Young people from rural areas of Europe met in Abbasanta
From 17 to 24 June 2023 in Abbasanta, on the territory of the headquarters of the CAIP – Center for Training and professional education of the State Police, fifty young Sardinians and Europeans (coming from Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, and Greece) participated in the youth exchange “Our rural future”, conceived by the Malik ETS association, financed by the European Erasmus Plus program and by the Autonomous Region of Sardinia, Department of Education, Cultural Heritage, Information, Entertainment, and Sport.
The project aims to promote the spirit of initiative and entrepreneurship of young people living in rural areas of Europe, encouraging them to recover ancient crafts in an innovative way.
There were numerous meetings with local institutions and small businesses: Claudia Sedda, director of the LAG BMG, illustrated the strategy of the Local Action Group BMG, the LEADER approach, EU funds for rural development, the results of transnational cooperation projects and the “Sardinia the heart” project, which actively involves the LAG Barigadu Guilcier and aims the development and promotion of a tourist destination in central Sardinia. Francesco Urgu, the beneficiary of a financial intervention of the LAG Barigadu Guilcier, spoke of his innovative entrepreneurial reality, BISOS, the first eco-sustainable historical residence in Italy: a dream realized in the main square of Paulilatino by the bio-architect.
The young people also took part in a gastronomic workshops organized by the LAORE agency, with descriptions and tastings of four different types of Sardinian DOP cheeses and two kinds of honey (thistle and eucalyptus), learning helpful information about local products.
With a view to enhancing ancient crafts, together with a Sardinian artisan, the participants worked naturally colored sheep’s wool, with the needle felting methodology, giving vent to their creativity and dexterity.
Furthermore, young people actively participated in an itinerant debate centered on the role of young people in rural development paths; and in a discussion forum on the issue of legality, which allowed young people to express their points of view on criminality in their own countries, under the careful supervision of three judges of the district of Nuoro. Specifically, the participants had the opportunity to reflect on how one can contribute individually to the construction of safe communities.
The project was also an opportunity to introduce young foreigners to some of Sardinia’s most important and magical archaeological sites, such as the Sacred Well of Santa Cristina and the Nuraghe Losa.
All the activities were carried out following the principles and methodologies of non-formal education.
We reflected on European programs dedicated to young people and the methods of participation in them. Also, participants have been involved in the multicultural evening, an event dedicated to music, dance, and typical dishes of the nations present in the project.
At the end of the project, all participants received a Youthpass certificate, which certifies and describes the skills acquired.
The success of the project was also possible thanks to those who contributed to carrying out the local activities (LAORE, GAL BMG, GAL Barigadu Guilcer, BISOS, Judges of Nuoro, Fondazione Sardegna Film Commission) and to foreign partners (SOPRO – Solidariedade e Promoção ONGD – Portugal; The Albacete City Council – Spain; Politistiki Anazitisi Lesvou AMKE – Greece; PlanBe, Plan it Be it-Cyprus).
A special thanks go to the director of the CAIP ( hosting structure), Roberto Pietrosanti, for his availability and collaboration.