The common objective of the project „Social farming, opportunities and challenges for young people in Europe“ addresses the rendering of a platform for debate and exchange of good practices for the youth and youth workers for the convergence of innovative approaches for tackling unemployment in rural areas and the social involvement of the youth with fewer opportunities via propagating the opportunities offered by social farming based on biodynamic agriculture and informal education.
Social farming is a social entrepreneurial model involving youth with disabilities or youth groups – whose members are disadvantaged – in agricultural activities for the realization of activities other than conventional farming. This approach comprises a very serious social and ethical aspect and informal educational methods which could have a strong therapeutic effect on the youth with special needs and open new horizons and learning and employment opportunities to them based on their skills.
Within the project we will achieve our specific objectives:
- Development and improvement of the living environment and the professional realization of the disadvantaged youth in rural areas with pedagogical and therapeutic effect
- Achievement of high quality intercultural dialogue and exchange of experience between partners participating in the project in an untraditional and free environment
- Increase of awareness and competences of the youth and youth workers via various informal educational approaches connected with social farming.
Following the intensively planned partnership activities, we will develop numerous products in the form of sustainable expected results which could be upgraded in the future and serve as educational instruments to all target groups – youth workers, youth, farmers and social workers – who are the object of our project.
- Setting up of a thematic network accumulating information on Social farming not only for the achievement of economic prosperity but also serving as an opportunity for the development of a social unit having strong social effect.
- Accumulating electronic content in a digital Manual of best practices and instruments for social inclusion and support of young people with special needs in the field of Social farming
- Generating project ideas with multiplier effect.
The partner organizations in the project will be:
- Associação de Defesa do Património de Mértola from Portugal
- Associazione NéA from Italy
- YouNet from Italy
- Zdruzenie Studio 212 from Macedonia
- Symrnes Ogretmen Akademisi from Turkey
- INSTITUTO EUROAFRICANO DE JUVENTUD from Spain
- People to People Serbia from Serbia
- Asociatia Allons-y from Romania
- Modern Youth Public Union from Azerbaijan
- Hellenic Youth Participation from Greece
The curriculum we prepared in cooperation with our partners is well-balanced with rich thematic content and numerous interesting and interactive methods of teaching using informal methods. The activities have been within the period from 23 March, 2015 to 29 March, 2015. All the activities have been in the town of Plovdiv except for the educational visit to first farm for Social farming and biodynamic agriculture in Bulgaria located in the town of Bachkovo, whose owner is Dimitar Stoyanov.
Being the participants in the main direction of development of the project, we have determined several target groups which will be extremely interested in its realization. The first target group are the youth workers, who will receive well-classified educational information on the problems amongst the youth with special needs in rural regions, the great unemployment rate amongst them, and their social exclusion from society. The next target group are the youth with special needs. Their participation will comprise the opportunity to receive additional instruments for information and overcoming the differences, their integration in a more favourable environment. Via therapeutic and healing methods, the youth will be able to comprehend and realize the solidarity, their social significance and responsibility for the surrounding environment. The last group is the farmers working in the field of social farming. They are given the opportunity to enhance their social strategies and will be motivated to disseminate and adopt what they learned in the established European network and will base their social strategies upon the grounds of higher competence and erudition regarding the opportunities of the innovative methods and approaches. One of the included specific objectives is the establishment of a sustainable network of youth workers operating in the social field of biodynamic agriculture. The network supported by a website. The electronic instrument will be a multilingual one with salient European dimension via which the interested target groups will be able to reach the youth workers who have attended our intensive training course.