On 10th-12th of November of 2021 Efektas Group team had a chance to participate in the Learning Teaching Training Activity that occurred within KA2 project ‘Empowered Women for Rural Development’. It was the first face-to-face meeting among involved organizations and participants due to the previous challenges caused by Covid-19 pandemic. The main objective was to exchange good practices on the situation with female rural involvement in Italy and bring such a valuable experience to all of the partner countries.
Briefly about EWRD project
Current project aims to educate educators and equip leaders in isolated and rural areas with skills and knowledge to address low economic and development activtiy in those areas; to provide them with good practices in partnering countries in order to learn how to develop economic activities and sustain it with regards to ecology, finances and other resources.
The reason behind carrying out of the current initiative is being proved with some undeniable statistics that gives an overview regarding situation with rural areas in all the partner countries of the current project. Turkey as a candidate for EU membership is compared with other EU countries and its women employment rates in rural area reach up to 46% of total labor force. Another astonishing fact is in Lithuania where majority of entire population (56%, Eurostats, 2016) lives in rural areas just as similar situation is in Hungary. Bulgaria seems facing challenge of poverty in rural areas just as Spain and Italy where employement rates in countrysides are less than 60%. These facts are not a problem, but symptoms of low activity and attention on rural areas sustainalbe development and innovation.
Consortium of EWRD project consist out of 6 countries:
- Efektas Group (Lithuania);
- Promimpresa SRL (Italy);
- Innetica (Spain);
- BASD (Bulgaria);
- KOZEP-DUNANTULI REGIONALIS INNOVACIOS UGYNOKSEG NONPROFIT KFT (Hungary);
- Konya University (Turkey).
LTTA overview and following activities within the project
Current training gathered 21 participant from all the partner countries. There were represented staff members of organizations, women, trainers, educators, members of NGOs, students that affiliate themselves with agricultural or environmental studies. All the activities took place in the mountain area of Sicily (Polizzi Generosa area) from where participants were attending meetings with the public authorities, local entities/rural enterprises, farms.
One of the most formal activities was a meeting with public authorities of Petralia Sottana municipality. Mayor, councilors and other servants stressed on the importance of women`s role in the rural areas, how female part contribute towards the cohesion of communities, in particular, in the rural areas. One of the servants highlighted that municipality is attempting to do their best in terms of preventing of emigration of people from the rural areas. On that occasion, 5G coverage of the territory is being undertaken, memorandum with Palermo municipality is signed in order to allow young people from rural areas proceed with SMART working and live in the places of their birth. There were also presented other initiatives that overall contribute and motivate young people to pay more attention to the rural areas in 21st century.
Current training activity took place 3 days and all the participants were supported and equipped with knowledge, key competences and tools related to the concepts of rural economy development, enabled to support marginalised women living in rural areas (on the Italian case-study);
– Participants increased awareness, sense of initiative on rural economic and/or social activities and propention to the self employment of women across participants, partner organisations;
– Every single participant had a chance to come into contact with real, grounded and successful rural entrepreneurs, and acquire understanding and experience of their realities, struggles and successes from a practical point of view.
The next activities which anticipated within the project frame will take place in Bulgaria (Transnational Project Meeting) and LTTA will take place in Lithuania. Training course will aim at educating young and senior adult women and women farmers to start their business successfully and maintain it in late businees development stages.
Current learning activity demonstrated once again on the real patterns the importance and value of rural entrepreneurship. And nor less significant pillar here – fostering of young people (females, in particular) to participate more actively within rural life activities. As one person has mentioned during our meeting in Petralia Sottana – it`s all about awareness and identity. One can consider 3 indicators that illustrating the fabulousness of the life in the rural areas: art, taste and belonging.
Efektas Group was working, involved currently and will keep up with an increasing of the interest of ordinary citizens towards rural areas, fostering of youth entrepreneurship spirit and encouraging females to be more active when it comes to the running of the business in order to contribute towards personal and professional development.