Oh my God,
we are very late with the reporting. It has been more than a month since our last post on social entrepreneurship, sorry!
As planned and as you can see from the title, today we will talk about the activities we realized during the project life time.
They are comprised of the following:
- team building activities and preparing the ground for social entrepreneurship (presentation of all the participants associations, name game, presentation of the situation in the participants association communities, …);
- Erasmus+, what is that?
- analysis of Tatev village possible occupational and social issues;
- social entrepreneurship. What is that?
- social entrepreneurship projects as solutions for Tatev village;
So, there is plenty of arguments to deal with! Anyway, we won’t take it too long, but we will make available useful material for those interested in deepening some of the themes.
Moreover, next post will be at least within a week, so you have time to read the current one in several steps/ day by day.
TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES AND PREPARING THE GROUND FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
As you know from our previous posts, it was the first time for our Sentinella to participate in an international seminar.
The most difficult thing when you meet people from all Europe, and more generally, when you meet people you had never met before, is the ice-breaking. This is fundamental because if you don’t break the ice, the overall project results will be compromised.
Our Sentinella was lucky, because the other 18 participants from all Europe were very cool guys, since they gave a great contribution in breaking the ice and in creating a cohesive and collaborative team.
But how all that was reached? Simple, with different games and activities.
Firstly, each one presented himself and his association. We also maked the “NAME GAME”, in which one of the participants, standing up at the center of a circle made by the other sitting participants, invites them to pronounce the name of the participant at his/her left. In case of mistake, the sitting participant substitutes the standing one at the center of the circle.
Then, the first working groups were created. They were not fixed, indeed they had been changed day by day, in order to allow the participants to better know each other. The first group activity consisted on reasoning about expectations, contributions and fears, and to show them each other after having gathered the groups.
Then, each participant described the situation in its own community, especially related to the problem of youth unemployment, with particular attention on rural youth unemployment.
Our Sentinella found really interesting to understand the different cultures and economical situations in the European Union countries.
It is not that easy to comprehensively describe Erasmus+ Programme, since it is a very big funding Programme.
Anyway, we will try to give the essential information wich could guide you to deepen the particular aspects you are interested in, in order to apply for the several calls for proposal available each year.
Erasmus+ is the European Union Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for the 2014-2020 period. That should sound really impressive, because during the period 2007-2013 the aforementioned social fields had been separately addressed by 7 European Union Programmes, represented by Youth in Action, Life Long Learning, Erasmus Mundus Programme, Tempus, Alfa, Edulink, Programmes of Cooperation with Industrialized Countries in the Field of Higher Education.
Thanks to Erasmus+, you can apply for funding and for organizing or participating to European Voluntary Service experiences, to Youth Exchanges or to International Seminars or other international projects addressing the general and annual priorities defined by the European Commission and by the National Agencies, including environmental sustainability, active citizenship, social inclusion, social entrepreneurship.
Thanks to Erasmus+, you can now combine activities related to scholastic education with those related to professional training and those related to informal and non formal learning.
After having created a cohesive group, the participants were addressed towards the analysis of Tatev village possible occupational issues. This was accomplished by dividing them in several groups, and assigning them the tasks of interviewing Tatev inhabitants and visiting the main buildings and public centres (school, information centre, town hall to name the principal ones).
The main interesting things highlighted from the interviews were that from the one side, adult people did not think the village would need something more it had until know, that means that the traditional daily life strongly based on agriculture and animal breeding was considered enough for them.
By the other side of the coin, nonetheless, there was the issue of the decrease in the number of inhabitants, due to young people leaving Tatev to study far from the town (mainly in Yerevan or Goris), and often not returning back.
The participants started then to think about how to tackle the issue of the decrease in the number of inhabitants and to make Tatev attractive also for young inhabitants.
Here we are know. We have to talk about social entrepreneurship, which was the central theme of the seminar “Social Entrepreneurship in Youth Work”.
Here we provide what our Sentinella learnt about social entrepreneurship. Even if the theme is difficult, complex and vast, we feel that the information provided hereunder represents a good starting point for those who want to know more about sociale entrepreneurship.
Strictly speaking, what characterizes a social entreprise is first of all the interest in the economic development of the local community in which it operates.
It is important to note that the economic development of the local community, which we could briefly define as local development, is a particular kind of local development. Indeed, it is not mainly based on external sources (i.e. foreign investors) nor governmental institutions administration, but firstly derives from the local community itself.
James Robertson, one of the pioneers of local economic development, defined it as “Local Work for Local People Using Local Resources”.
Due to its strict relations with local community, the way the social entrepreneurship paradigm is pratically applied greatly varies from one place to another and from one economic sector to the other, meaning that there is not a precise recipe in which legal form, internal organisation the enterprise must own.
Moreover, different EU countries have defined specifc laws which permit enterprises to be legally recognised as social ones. From this perspective, we must first highlight that the laws differ from one Country to the other (for example, in Italy, at the moment – law is under reform – social enterprises are non profit, while in UK they can make profits). Secondly, we must specify that there are enterprises which could be recognized generally speaking as social ones, but which had not requested to obtain the legal title.
If you want to know something more about social enterprises, you can download and read the following material, prepared by the participants Janis Balodis (University of Resenburg), made available during the seminar:
Now, we have seen that the main problem of Tatev is the progressive decrease in the number of inhabitants, especially young ones.
They are often attracted by jobs and places different from agriculture and animal breeding, which are an important part of Tatev village economy and everiday life.
So, how to overcome these limits and how to stimulate young people to remain in Tatev and find satisfying jobs here? In other words, how to make social entrepreneurship in Tatev?
With this questions in mind, the projects participants were newly divided into groups and were assigned the task to elaborate a social entrepreneurship business idea for Tatev.
The work was engaging, and our Sentinella put a great effort in collaborating with his team members to develop an interesting solution. His group finally proposed to organize a festival, in which travelers would be stimulated in discovering Tatev and Armenian peculiarities, such as Tatev’s monastery complex, Tatev’s great environment, landscapes, mountains and gorge, Tatev’s extraordinary funicolar (the “Wings of Tatev)”, and, last but not least, Tatev’s culinary specialities.
Other teams proposed alternatively to build a hotel for resort and a comprehensive list of facilities to promote tourism.
That’s all for know then, see you next week!