while "getting into real lives" of local rural entrepreneurs and communities helped to create sense of meaning and direct personal links for the participants and resulted in very active discussions after study visits. YE activities - study visits to local farmers, public activities, hiking, rural/social entrepreneurship and healthy lifestyle workshops motivated youngsters to be active in making lives of their communities better - this motivation resulted in very interesting and thorough new project ideas that were presented during last day of the YE. Video clip about Public activity in Väike-Marja, several articles in regional newspapers and a blog will help to disseminate results of the YE and raise interest towards YE itself and Erasmus+ opportunities for young people in Europe.
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