We can see how the attention on the landscape of rural areas is becoming more and more present in Europe, and in this context through the collaborative efforts of the Resopa Association, GEYC, Prisma European Network and Centre d'Innovations Sociales Clermont Auvergne - CISCA, supported by the Erasmus+ programme, the UpRural Training Course was outlined. Running from 09 July 2023 to 16 July 2023, this dynamic event aimed to equip 30 youth workers with the essential non-formal education methods and tools needed to become catalysts for change in the development of EU rural areas. The main methodology behind the training was rooted in the concept of social innovation for resilience in times of crisis, a crucial approach for stimulating sustainable growth and progress. The main objective of the UpRural Training Course was to reduce youth unemployment in European rural areas through increased youth participation and rural entre
By bringing together a diverse group of individuals from across the continent, the training course aimed to create a rich pool of innovative ideas, strategies and approaches that could shape the rural development landscape in a meaningful way. The training course was designed to cater for entrepreneurs who either lived in rural areas or had a desire to relocate. The chosen location, the captivating city of Clermont-Ferrand, with its unique volcanic landscapes, provided a fitting backdrop for this transformative event.
Throughout the course, participants engaged in a variety of activities that not only encouraged learning, but also fostered collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. Activities such as 'Teambuilding & Getting to Know Each Other' set the scene for relationship building, while 'Mission Impossible' added an element of excitement as participants navigated the landmarks of Clermont-Ferrand to complete missions related to rural exploration. "What is entrepreneurship?" introduced participants to key concepts, and "Social Innovation" encouraged creative thinking and problem solving. One of the standout activities was the "Rural National Realities` Check Presentation", where participants from different countries presented the unique challenges and opportunities facing their respective rural areas. This session promoted intercultural understanding and highlighted common ground for collaboration. The "Mapping Successful Rural Businesses" exercise allowed participants to share insights from their home countries, encouraging the exchange of knowledge and inspiration. An activity that truly embodied the spirit of empowerment was "Creative Ways to reach out to Young People in Rural Areas".
This exercise encouraged youth workers to think outside the box and develop engaging strategies to connect with rural youth using creative expressions such as dance, storytelling and drama. The highlight of the event was the "CIVIC HACKATHON", where participants harnessed their collective imagination to imagine development strategies for smart villages, reflecting their new skills and knowledge.
Over eight intense days, the course succeeded in equipping youth workers with the tools and methodologies they needed to trigger positive change in Europe's rural areas.
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