EVALUATING REPORT OF YOUTH EXCHANGE PROJECT in SLOVENIA
(ACTIVE TOURISM FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRYSIDE)
The project was held with 50 participant from 5 different countries, in 11-21 Octeber 2019, in city of Ravne na Karoskem, Slovenia. The project main objectives, addition to developing soft skills of communications with other people and youngs in not only social life but also professional life, were
- to train acout potantiels for developing sustainable active tourism in rural areas,
- to provide understanding and modifying local tourism policies,
- to learn how to rise recognations of local products,
- to identfy local population and its properties, to progress self-confidence and creavity
- to rise skills of analysing of good practises
- to increse active citizenship
As Turkish group, with 1 group leader and 9 young from different backround and mostly university student, we actively joined the project program.
First of all, it need to be indicated that the complex called as ZKSTM (Culture, Sport, Tourism And Youth Center) and the hostel called as Punkl, where the project was held is located in very inspiring place, near forest between mountains. Additionally, the complex provides to guests opportunities of making different sport activities from football to swimming, from tennis to ping-pong and so on. Moreover, to settle schools around ZKSTM is very birillant idea by itself. Because all students, also local settlements and guest of Punkl, use all this facilites.
Secondly, the program contained mostly outside activities which make project more attractive and exciting. Also, there were certain indoor trainging steps supporting understanding of teorical frame. We had short city tours by walking, also visited lots of local touristical places and small business in rural areas, joined local cultural/touristical events and so on; such as museums, natural caves, farms, beekeeper society, cultural heritages, local festivals, hiking to Usula Mountain, the center where different generations meet. It was pretty nice walking in forest to visit traditional apple juice making place and organic farm between montains.
The other positive things were wellcome and goodbye parties, intercultural night and national night. We had change not only to introduce our cultur but also to know and learn other countries cultures, foods, drinks, traditionas, dances and so on. In Turkish night, we cooked foods spesific to Turkey and Kayseri, such as tarhana soup, şebit yağlaması, mantı and sütlaç as dessert. It was amazing feeling that we saw everyone loved our dishes and and dessert, then thanked to Turksih team, and nothing left at the end of the night.
Last 2 day, countries prepared workshop to show what they gained from the activites during the project. As Turkish team, we tried to focus on possible steps for creating a sustainable small torism business in rural area“. We tried to combine whats we saw and leanred during the project. Our work contained 6 steps; finding partenrs, dicovering potential, preparing investment project, finding finance, implemetation and creating sustainability and spreading among other disavantages youngs. Particularly, the feedback from 2 Slovakian young was very pleasing for us. Because it shoewed us that Turkish team learned something and could apply them in a workshop and gave inspration to others.
Apart from project content, project owner and organisator, Sasa JELEN and Timi KOLAR- ERAT, was very very kind and helpful for us.
To sum up, as group leader, I would like to indicate that the project was very successfull for Turkish team. We turned back to Turkey with unforgetable memories, useful knowledge about sustainable tourism in rural areas, new friendships, and new ideas for future. Thanks alot to Sasa, Timi for hospitality, preparing and giving effort this project and thanks a lot to Mustafa Yıldız, president of NECI TURKEY, for giving us this opportunity to join project.