Representatives of the EU4Youth ‘School Garden’ network gathered together in the training centre of the project in Minsk, Belarus to participate in a forum titled ‘School Garden: Knowledge in Life’ on 2-5 November.
The forum was a milestone in the project’s implementation, with the aim of discussing the achievements of project participants and the results of the network’s experiments over the past two years. It also included a presentation of training programmes and electronic resources and focused on determining plans for the next year.
Among the common achievements of project participants was participation in the network experiments – growing onion and watermelon – as well as testing the ‘Adventures of plants’ and ‘My village map’ games, an extension of schoolyards and of the selection of cultivated plants, successful participation in agricultural fairs, and familiarisation with new agricultural technologies. The organisation of elective courses on agriculture were also often mentioned as achievements.
Regardless of the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Moldovan and Ukranian partners were able to join the forum online, and share their progress in the development of school gardens.
Participants were also informed about the potential opportunities provided by the ‘School Garden’ website, which is a multifunctional internet platform aimed to bring together, present, educate and share experience and ideas among network members. The platform is expected to be fully functioning by the end of the year.
During the presentation of training programmes, the experts introduced to network representatives their objectives, as well as the structure and key content-related aspects, answered questions and helped to define priorities for each school.
The event also highlighted the importance of cooperation and co-promotion of products and services. The forum concluded with the discussion of a possibility to organise an international practical training session for school students.
The EU4Youth: ‘School Garden’ for Agricultural Entrepreneurship project aims to foster the employability and active participation of young people residing in disadvantaged rural areas of Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova in society and economy by developing modern labour, leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and promoting new professional opportunities among them.