Programme and action: ERASMUS+ programme, Key Action 1: Training course
Dates: 11-18 May 2015
Venue: Sajan, Serbia
Participants: Radka Svobodová, Michaela Oravová
Participating countries: Germany, Albania, Czech Republic, Romania, Italy, Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Kosovo.
Please read the project info-pack.
Project „The Change Makers: Sustainable Development through Entrepreneurship Education“ took place in Sajan – a small agricultural village situated in Vojvodina, the northern region of Serbia.
Most of the time we spent in the „Youth Meeting and Education Centre Sajan“ – a beautiful old rural house with big garden, dog mummy and sometimes hen’s invasion. To work efficiently and well as a group, we initially participated in some getting-to-know-each-other and teambuilding activities while exploring the village, trying to get in contact with local Hungarian-Serbian inhabitans or picking objects for each letter of alphabet…
The international group consisted of many Balkan people, few Italians, two Czech girls and some Germans – also in the role of organizers. In fact, it was already a second edition of „The Change Makers“ organised by „CGE Soziokulturelle Initiative Erfurt“. The main organizers – Jani from CGE and Vele and Aleksej from Macedonia and Serbia did an incredibly amazing job and took such a great care of us the entire week! Just as did the two trainers and mentors Evelina and Nerijus. Originally from Lithuania but travelled and lived in many different countries, they both always had a story to tell, a message to hand over, an advice to give, or knowledge and experience to share.
After we got to know each other and Sajan little bit, we started to study/work hard. We tried to understand and explain what „an entrepreneurship“, „a social entreprise“ and „sustainable development“mean to us, as well as the three aspects of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental dimensions. We learned about human needs, to recognize them and how to build an entrepreneurial idea and business on it. We explored more about the local problems and needs from a field research in the village and suggested many interesting entrepreneurial solutions based on that. Except all of that, we also tried to organise breakfasts with the local families whose houses or farms we lived in, listened to what active people and organisations actually already do for local communities and visited an organic farm in the nearby regional centre – town of Kikinda. Finally, we also learned about business models and got an opportunity to work on and present our own business ideas.
The group was very age and experience diversed and consisted of 3 main „types“ of people – the youth workers, the entrepreneurs and the young people wishing to become active citizens or entrepreneurs. So one of the main goals (that was successfully reached!) was to network, to share experience, to motivate, to learn and to present the projects and businesses that the participants were already involved in. This is how we got to know about 3D printing and IT environment in the southern-most Italy, start-up incubator in Bosnia, silent disco DJ contest in Croatia, bike social cafe/garrage in Italy/France, organic food shop in Germany and much more. To sum up, we learned, got inspired and motivated that each of us could become an entrepreneur and change maker with sustainable development approach in our own local communities.