One of the recent achievement of our team is a participation in international project Herbs4Youth funded by Erasmus+ Program of European Union. The fact that we have been chosen by Erasmus+ as one of projects non-EU partner is a sign of international recognition of our activities in the field of social development and youth work.
Project Dates: April 2016-February 2018
Participants from countries: Slovakia, Hungary, Spain, Brazil, Costa Rica, Jamaica
Number of participants involved from EU contries: about 30 people,
Number of beneficiaries from non-EU contries: about 100 young people.
Project website: http://www.herbs4youth.eu
Provide a new type of non-formal training in the field of medicinal plants cultivation and processing that will lead to improvement of youth access to labour market.
Facilitate exchange between EU and non-EU countries through cooperation of various types of entities with expertise in different fields.
The focus here is on youth access to labour market, showing more employment opportunities for youth. Medicinal plants serves as a mean, as an example of a product which can help young people from the vulnerable regions to think out of the box and create jobs for themselves. So the goal of the project is not cultivation medicinal plans in industry scale, or producing drugs, but using it as a tool to achieve the project real goals.
As for the second part of the statement, talking more specifically, it is about the exchange between European universities possessing expertises and knowledge on one specific subject (medicinal plants) on one side and youth organisations from non-EU contries on the other side.
Project structure and partners
The project idea belongs to NGO No Gavity from Slovakia. They also took part in a project as a managing partner, developing the plan, all the activities and controlling the execution of the project and communication between other parties. The know-how owners of the project are European universities and research units:
Széchenyi István University, Hungary,
Centre Tecnologic Forestal de Catalunya, Spain,
CTC – Centro Tecnológico Nacional de la Conserva y Alimentación,Murcia, Spain,
UCAM – Universidad Católica de Murcia, Spain.
These know-how and expertise about medicinal plants will be brought to young people in non-EU countries Jamaica, Brazil and Costa Rica with the help of youth organisations working in the corresponding countires:
Outward Bound Costa Rica,
4-H Club Jamaica.
Project kick off meeting was held in Slovakia where the representatives of each organisation was presented and agreed on following course of actions and project milestones.
After the kick off meeting in Slovakia European parties started developing the material – Herb atlas, paper brochures, on-line platform with educational resource, on-line monitoring systems.
Then the group of experts as well as students and young specialist in the field of medicinal plants from European partner organisation travelled to Costa Rica, Jamaica and Brazil to install Herb Incubators in each country.
In the end final conference tool place in Spain where all parties presented the results achieved, exchanged best practices and discussed the future opportunities of collaboration.
Herb Incubator Brazil
In order to achieve the goals of the project GoBrazil together with local NGO Instituto Naturagro, organisation which is already working with youth in rural areas, have chosen as platform for the project Agri-food Tecnological Pole of Arapiraca (Polo Tecnológico Agroalimentar de Arapiraca).
Arapiraca located in the interior of the state Alagoas. This location let the project to achieve the target audience – young people living in the rural areas. During the week of Herb Incubator instalment around 30 students and young people have visited the local of the settlement, participating in the presentations, workshops, helping by installations and herb planting.
Small local producers working with medicinal plants also visited the incubator and participated in best practices exchange with European participants.
Project received very positive feedback from all the participants, stakeholders and local media. Students mentioned that during the workshops the innumerates number of opportunities were unveiled for them. With big excitement they commented about the possibility to talk and learn from European participants which definitely increased their interest and motivation in the field of medicinal plants and foreign languages.
Local producer noticed the high level of professionalism and good organisation of the activities. Some pointed out that the incubator inspires them to do more this type of projects in the region, given the high interest of young people.