Sprouts of culture

29. 5. 2018 Rejoice with us

It's time to share with you an amazing news. Our project application submitted by DDM Horažďovice for the Youth Exchanges project from Erasmus + was successful! In September we will host a group of participants from different corners of Europe. If you are 18–30 years old, you are fluent in English and interested in food self-sufficiency, watch our site and our facebook, soon you will learn more. From July, we start with our project partners to prepare a specific program, and we will choose participants. This project will be co-funded by the European Union. We are looking forward to some of you.

1. 7. 2018 The project started

Together with our partner organizations from Poland (INPRO), Italy (ASSOCIAZIONE DI PROMOZIONE SOCIALE YOUNG EFFECT), England (Cultivate Cornwall CIG), Spain (FAHZ), we are mailing, we are working, we are doing everything to prepare the best program for you.

*note: We changed the spanish partner durign a project. Instead of FAHZ, we realised a project with INTERCAMBIA.

30. 7. 2018 Looking for participants

On our website we published the requirements which participants from the Czech Republic have to meet and infopack for all participants. See Last news from PROUD .

11. 8. 2018 Call for participants

The first participants are booking plane and bus tickets. There are still vacancies in the Czech group. For more information, please contact Zuzana Jahnova at number 778 449 919.

11. 9. 2018 There is no rose without a thorn

Let us introduce our new partner from Spain. We replaced FAHZ with a new organisation – INTERCAMBIA.

29. 9. 2018 Horažďovice is waiting for you

It is Saturday morning and we are impatiently expecting the first participants. The house is prepared, snack and dinner are ready. Current photos and reports can now be found on the facebook of PROUD .

3. 10. 2018 Looking back upon the project

From 23rd to 29th September 2018 an international youth exchange project called Sprouts of Culture took place in PROUD Environmental education centre. Project was organized in cooperation with the Polish organization Stowarzyszenie Projektów Międzynarodowych „INPRO“ and it was co-financed by the European Union under the Erasmus + Program,. What was that about?

Youth working groups from partner countries (Poland, Italy, England, Spain and the Czech Republic) dealt with some issues such as food self-sufficiency or food wasting. Each country was represented by five participants who had paid food, accommodation and access to the place. The program of the week was busy from morning till evening and part of the program was prepared by the participants themselves. It was not about formal teaching. Participants were mostly working in groups, having discussions, preparing mind maps etc. Also various practical exercises, debates, and role plays came on the agenda. As part of the City Hunt game, the participants spoke to local citizens about their shopping habits and on Wednesday they headed to Pilsen where Mrs. Alena Lehmann showed them the community garden and said about the principles of permaculture. For some of them it was the first meeting with the garden and the soil. On Thursday, participants visited the Educational Farm and found out how it is to take care of livestock and how much work it takes to make one glass of apple juice. They also discussed SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and last but not least, they all trained in English, learn about foreign culture and shared skills among themselves. After completing the program, they received the Youthpass certificate.

An exciting event of the week was Tuesday international evening. We tasted Marmite, a British spread made from yeast extract, Polish Krówki caramels, Spanish salami and Italian cheeses. The Czech team prepared fruit dumplings and cabbage.

For us, as a host organization, this project was a challenge. We have some improvements in our head and we have decided to apply the project Sprouts of culture 2.0 :) Keep your thumbs up.

Learning outcomes:

The competences acquired by participants were aligned to ones planned at the application stage. Participants learned how to work together in a team, accomplish group tasks during the working groups, to make compromises, to manage the time and to complete their tasks in the given period of time.

Splitting participants in working groups was always considering blending the nationalities, but in couple of cases trainers gave tasks for the country groups. Some of the participants were comfortable with using ICT, but in the same time part of them learned to use better media technologies by working on given tasks effectively using online resources.

Participants learned how to be facilitators during this Youth Exchange. In order to encourage them to have a deeper role in the project, each country group was responsible for preparing a 90 minute workshop. They received guidance from trainers and team leaders and they learned through whole process how to research, plan and deliver this workshop. These activities helped participants feel more involved in the project's imple­mentation and in the end they appreciated the work the project team had done. This came also with learning how to include better the team members and how to assign and take responsibilities. Participants got new knowledge and improved in non-formal education methods, learning new ones like: “Open Space Technology”.

Participant youth got a better sense of entrepreneurship and social enterprise during the visit in the community garden in Plzen. They learned practical things during the apple juice making workshop they had in DDM educational farm, for many of them being the first time they do it. They improved their knowledge about permaculture, gardening, from farm to plate concept, but also how a cooperative can work as a business in the benefit of the locals. We had 4 teams formed from youth during whole period: media, cleaning, mood and logistics. Participants improved their ability to handle with different situations, get responsible and learned how to use different tools or data, specific for their team work. Here is to mention that youth work very good together, being noticed how the more experienced ones are transferring knowledge to less experienced. This was actually the purpose of this and trainer together with team leader facilitated youth work.

During the mobility participants enhanced their creativity by expressing and communicating ideas, information and opinion. The project also allowed participants to develop their personal skills such as team work, communication in foreign languages, creativity, cultural awareness and expressions. The evaluations collected from the participants at the end of the activity showed the overall satisfaction.

Here are some quotations from participants' evaluation forms:

“I also learnt a great deal about global and local food problems and possible ways to deal with them which I what I did expect.”

“At first I felt very shy and nervous about public speaking but as the week went on I grew much more comfortable with everybody and keen to share my opinions and ideas. I feel much more ready and confident in starting my new job when I get home.“

“The most important was the activities when people teach something and sharing ideas and knowledge.”

“I think that there were two most important parts of the program. 1. The farm, because it was something new for me and I learnt a lot about how it works and what we can do there.2. Reflection groups.“

“The discussions were inspiring and engaging and I bonded with a lot of people.”