Youth Rural Fest 2020- Erasmus+ Youth Exchange

Youth Rural Fest 2020- Erasmus+ Youth Exchange

Last week we started our second International Youth Exchange as part of the Erasmus+ program projects: Youth Rural Fest 2020.

Young European participants and Proder Team stayed in the municipality of Sivrihisar, the largest district of Eskisehir, located in the Central Anatolian region of Turkey. Our project partner was the Sivrihisar Municipality, whom we would like to thank for making this project possible.

With this project, Youth Rural Fest 2020 – Erasmus + Youth Exchange we had the main goal of informing about youth unemployment rates in rural areas. Young people living in rural areas tend to encounter more economic, social and educational barriers than people living in urban spaces. This inequality affects not only people’s education and job, but also their personal skills and development.

Rural areas are usually more excluded from some technological changes, education and work-related opportunities. Not only globally but also locally rural inequality is related to knowledge, professional and personal experiences. Ruralfest gave the chance to European and local Turkish participants to meet in non-urban spots, exchange ideas  and create new multicultural experiences. 

In order to inform and prevent rural youth unemployment we decided to focus on the inclusion of rural areas within an intercultural exchange. Participants were taught about individual and team competences, and personal and proffessional skills in an intercultural space that promoted active citizenship.

The Youth Rural Fest 2020 project was composed of Italian (7), Portuguese (11), Spanish (8) and Turkish (17) participants, all of them part of the intercultural Erasmus + exchange. The project lasted five days, from Monday to Saturday. Each day was a rollercoaster of indoor and outdoor activities in Sivrihisar and Eskisehir.   

In this project participants had the chance to visit and learn about life, history and traditions in local environments. We also wanted to bring young Europeans to visit another reality of Turkey which is generally unexplored by the average tourist, and at the same time inform and update about life in rural areas. Many of us travel looking for unknown mysteries and new things to learn. In Sivrihisar project participants were able to visit a wide variety of museums, bazaars, parks, learn and participate in traditional art workshops, eat local food, and join many other activities each day. 

We also prepared presentations about Erasmus +, entrepreneurship, technology, social media and skills in the mornings to inform about programs, knowledge and skills young people can develop to get more job opportunities. 

Arrival Day 

Last monday during the arrival day international participants from Italy, Portugal and Spain met with local Turkish participants and with us, Proder team. Even though people were tired of their long journeys, people gathered around to talk and meet with each other. 

After unpacking their luggages and dinner two of our Proder team leaders Rachel and Irene led an Ice breaking activity called “Group juggle”. Participants were set in a circle and had to pass balls to other participants calling out their name. The aim of the game was to learn all our names. A quite difficult task with so many people!

The night ended with a sweet taste. Chiara from Proder team prepared the last activity of the day: “Candy Game”. For the first part of the game each participant needed to say three things about themselves. The rest tried to memorize the information because for the second part of the game people needed to remember what each person said. All participants were given some candy and for each person they got the information right, they got 3 extra candies. The one with the most candies won. In Proder we are lucky, the winner was one of our team: Congrats, Petrina!

Irene Adolph Crespo