The Project – READ IT
„Rural European Association Development Innovation Team. READ IT – Active citizens in rural areas“ is a highly ambitious and innovative education project that focuses on the development of rural areas in Europe. Knowing of all the political facts around demography, rural exodus, brain drain, overageing, underdeveloped social infrastructure etc. we see the challenges of rural areas in the 21st century but we do not have a successful approach to overcome those challenges. Do we not? This strategic partnership focuses exactly on this question: How to improve living conditions in rural areas and how to activate citizens in local communities to develop their own village for the better? The project is special because it brings together experiences and needs from all directions of the European Union (North /Sweden, South/Greece, West/France and Netherland, Center/ Germany and East/ Poland) thus having the great chance to have a balanced approach of experience exchange, best practice sharing and development of new approaches for active citizenship in rural areas. Next to an ongoing learning process with four transnational meeting to highlight the process the partnership will develop an (online) manual that brings together all the different aspects of the project. This manual will be open-source for all people and institutions involved in rural community development. It will be a sustainable tool as it stays available long after the partnership officially ends and may even lead to further cooperation in this specific area. Besides providing this great pool of knowledge the strategic partnership will also implement different ideas in the rural areas and communities connected to the partner organization to transfer the theory into practice. By doing this we will be actively engaged in local development in rural areas and experience what work and where are the obstacles. The project will be a vivid tool for real life activities and will not stay in the theoretic bubble. Local people will be trained and qualified as multiplier and local authorities and politicians will be involved in the learning process of this partnership so that both groups of people are able to transfer new strategies into their communities. As the manual will be publicly available it will be a great tool for everybody involved in rural development of active citizenship reaching out into every part of the European Union. Knowing that this partnership will not be the end of rural development, this project offers also new incentives for future projects that focus on specific issues or even updating the whole learning and experience process in a new strategic partnership that goes deeper on the matter. All in all this project offers a broad platform of exchange, learning and development on active citizenship in rural areas with a strong part on being practical by simultaneously providing theoretical background. This golden thread will guide all partner organizations through the whole learning process to achieve the set goal of the education partnership.