"JOURNEY": Kick-off meeting between partners of the project and stackholders

On March 4, 2019, the kick-off meeting of the partners of the project “Joint Organization to Unite Rural Networks of Entrepreneurial Youth”- "JOURNEY" with representatives of the authorities, business and media was held, which is implemented by Vinnytsia Regional Association of Local Self-Government Bodies under funding Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

1The partners from Georgia, Azerbaijan, France, Italy, Poland and Ukraine, as well as representatives of the regional authorities, deputy corps and representatives of business, non-governmental organizations, universities, students and mass media participated in the official part of the meeting. At the beginning of the event the project coordinator – Head of the Center for communication, external relations and attraction of grant resources of VRALSGB Olha Oliinyk presented project’s partners: Department for Promotion and International Relations of Marshal’s Office of Lodzkie Voivodeship (Poland) – Michal Pietranek and Martyna Zgierska, “FORMA.Azione srl” (Italy) – Sylvia Liuti and Riccardo Fano, Foreign Affairs and International Projects Department at Kutaisi City Hall’s Administration – Shorena Khukhua and Ana Chankvetadze, NGO “Local Democracy Agency” (Georgia) – Nino Khukhua, NGO “Ganja European Youth Capital 2016 Public Union” (Azerbaijan) – Shahriyar Hajiyev, “ALDA” – Association of Local Democracy Agencies (France) – Alexandru Coica, and also the partner from Ukraine Vinnytsia Regional Development Agency and its director Natalia Hyzhko.

During the greetings the Head of Vinnytsia Regional Council and Vinnytsia Regional Association of Local Self-Government Bodies Anatolii Oliinyk thanked the project’s partners for their fruitful cooperation in writing the project “Joint Organization to Unite Rural Networks of Entrepreneurial Youth – JOURNEY” and noted that VRALSGB is the only Ukrainian organization that had received a grant for the implementation of such a project. Besides Mr. Oliinyk noted that one of the main problems in Ukraine is the problem of unemployment among rural youth, so this project was written to solve this problem. “I am deeply convinced that we together with partners will fulfill all the tasks set in the project and achieve its goal”.

The First Deputy Head of Vinnytsia Regional Council Andrii Hyzhko noted during his speech to the audience: “The title and purpose of the project are very close to me. We have provided funds for startups for two consecutive years, whose ideas are completely different, but it is a significant indicator. I am convinced that such projects as “JOURNEY” give opportunities and ideas for self-realization of youth”.

Viktor Vikaliuk – Head of the Secretariat of Vinnytsia Regional Association of Local Self-Government Bodies explained why the project “JOURNEY” is important for Vinnytsia region: “VRALSGB brings together more than 500 communities, which number about 1 million 300 thousand people and about 30 percent of them are young people. Currently, the problem of the lack of opportunities for self-realization of rural youth is very acute, so our project is aimed at helping young people from rural areas to find themselves and selfrealize”.

10Next, Olha Oliinyk – project coordinator presented the project indicating project's aim, goals and objectives. The aim of the project is to reduce the level of unemployment and promote the development of entrepreneurial potential of rural youth in the countries of Eastern Partnership. According to Ms. Oliinyk the project has the following objectives:

1. To enable youth workers from Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Georgia to acquire mentoring skills, as well as knowledge, methods and tools to support rural youth and young entrepreneurs.

2. To promote entrepreneurial education and provide mentors and young people with the tools needed to develop entrepreneurial skills through online learning.

3. To increase entrepreneurial awareness and create networks of young people / young entrepreneurs from rural areas for the exchange of knowledge and best practices.

4. To study the experience of the European Union and start a dialogue between rural youth from the countries of the European Union and Eastern Partnership for the exchange of experience and communication.

The deadline for implementation of the project is from 15.12.18 to 14.11.2020 (23 months), and the target group to which the results of the project will be addressed is young people aged 18 to 30 years, and youth workers/mentors living in Vinnytsia region (Ukraine), Ganjabasar (Azerbaijan), the region of Imereti (Georgia), thus involved:

 21 mentors participating in training in Italy and Poland ( 7 from Ukraine);

 21 young people taking part in youth exchanges in Italy and Poland (6+1 group leader from Ukraine).

Besides the project coordinator said, that the project will be implemented in partnership with public organizations and local self-government bodies and executive authorities from Poland, Italy, Azerbaijan, France and Georgia. From the Ukrainian side Vinnytsia Regional Association of Local Self-Government Bodies as project coordinator and Vinnytsia Regional Development Agency as a partner take part in the project, and the total budget of the project is 164 252,83 euro.

Also Ms. Oliinyk described in detail the planned activities within the project “JOURNEY”: “During the project implementation youth workers from Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Georgia will acquire mentoring skills, as well as knowledge, methods and tools to support rural youth and young entrepreneurs.

In addition rural youth and youth workers will be trained in Poland and Italy, where they will improve their level of entrepreneurship education and will be able to get acquainted with the youth initiatives of Italian and Polish rural youth, examples of successful youth entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and youth support programs in the countries of the European Union. One of the elements of the project implementation will be creation of a training web-platform in four languages (Ukrainian, Georgian, Azerbaijani, English), which will become a platform for training and communication between the project participants. Also, a Club of Young Entrepreneurs will be established in the framework of the project, which will cooperate with authorities and youth workers and will become a platform for dissemination of experience and help to increase the number of participants from rural areas after the completion of the project”.

After the presentation of the project there was a presentation of each partner organization. So, the representative of Foreign Affairs and International Projects Department at Kutaisi City Hall’s Administration (Georgia) Ana Chankvetadze presented the activities of Kutaisi municipality and described the projects implemented by it. At the end of the speech, Ms. Ana noticed: “I am confident that we will do our best to make the project successful”.

Shahriyar Hajiyev, the representative of the NGO “Ganja European Youth Capital 2016 Public Union” (Azerbaijan), during the presentation of his organization said: “We are an organization that is guided by youth and works for youth. Therefore, we are undoubtedly interested in the successful implementation of the project”.

The representative of the partner organization from France – Association of Local Democracy Agencies “ALDA” – Alexandru Coica also told about the activities of his organization noting that it has about 300 partners from different countries.

The partner of the project from Poland is the Department for Promotion and International Relations of Marshal’s Office of Lodzkie Voivodeship and its representatives Martyna Zgierska and Michal Pietranek, who told about the cooperation of Marshal’s Office with other countries, in particular concerning youth. Besides, Mr. Pietranek spoke about the many years of cooperation with VRALSGB in implementation of joint projects, in particular those relating to youth. Among them are projects currently being implemented: “Active teacher with charisma”, which has started a week ago.

Nino Khukhua – a representative from the NGO “LDA” (LOCAL DEMOCRACY AGENCY) from Georgia, introduced the mission and main activities of her organization to the participants, and also talked about the implemented projects.

Partner organization from Ukraine – Vinnytsia Regional Development Agency was presented by its director Natalia Gyzhko, who spoke about the purpose and directions of her organization’s activities.

Partner of the project from Italy, the organization “FORMA.Azione srl” was presented by Sylvia Liuti. Ms. Liuti said that their organization works with young people as well as elder people in different directions. She also spoke about the expectations of cooperation in the framework of the project’s implementation.

After the official part of the meeting, a working meeting of the partner organizations was held to discuss the peculiarities, nuances and further plans for the implementation of the project “Joint Organization to Unite Rural Networks of Entrepreneurial Youth – JOURNEY”.

345678

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.