Youth exchange: Mitrovica Urban Garden

Permaculture as a Path to Peace

25th of May – 2nd of June 2018, Mitrovica (Kosovo)

This Spring, in Mitrovica, GAIA and friends will organize a youth exchange about urban permaculture, with the focus on gardening and food production. The Youth Exchange will gather 25 young people from Croatia, Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Kosovo, what means that this call is open only for young people who are residents of those countries (we are sorry for those who are not) and applying through organizations which are partners for this exchange: PVN Albania, VCV Serbia, VUK Croatia, CVS Bulgaria and GAIA Kosovo. It will take place from 25th of May until 2nd of June 2018 and will be organized in partnership with Down Syndrome Kosova in Mitrovica and the City Museum.

Why permaculture?

Permaculture is a design system that uses ecological principles, which can be applied to organisations, communities and economies to create a more harmonious and sustainable system of relationships. Based on the ethical foundation of care for the earth, care for the people and fair share, permaculture shows us a way, inspired by ecological understanding and principles, to create beneficial relationships and work with nature to regenerate and restore land, communities and our relationship to both. With learning about permaculture and gaining practical and theoretical knowledge about its principles and designing, which are inspired by natural systems, we can learn about social connections and ways of creating sustainable, resilient societies.

Urban permaculture?

Half humanity now live in cities and they have large ecological and human effects on the planet. So how can permaculture food production be applied to our towns and cities? There are, in fact many techniques that allow urban dwellers to grow food the permaculture way.  Using permaculture design principles, we can transform our garden, roof top or balcony into a sustainable food-producing garden. We can also share land and create community gardens or initiate community supported agriculture (CSA).

green roofs
www.greenroofs.com

What will be happening?

During this youth exchange we will explore possibilities for Mitrovica to develop urban garden and to include young people interested in environmental and social topics. We will do different workshops, games, discussions, movie projections, practical work in garden, visits to cultural and natural sites and so forth. Of course, we will learn and discuss about permaculture as well as local heritage, issues and exiting initiatives. We will also organize activities with the host organization and other partners in Mitrovica.

Mitrovica is located in the North of Kosovo, with a population of around 100.000. The city is geographically divided by the Ibar River, into a Northern and Southern part, then also with a strong ethnic division as well.

What is a Youth Exchange?

A Youth Exchange, in the frame of the Erasmus+ Program, is a project which brings together groups of young people from two or more countries, providing them with an opportunity to discuss and confront various themes, while learning about each other’s countries, people and cultures. Youth exchanges give opportunity to young people to become active, involved, creative, and critical, to learn from each other, to learn about and challenge themselves, to make mistakes and learn from them, to experience diversity on small scale. During a youth exchange, all participants get a chance to contribute with topics, activities, games, ideas and suggestions.

This youth exchange is part of Permaculture as a Path to Peace, initiative coordinated by GAIA and supported by Erasmus+ (thanks to tax payers) and includes several other activities (PDC, EVS, workshops, actions and documentary making).

What are the conditions for participation?

Each partner organization will choose 4 participants and 1 group leader who already took part in similar activities. Previous experience in international youth gatherings (exchanges, seminars, workcamps…) is not required nor advantage, but we expect that participants are:

  • interested in urban gardening, permaculture and social inclusion,
  • willing to get prepared before the youth exchange,
  • willing to live sustainably and in an international community,
  • willing to be actively included and contribute,
  • young between 18 and 30, while group leaders can be older than 30.

Practicalities

Accommodation and food will be covered through the project. We will be accommodated in Mitrovica South, in the house of Down Syndrome Kosova, which offers different educational and creative activities for people with Down Syndrome. Some of the activities will be organized with the friends from the host organization. Food will be traditional, seasonal and vegetarian. Travel costs (only environmentally friendly means of transport) will be reimbursed after ALL ORIGINAL tickets are received by GAIA.

If you are interested to take part in this youth exchange, you should apply before 15th of April 2018. Application form should be sent to the respective organization from your country. Please keep in mind that we can accept participants only from Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania and Bulgaria.

Application form for participants from Kosovo: AF YE in Mitrovica

Contacts of the partner organizations:

More about GAIA: www.gaiakosovo.wordpress.com

More about SCI: www.sci.ngo

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