There has been a shift amongst human society away from natural environments and towards a social one (Environment in this sense being the external factors, geographical, social and cultural, that an individual interacts with in their daily lives). Farmers have replaced dogs and horses with tractors and quadbikes, fishermen have swapped sails and starcharts for turbines and GPS and for the first time in human history more people globally live in cities than the countryside. At the same time the rise of mass media, urbanisation and online social networks has seen young peoples everyday lives characterised by social interactions, rather than natural ones. This project will be a youth exchange held in Krusevo, Macedonia, between 10 and 17 July 2012, to be titled "Rural Rebuilding" and will be based around the theme of the effect of this change on the countryside. It will feature 42 participants from Macedonia, Serbia, the UK, Malta, Turkey, Lithuania and Kosovo. The Youth Exchange will discuss why rural populations, particularly young people from rural areas, are increasingly moving into towns and cities, whether this is a good thing for the individual and for society, ask whether the social environment and the natural environment are mutually exclusive, and seek to find ways to integrate the two together. By doing so the project hopes to promote a preservation of the environment by making it a valued part of young peoples everyday lives, rather than simply an abstract argument. Therefore the project will also include workshops centred around ways to protect the environment and to promote environmentalism as a social and political agenda. Finally the project aims to promote a development of the rural regions in a way that does not pollute or damage them, but that encourages young people to enjoy living, working or holidaying there.
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