YE “Villagers Are Masters”

Project Name: YE “Villagers Are Masters” 
Venue: Mersin/Turkey
Dates: 20 – 28 May
Partner Countries: Lithuania, Romania, Italy, Czech Republic, Greece and Turkey

What kind of discrimination youth, who moved from villages to the big cities, come under fire? How does stereotypical villager look like? Why do we picture him/her this way? These and dozen of other question were tried to be answered during Erasmus+ youth exchange “Villagers are Masters”, held in Kizkalesi, Turkey by youth from Turkey, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Italy, Romania and Greece.

Turkey is one of the active members of the Erasmus+ program which includes education, youth and sport mobilities. During group visit to “Beyaz Kule” school Turkish group team leader Uğur Keskin has explained to students: 

“Erasmus+ aims to provide new skills, enhance personal development and increase employment opportunities regardless of age and educational background of youth. We are here in Kizkalesi to work on our project and to increase the awareness of Erasmus+ which is an important opportunity for young people.”

Project title ‘Villagers are Masters’, was inspired by the words of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, tackles the problem of social exclusion of people from villages in urban areas encountered in European and Turkish societies. 

Youth from countryside, who moves to the big cities to work and/or study, face with social exclusion. We are implementing this project in order to draw attention and reduce the effect of these stereotypes, discrimination and social exclusion. 

During non-formal education activities participants had a chance to have a closer look at the discrimination, targeted towards youth coming from villages and come up with solutions to tackle this problem. There is one thing we know, the solution and the change begins in person.

Tomas Jenkelevič, a project participant from Lithuania, shared his experience as “ The youth exchange workshops aimed at discussing how to improve the attractiveness of rural areas for young people through exchanges on innovative and inspiring practices, including on youth entrepreneurship, rural-urban linkages, communication and breaking stereotypes about villagers.” 

Turgut Kaan Akkoca, one of the coordinators, completed the interview with these sentences:

“I feel proud because together with our team we could bring the Erasmus+ project to the city where I was born and grew up. As European Integration Group, we will continue to look for solutions of social problems. We are aware of the competences of our youth and we will continue to work to be better individuals with the awareness created by the mobility.”

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