The results of L. O. C. A. L. PRODUCTS youth exchange

The Farmers Association from the Cristuru Secuiesc Area organized an Erasmus+ project called Leading Our Communities to Appreciate Local Products or L. O. C. A. L. PRODUCTS, which was in line with its priorities and previous activities which help and support local producers and farmers.

The project had a 2 day advance planning visit in the beginning of March 2016 (8-9), where the group leaders from each country met in Romania to plan and prepare the youth exchange. Then it had an 8 day youth exchange in May 7-14. The Exchange hosted 6-6 participants from the 5 partners coming from Program Countries, Romania, Spain, Slovenia, Hungary and Italy (5-5 youth aged 22-30 and 1 group leader without age limitation). These participants were youth coming from the same rural community or region and each country group prepared to teach and make a local product from their region.

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The main objective of the project was to promote the importance of putting value on local products among the participants and the local communities they come from, especially the one in Cristuru Secuiesc, which hosted the mobilities. Also, the project wished to ensure intergenerational collaboration and dialogue through the transfer of basic knowledge and values from and to the youth participants and some elders from the local community.

These objectives were successfully met. To achieve these, during the youth exchange, beyond getting to know one another, their cultures and Erasmus+, the participants had two main types of activities: Firstly, on each morning starting from day 2, the participants learned and made local products typical to the community of each partner, through creation workshops. Each country was in charge of the morning workshops day by day. The Italians made light homemade beer with plants from Tramonti region, the Spanish washing soap from used olive oil from Andalusia, the Romanians jam and syrup from local herbs, the Hungarians Linzer cake with jams made from berries from Szób and the Slovenians a pancake with jam and honey from the Zasavje region.

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Secondly, in the afternoons we understood, analysed and developed current trends of supporting and promoting local products, we met with experts on the topic, we visited a few local producers and met with elders. On the last day, before concluding and evaluating the project results, we had a community event in the local market where all the local products made during the mobility were displayed and shared with the local community, manly with youth, but not only.

By doing these activities, the participants acquired practical skills and theoretical knowledge regarding local products, entrepreneurship and other cultures. This learning process was aided by various team building, reflective and other non-formal methods and all the learning achievements were certified through the reflection process and its outcomes shown in the Youthpass Certificates given to all the participants.

The project was funded by the European Union through the Erasmus+ Program
The brochure of the project can be read here: http://www.aacs.ro/files/BrosuraLocal.pdf

The video of the project can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMMjv_5i0pI&t=2s