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Feb 03 2014

2014.02-6

2014.02 Study Visit "On the Road of Rural Development"

This Study Visit is a follow up project that provided a possibility for youngsters from different EU and SEE countries to come to Macedonia for eight days and explore the possibilities for cooperation with organizations around rural villages in Macedonia but also 

Name: On the Road of Rural Development Duration: 03-11 February 2014   Location: Struga, Macedonia
Organizers: Centre for Rural Development SEE  Supporters: Youth in Action Programme  (Action 3.1)  
Romanian participants: Levent Mihailescu (M), Alexandru Matei (M)

with organizations around Europe for new projects concerning volunteering and employability of young people with fewer opportunities, youth from rural areas and marginalized youth. The Study Visit provided a platform for starting new partnerships and developing new youth projects. The participants came from 20 countries. The participants, youth workers and coordinators of international exchanges, visited various Macedonian organizations, which are working with the Youth in Action Programme or are interested to start to work with Youth in Action, as well as explore and exchange best youth work practices and the most successful project ideas. Special focus was put on organizations working in rural areas and working with young people with fewer opportunities. The participants explored what projects and methods are implemented to promote integration and employability of youth and contribute to the work of local organizations trough sharing knowledge and experience from their countries. The working program of the study visit included workshops, thematic working groups and discussions on employability, and possibilities for cooperation between South Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Caucasus and European Union. The projects focused on creation of new partnerships and projects that are dealing with work with young people with fewer opportunities, marginalized youth, youth from rural municipalities; in the area of promoting mobility as a way to fight exclusion and unemployment. The study visit was held from 03 – 11.02 2014, starting from Struga and visits to Mavrovo, Vevchani and Skopje region; and had 20 countries participating from EU, SEE and EEC with 40 participants.

Being again in Macedonia was a very exciting experience for me. I consider myself very lucky for being chosen to represent Romania at this project. At the beginning of the project, organizers tried to create a relaxing atmosphere among participants, and they’ve succeeded. It didn’t matter that we were 40 participants from 20 countries; after 2 days spent in Struga we felt that we knew each-other for ages.  From here everything was a blast: the cultural interactions, parties, field trips, seminars, and everything else came along to complete a perfect study visit in beautiful Macedonia. I don’t have a favorite part of this event because everything exceeded my expectations. I just wish to take part in an event like this again, because the quality of people that I’ve met, the skilled trainers, the helpful organizers, and the things that I’ve witnessed will stay in my memory for a long time. (Alexandru Matei)