Start date: Aug 1, 2014,
End date: Jan 31, 2015
Young people in rural communities have limited opportunities for work and training and there is widespread economic migration away from rural areas as young people seek work in cities. This leads to loss of traditional culture, land abandonment and conflicts with wildlife when bears forage on abandoned land in and around villages. The 'Living Together' project brought together a group of young people to explore the issues of youth unemployment and the entrepreneurial opportunities presented by land abandonment, bears close to villages and the potential for the reinvigoration of old traditions with a new twist. The project brought 32 young people who face barriers to employment from Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Romania to develop their skills and confidence and inspire them to develop entrepreneurial solutions to these environmental and social problems both in the host community and in their own countries. Activities included workshops, local tours, inter cultural cooking events, tree planting, presentations of their entrepreneurial ideas to local authority, and the development of a film to promote the solutions and ideas developed by the participants to solve local problems. The results included the project film, the presentations to the local authorities, two ongoing partnerships developing participants ideas into practical micro-enterprises, increased confidence and employable skills in all participants and improvements to local youth services provided by the local Commune and National Park. Long term benefits are being monitored and we hope to see a reduction in youth unemployment, more young people inspired to become active citizens, and reduced conflicts between bears and rural villages in the project area.
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