Stepping up for Rural Communities – Development and Participation


Stepping up for Rural Communities – Development and Participation was a training course held in Haghpat, Armenia from 3 – 11 December 2016. Participant countries: Austria, Romania, Armenia, United Kingdom, Belarus, Germany, Russian Federation, France, Ukraine, Spain, Georgia.

This training course gave its participants an opportunity to reflect on the concept of participation seen as a way of increasing the involvement of young people in the rural/deprived urban areas they work with. Participating youth workers got to know a set of practical tools on how to motivate young people, how to identify their needs and how to encourage them to mobilize around social issues that are crucial for their communities. In results, participants developed a better understanding of the participation itself and to increase their professional capacities for organizing projects that stay in accordance with the specific needs of young people from geographically disadvantaged areas.

– Exploring practical tools and methods for increasing active participation of young people from geographically disadvantaged areas,
– Discussing the specific challenges and identifying possible solutions connected to youth work in rural/deprived urban communities,
– Exploring the concept of participation and its connection with improving the community life in disadvantaged areas.

Next, here are some of the impressions of romanian participants, Razvan Zafiu and Florina Ungureanu, both in english and romanian:

Stepping up for Rural Communities was a really succesful project. The trainers managed to create a balanced program, which allowed the participants not only to learn from the training sessions, but also to get to know each other, spend the breaks together and enjoy their free time. First, the accomodation was just perfect, in a small village called Haghpat.

During the sessions we had the opportunity to reflect about the concept of participation and how it can help the rural community. Also, methods of motivating the youngsters, identifying their needs and encouraging them to do something about the social problems of their communities. Of course, one of the nights was dedicated to NGO presentantions and important connections for future projects were created. Beside these, the organizers offered us a special day to relax a little. We visited two historical monesteries from the nearby town Alaverdi. The group dyinamic was amazing. Teamwork and team-building exercises facilitated communication between participantions, so making friends was easy. In conclusion, we’re glad that we learned all these interesting facts and methods about rural communities and we’re eager to use them in our own projects. It was a unique experience that we reccomend to anyone!”


Stepping up for Rural Communities a fost un proiect cu adevarat reusit. Trainerii au reusit sa creeze un program echilibrat, care a permis participantilor nu numai sa invete in sesiunile de training, dar si sa se cunoasca si sa comunice in pauze si in timpul liber. In primul rand, cazarea a fost aleasa perfect, intr-un mic sat numit Haghpat. Cam asa arata privelistea din hotel:


In timpul sesiunilor am avut oportunitatea sa reflectam asupra conceptului ca numai prin participare o sa reusim sa schimbam ceva in mediul rural. Am discutat despre avantajele proiectelor care cer de la voluntar multa implicare si cum acestea vor crea de asemenea implicare in randul persoanelor dezavantajate din zonele rurale. De asemenea, ne-au fost prezentate metode de motivare a tinerilor, cum sa le identificam nevoile si cum sa ii incurajam sa se mobilizeze in legatura cu problemele sociale importante din comunitatea lor.

Bineinteles, una dintre seri a fost dedicata prezentarii ONG-urilor si au fost create legaturi pentru viitoare proiecte.


Pe langa acestea, organizatorii ne-au oferit o zi cu totul speciala pentru a ne relaxa putin si a afla mai multe despre comunitatile rurale chiar de la surse. Am vizitat atat satul Haghpat cat si micutul oras de alaturi, Alaverdi.


Organizatorii au reușit de asemenea sa creeze o dinamica a grupului excepțională. Lucrul în echipa și exercițiile de team-building au facilitat comunicarea participanților.

In concluzie, ne bucuram de cunoștințele dobândite și ca am avut ocazia sa interacționam multicultural. A fost o experienta unica pe care o recomandam tuturor tinerilor!”.