“Sprouts of Culture” was a project granted by Erasmus+ Programme that foreseen the realization of two one activities: a Youth Exchange which took place in Horažďovice, Czechia. The project was successful, reflecting the good cooperation between the two coordinating organizations: Dům dětí a mládeže Horažďovice and International Projects Association “INPRO” from Rzeszow, supported by another 3 international partners from UK, Spain and Italy.
Main goal of the project was to offer 26 participants, youth under 30 and team leaders with no age limit, the possibility to raise awareness about policies towards food production and sustainability, food waste and UN Sustainable Development Goals. It was an occasion to question and challenge the mindset of participants towards their consumption of food and to bring information about permaculture or community development through gastronomy. The Youth Exchange stressed also on the importance of youth involvement in everyday life decisions or policies which affects the food they eat, but also to have a critical thinking on it.
Trainer and facilitators focused on delivering specific knowledge in a non-formal way, by working in groups or individual, having also outdoor sessions and large group discussions. During the activity participants learned how to track the food or aliments they are consuming and why is this important, but also how lack of research and personal habits can lead us to wrong behaviours with direct impact on health and life even.
Participants improved their soft skills during their work. They learned how to work better in teams, how to use their knowledge and also how to learn the most during activities. Youth developed their public speaking, presentation, verbal and non-verbal communication, listening, persuasion and other skills useful for them. They also learned basic project management knowledge during working on the small projects initiatives they were drafting to implement in their local communities.
Other few sessions were planned and realized in order to offer participants an interactive cultural interaction with locals. A visit to DDM educational farm showed how this environment can be used in the learning process for kindergarten kids and primary school children. Making apple juice together was a great moment for everyone, youth both learning and working together. A small permaculture garden was presented here by Dawid, an EVS volunteer in DDM. During City Hunt participants got to know the town’s inhabitants and see part of it. An open intercultural evening organized in PROUD center brought together participants and locals sharing food and traditions.
Plzen visit offered the occasion to visit an work in a local community garden. Here participants could see how social economy type of entreprise runs and how the community benefits from it. This was a great opportunity to show to participants how social economy concept can improve people’s lifestyle when community members are gathering together and start community gardens. Youth could work in the garden, see how the garden keepers are working there every day and prepare eat a lunch prepared from the garden products.
The main trainer of the Youth Exchange was Elsa Daniels and she was accompanied by Aleksandra Kabala as facilitator and also supported by team leaders and project coordinators. The good project coordination work was a result of the great cooperation between beneficiary organization DDM and INPRO. Together with all partners representatives they would like to thank to ERASMUS+ Programme and Centre for International Cooperation in Education, the Czech National Agency of Erasmus+.
Dům dětí a mládeže Horažďovice
International Projects’ Association “INPRO” from Poland
Associazione Young Effect
Thank you all for making “Sprouts of Culture” happen!