Land of comfort

“THE LAND WHERE YOU FIND COMFORT” was a project for a multicultural Youth Exchange, taking place in Kostanjevica na Krki, Slovenia, from 11 to 18 of July 2016, which gave the opportunity for 20 young people from Greece, Hungary, Slovenia and Spain to learn about tendencies, methods and best practices of cooperation between people using the potential of local resources to promote the community. The project was mainly aimed to young people who already had some participation in initiatives around the concepts of permaculture and agriculture of self-management, resilience of sustainable communities and social and cultural solidarity and respect towards each other, or clearly expresses interest on doing so.

Our goals with this project were to share knowledge, skills and experience about community building attending to sustainable principles, as agriculture of self-management, spreading awareness about the potential of local resources, promoting and marketing traditional local products in order to support youth employment and youth entrepreneurship, not just in Posavje region, but also expecting from our participants to organize similar local activities in their communities. For this purpose, the activities were based on non-formal methods of learning and focused on the practical level of developing ideas into actions involving the community.

Participants learnt by doing through workshops of old Vs. new techniques of agriculture/gardening, of homemade preservation methods of food, and of gardening design in order to contribute for a pioneer project of a public social garden in Kostanjevica na Krki. There was also space to visit (young) local initiatives and explore the concepts of building community through dynamic tasks and to use creativity to make guerrilla marketing actions giving visibility to the potential of the community resources. At the same time, participants had the opportunity to share knowledge and experience of starting a social enterprise and providing a supportive environment for job-creation. It was offered one public press conference to present the results of the project, promote the opportunities provided by Erasmus+ program, and also make a public invitation to potential stakeholders (e.g., enterprises, municipality, local producers, etc.) to cooperate in the future for the pioneer public social garden that (for the start) aimed to boost Kostanjevica na Krki community.

With this project we wanted to empower the local community to become an active agent of economic and social revitalization able to open channels and opportunities for (self-) employment for the youth. On other hand, we intended to aware the local community in relation to the importance of being able to grow their own source of food. The exchange further strengthened the cooperation between organizations and opened the way to new partnerships and networking, both national and international level.