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How We can Do it! Youth exchange

How we can do it! was youth Exchange we have prepared after few years break. The idea came as a part of new breath we took, when restarting ARTKRUH activities. We were sure that we want to do activities closely connected to our attitudes, beliefs and lifestyle. One of the most important features is dreaming, and ambition to make our dreams come truth. We know it is about good organization, we know it is about endurance and we know it is about people around, because if one is alone, there is only a little he can do. This is about the idea.
After the break we had a lot of dreams and also some energy, so we were quite sure about  endurance. Also we had some 12 years of experiences so we know a bit about organization. And when visiting other trainings we have met people who seems to be cast in the same mould, so we were interested to know them closer, share our experiences and learn from them.
ARTKRUH is located in countyside area in small village, and is our vision to create good cooperation with local people, to support their growth towards modern society, but this task is quite uneasy and cooperation is builded by small steps. Therefore we decided to focus on this topic and project was here: How we can do it! – basics of project management for sustainable community life.
We have met in Prenčov in July 2017. Slovakian team together with friends, and partners organizations from Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Wales, Romania and Bulgary.

Our goal was to create background where young people could organize a cultural event for local people. We put our heads together and prepared days full of workshop where teams have shared their skills and abilities. From these workshops program for the festival was created. method we use is named Dragon Dreaming.

We focused on several topics: permacultura, arts and crafts, language and communication, nature knowledge, body and mind and we created also meat and eat group preparing small food for participants and guests of the festival.

We had a lot of attention from local people, mainly from children. They joined us every day, for every activity, where it was possible. It is our experience, that children are very opened to meet new people and join our activities. What was even bigger succes, for final performance in cultural hall and workshops after lot of adults joined the program. Some were interested to see the performance prepared by international group, some were interested in workshops presenting permacultural features of gardening.

Exchange became a real Exchange on many levels. We gatheres countries from the very west of the europe (Ireland, Wales, Azore islands) to very east of the europe (Romania, Bulgary), from the middle (Slovakia) and the very south (Sicily). We gathered wide range of ages (from 18 to over 40) and experiences (from students, to activists, permacultura designers, and youthworkers). We shared our best and received a lot of inspirations from others.

“How we can do it” is Youth exchange project. 35 young people from Slovakia, Sicily, Ireland, Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania and Wales will meet in the middle of Slovakia, in the small village Prenčov. This region is biggest rural area in Slovakia facing several problems as unemployment, traditional conservatism, passivity about collective issues and lack of opportunities for social and cultural life. Young people´s opportunities to change the conditions seem to be limited. Participants of our project are facing similar situation. One of the reasons is that they lack options for self-development and managing skills for bringing the positive change to their community. Our objective is activation of young people towards rising to the occasion of positive change. That is why this project is focused on basics of project management with special attention to community building with ecological, economical and social sustainability. To fulfill this idea, we will use principles of “Permacultura”. Main method used is Dragon Dreaming. It is creative way of project management consisting of four phases: Dreaming (Creating the vision), planning, realization and celebration. Educational process will be supported by experimental project for local community which will serve as a model case for learning. Young people will have opportunity to get project managing skills not only in theoretical but also in practical way. Another aim is exploration and acquisition of self managing skills and development of human talents also in fields of art, handicraft and healthy lifestyle. We expect personal progress of participants in the field of project management achieved by gaining new skills, competences, knowledge and attitudes to be responsible for their personal and also community life. After return home to their local communities they should be highly motivated to realize some positive change enriched by many acquired tools and skills for active citizenship.