Short-term ESC “Experiential Learning Forum” in Romania, Summer – Autumn 2019
4th June 2019
Youth Exchange “Behind the Curtain”, 4-14th September 2019, Osterholz-Scharmbeck, Germany
14th June 2019

Participants’ Report: Training Course “Rural Development” in Palanga, Lithuania

The Project took part in Palanga, Lithuania. Palanga is a small town located at the Baltic see. In summer it seems to be full with tourists from Lithuania, in April it was very empty. The streets are very orderly, no garbage around, the Parks are cared for in a proper manner. During the days it was sunny and warm but if you managed to go to the see before breakfast you would find the sand still frozen from the nights cold.

The Project aimed on educating youth workers on how to start projects or businesses – in particular eco-tourism businesses and Erasmus plus projects – in order to develop rural areas and offer work and participation to rural youth. It started with theoretical Ideas about rural development, ecotourism and ecological behavior, that were approached in roleplays, presentations by small groups and in discussions. The purpose was to bring everybody on the same level and to start getting creative together. As the days went by, the topics became more practice related as we started to go outside, talk to young people in the streets and to visit a place successfully offering eco-tourism.

In the middle of the project we went on a “field trip” to Kleipeda, the neighboring city. Here we got a presentation in the tourism office and had time to visit the city with its hanseatic background and beautiful old town.

The last tree days were mainly about how you can realize projects ideas that you have yourself in your home country – We learned how to write a business plan, wrote simple summaries of business plans for projects we thought about ourselves and got feedback on our ideas and business plans. We also learned where to apply for funds in order to realize business ideas or Erasmus+ projects.

During this time the group grew together as a team. You get a real group feeling. Most nights, after the “official” program, the country-groups did presentations about their countries, showed traditions and traditional foods, played music etc.

On this project we were in a pretty good hotel with sauna and spa. After dinner were usually 1-2 hours time in which you could use this luxury.

I want to mention one last benefit of Erasmus+ Programs – you make connections to motivated people in Europe that you may cooperate with for future business or Erasmus ideas. This whole program is – apart from the fee for the sending organization – completely free of charge, even the flights are being paid for.

I can only recommend taking part in such programs.

Alexander, Lavinia and Thomas

The Project was supported and funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme and hosted by Mano Europa, Lithuania.