In most European rural areas, more and more young people find themselves today in a socially and civic marginalized situation for various reasons : geographical isolation, ever-increasing rural poverty, difficult access to employment, low level of participation in decision-making processes, low capacity for initiatives by lack of support, low interest in the resources or assets of their region and low awareness of the assets these resources could offer for their professional and personal development, bigger difficulty than urban young people to join international mobility programmes.
Yet, many rural youth organisations are trying to reinforce young people’s involvement in their region but they are having more and more difficulties to elicit their commitment, this due to a lack of tools and means which are adapted to their expectations and difficulties, and a lack of sufficient knowledge of the resources which local heritage can represent to support their civil participation, while organisations involved in rural heritage preservation are having increasing difficulties to mobilize young people.
At the same time, cultural heritage, whether tangible or intangible, represents a fundamental basis of the identity of rural areas and it is often in danger of disappearing in the absence of a transmission and efforts to recapture this heritage which are adapted to younger generations. Yet this heritage represents a concrete support for the development of an active European citizenship as well as a source of employment for little or not qualified young people.
YCARHe (Young Citizens in Action for Rural Heritage) brings together 6 partners (youth and cultural organizations) in 5 countries (Bg, Cr, Fr, Gr, It) to address these findings in a global and interdisciplinary manner. The project aims mainly at reinforcing rural young people’s citizenship, personal development and entrepreneurial spirit based on rural heritage.
For this purpose, YCARHe wishes to:
- Reinforce the quality and the innovation of non formal educational methods for young people in the field of rural heritage, and to integrate them better in educational pathways to citizenship which are carried out by youth organisations
- Reinforce the cooperation between youth organisations and rural heritage preservation organizations
- Develop a transnational and intercultural non formal education programme for European rural young people, especially for those who are in marginalized social situation or dropping out of school, in order to lead them to engage for their local communities through collective and individual actions for their local heritage
- Capitalize the methods, tools and results of the project and disclose them at European level.
Activities of the project
To meet these objectives, YCARHe is based on 5 complementary activities,
- The formulation of a European frame of reference for the training of youth leaders and rural heritage animators on the theme of non formal education to heritage and citizenship which integrates innovative educational methods such as the use of NICTs or the guidelines of Heritage Interpretation,
- The implementation of a transnational pilot training workshop for youth animators and heritage animators on those themes,
- The setting up a European non formal educational pathway for rural young people based on 3 sequences of 6 days in 3 countries (Bg, Cr, Fr), aimed mainly at young people with less opportunities, in order to boost their citizen engagement and their personal development.
- The creation of an E-Learning platform in 6 languages aimed at European youth animators, rural heritage animators and European rural young people.
- The development of an active strategy to disclose the results based on the organisation of 5 national multiplier events.
The implementation of these actions will be based on a largely collaborative working method between the partners and an intercultural approach to citizenship and the enhancement of rural heritage.
YCARHe will mobilize directly 26 youth animators and at least 30 young people from 5 countries, of which 20 at least in marginalized social situation or dropping out of school.
The partners of YCAHRe
- Union APARE-CME - France (project leader) www.apare-gec.org
- Mediterranean Centre of Environement - Greece www.medcenv.org
- Association Brac – Croatia
- Association Community integration initiatives – Bulgaria
- Center for Heritage Interpretation – Bulgaria
- AMESCI – Italy www.amesci.org