Preparatory meeting with our local partners, in order to discuss the 2nd transnational meeting in Sweden, the schedule sent by Ake and the implementation of local activities. Regina Lecointe, Marie-Raphaëlle Minier (MdEY), Pauline Winocour-Lefèvre (Yvelines’ Departmental Board), Liudmila Ismagilova (GPS&O urban community) and 2 MdEY interns attended the meeting.
First contact with the association “Rencontre Ville-Campagne”
We’ve made contact with a local association called “Rencontre Ville-Campagne” (Town-Country Gathering) which aim is to bring young consumers and farmers together. With special learning material, farmers answer the children’s questions for an hour and a half and explain them their lives, the passion for their profession but also their daily difficulties and challenges.
Awareness raising actions in a 2 rural schools (Guerville), about European and French subsidies to implement citizen’s projects in the rural areas and more generally about the European Union. And the 25th May, as part of the “Joli mois de l’Europe” (European month), the two classes met for a giant quiz in a media library. This specific action has been carried out with one of our local “Read it” partners, GPS&O.
The Maison de l’Europe des Yvelines got funding from the FFME (French Federation of Europe Houses) in June, to set up a conference about the Common Agricultural Policy, “Parlez-vous PAC?” (“Do you speak CAP?”), which will deal with the following topic “Fair income for French farmers”. We will do it with another Read it partner, the agricultural school, and in partnership with another school in a very isolated Norman area. The school from Normandy will go to Saint-Germain in March 2019 to benefit from all the speakers’ experience.
13 awareness raising sessions in 2 primary schools (in Saint-Germain-en-Laye), on the following topics: sustainable development, citizenship and solidarity initiatives in rural areas (compost collect for the AMAP’s (association supporting small farming), new entertainment places research (sheepfolds, fruit picking etc.) Graphic representation, based upon Keith Harring work, of “citizenship” and collaboration between the land and the towns.
After the first international meeting in France the newly established citizens group in Bad Marienberg enhanced its activites. But instead of just setting up the agenda we realized “citizens interviews” to recheck if we are in line with what local citizens really want and care about. Thus each and everyone of us consulted friends, family, relatives, colleagues and so on to ask specific questions about the needs of local citizens in our rural area.
With this results, that were developed in recent weeks we continue in August with our next local meeting where we will focus more on the content after having collected all the content beforehand.
More in August when we will proceed with our local activities….
After the approval of the project in Germany and the first meeting of the steering group in Budapest during the EUNET annual conference, in the Netherlands we started our search for an additional partner.
Through some contacts that we (from Learn for Life) consulted we came in contact with an organization called VKD (association of small villages). This is a very active umbrella organization for village councils in the Frisian municipality of Weststellingwerf. All 24 small villages are member of the VKD. They represent the villages where it concerns municipality wide developments. The VKD and the municipality inform each other about new developments. Together they think about ways to maintain and widen the involvement of the villages in municipality wide developments.
One of the board members of VDK is actually working for Doarpswurk and through the Read It project we see an extra opportunity for cooperation between LfL, VDK and Doarpswurk. In the past Learn for Life and Doarpswurk had a common strategy for development of the rural areas called the rural academy. Because of new workers, new targets and much other work, this academy has been dormant for a couple of years. But through the READ IT project new opportunities have risen for this cooperation.
Doarpswurk (www.doarpswurk.frl) is a professional organization in the Dutch province of Fryslân. They support an stimulate initiatives that strengthen the livability in the rural area of the province. Doarpswurk always makes sure the responsibility and ownership remain in the village itself. They offer proactive, innovative and accessible support to the boards of community centers, village boards and other civil initiatives that strengthen togetherness in villages. Target points at the moment are Network of Sustainable Villages, Energyshop, new democracy and health in rural areas.
We had an initial meeting in the beginning of February with the director of Doarpswurk and the board member of the VKD who also works for Doarpswurk. We discussed about the workload, but mostly about the possibilities this project can provide for us all.
- The LVKK is the Dutch national organization for small communities. They are an umbrella organization for various provincial organizations like Doarpswurk. They fight on a national level for the rural areas of the Netherlands and the people that live there. We brought the READ IT project to their knowledge and they are very interested.
- The province of Fryslân is, according to Dutch standards, a very rural province. It is the only Dutch province that has had a separate policy for the rural area for over 30 years. They are very concerned with the livability and demographic changes there. The main aim of the policy is to maintain and strengthen the livability in the rural area. One of the main targets has always been the support for community centers when they want to build or remodel. The idea behind this is, that community centers are very important for the livability. This is an important partner in the dissemination of our manual.
- The Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden (NHL) is an institution for higher education. They have a lectorate for new welfare. This is much broader than health issues, it is all about working with and about livability, activating citizens and helping active citizens. They can add innovative methods for activating citizens and also play part in the dissemination of the manual.
First meeting of participating organisations in the Netherlands.
Learn for Life is the READ IT project partner. Also participating are the Frisian organisation of small villages (Doarpswurk) and the organisation of small villages in the Frisian municipality of Weststellingwerf (VKD),
After the kick-off meeting and the set-up of the “International future workshop” as local citizens group, this group started with working on content and set up a working plan and strategy for the coming months.
The group started with identifying the needs and the challenges of the rural area in Bad Marienberg and around. The aim was to collect a catalogue of challenges that need to be faced and worked on. In addition we also concentrated on the good things that do work in our communities and that are worth sharing with others. The last part was to create a concrete structure for the project group and how we are going to work in the upcoming future. It was a great kick-off and the results will be developed and included with the experiences from the first transnational meeting due in almost three weeks.
The project group is also going to increase networking with more local stakeholders and is going to produce a flyer for better PR of the project in the local community.
After the introducing kick-off meeting the new established local citizens group “International future workshop” will meet for its first working meeting. Identifying what are the challenges and and good practices in the rural area of Bad Marienberg is the main focus as well as setting up the concrete work modus of this group.
The local citizens groups wants to kick-off by starting to work on, exchange and develop (new) ideas for active citizenship in rural areas and development of the home region. This is also the basis for the international exchange that starts with the first transnational meeting in March 2018.
The invitation and the promotion of the Strategic Partnership is promoted via the official gazette of the local community “Verbandsgemeinde Bad Marienberg” reaching out to 20.000 local citizens.
In Germany “READ IT” is integrated in the campaign “Ich bin dabei”. In this framework we had a local kick-off meeting in the “Verbandsgemeinde Bad Marienberg” – the local authority of 20.000 inhabitants in the rural area of the Westerwald. Aim was to attract local people for the “READ IT” project and set up a local working group for the strategic partnership. Some excused before because of illness or other appointments but 15 local citizens attend the kick-off meeting including some local mayors. The result: People got interested and are eager to go on working in this project – a very good start for the local project group that started from scratch.
The next meeting is already planned for February to start with content and future plannings.