What does rural mean?
Solidarity; tradition; needs; agriculture; social support; strong communities; forever; gossip; violence; lack of education; nature; calm?
There are many ways to define a rural environment. As youth workers, is important that we are able to see the strong points and identify the needs of the youth in the rural environment to include them in our projects.
How to face challenges?
In order to involve young people from the rural environment you should be there and have direct contact with them. If you just send them flyers about your projects you will not attract their attention. Think about events they could join – like concerts, sports competitions. You will find them there in these events and you will be able to talk to them there.
Go where they are and don’t wait for them to come to your organisation. When they come involve them in different projects and activities.
Foreign languages an issue?
If you think young people from rural environment can’t be involved in an international project because of their language skills think twice. It might be just a prejudice. You can also help them with language lessons if is the case.
Is very important to involve the local community and make them respect the work you do. Work with stereotypes and mindsets of the community and involve persons that are trusted inside the community.
And make young people proud of the roots and origins!
Smart Up Inclusion is a Mobility of Youth Workers – Training Course funded by the European Commission – Erasmus+ Programme. The project is coordinated by Sunrise Project – France organisation