Project preparation was carried out in a cooperative way with the involvement of all partners, representing 3 countries. Ideas, priorities and actions of all partners were integrated in the proposal. Project addresses the challenges of youth migration and has been built in on 2 pillars:
(1) the partnership covers migratory profiles relevant for nature protected areas in three different countries (Slovenia, Romania and Uganda) with a focus on skilled youths who do not see their future in the countries where they were born and gained academic knowledge. We want to examine whether the fact that they come from conservation areas is an additional constraining factor or not. That is why the schools from Maribor (Slovenia), Iasi (Romania) and lake Bunyonyi were chosen. All of them are situated in nature protected areas. Slovenian and Romanian schools were faced with these problems in previous Erasmus’ projects (2014-1-RO01-KA201-002848) and Slovenian and Uganda’s school in the bilateral school project of applying a critical thinking in problem solving skills development (2105-2016);
(2) In additional two NGO’ joined as a heart of the implementation and research activities. In order to cultivate entrepreneurial skills for a sustainable economy in the nature protected areas the project will facilitate investigations by implementing fieldwork and using migratory birds as an example for environmental analysis and social inclusion of different profile of local people. In order to complete this task the BirdLife Slovenia (DOPPS), the largest NGO, founded in 1979, is involved. 23 employees in Slovenia and world-wide connections in Romania and Uganda represent great expert support for our project. Its role will be to improve local knowledge, skills and attitudes concerning conservation, and reduce threats to biodiversity. The results should produce a local action plans and national conservation priorities as well as reduce the loss of academic most talented youth. CEZAM, the second NGO, founded in 2013, has experience in the field of social inclusion, emigrant/refugee crises and how to engage cultural/religion diversity in practice. Through many Erasmus+ projects they gained experience how to be an advocate for advanced human rights and social and economic justice. Both NGOs are experienced in the area how to apply knowledge of human behaviour and social environment to achieve well-being. This project is a consequence of cooperation in the past Erasmus+ projects, like “The Echo of the Art”, “Find a job-Get a job” and “Pride and Prejudice”.
Due to the transnational and complex nature of skilled youth migration, the establishment of a diverse, yet symmetric and balanced partnership was needed. Since the project includes youth mobility, partnerships were not expanding to more EU countries.
All partners are living in nature protected areas and are daily facing with emigration of youth. The demographic situations in Slovenia and Romania show low birth rates, negative natural growth and an ageing population, what makes the system very sensitive to any loss of youth. According to the Eurostat (2016), the risk of poverty rate in Slovenia is 14.5% and 51% in Romania. About 67% of Ugandans are either poor or highly vulnerable to poverty (Directorate of Social Protection in the gender ministry, 2016). High birth rates, positive natural growth and low percent of educated people make this area even more sensitive to any loss of skilled Youths. Therefore, our common challenge is to involve education in addressing economic development based on sustainability of nature conservation areas. To achieve this goal we have to improve the quality and recognition of youth work and enhance synergies and complementarities of different educational systems, the labour markets and societies. NLS will follow a strong cause-effect methodology aiming at maximising the capacity building impact of the project.
First, partners contribute to the development of improved evidence base of on youth migration and its developmental impacts on EU (Slovenia and Romania), national and local level by elaborating local status quo analyses (first objective). Therefore, schools involved in the project will prepare a local analysis of youth skilled migrations, based on data they already have. Through a comprehensive evaluation of the locally available indicators of youth migration, where DOPPS and CEZAM are involved, shortfalls of measuring local challenges will be identified. New or improved indicators of the developmental balance of youth migration will be elaborated and tested (second objective). On the local level, the project aims to improve capacities to manage related processes by jointly testing and introducing good practices and institutional units, tailored to local needs in nature protected areas. DOPPS will prepare the educational material to show nature migratory patterns and their influences on the ecosystem; on this basis a strategy how to develop environmental-social youths’ skills in order to cultivate entrepreneurial skills for a sustainable economy in nature protected areas, will be prepared. DOPPS has relevant influencing capacity in all three countries; therefore thematic background will be specific and understandable for all partners. The pilots will result in transnationally tested tools contributing to better strategies, policies and services. Multi-level governance cooperation between academic institutions, local governments and transnational cooperation will be tested. In order to complete this task CEZAMs’ experiences how to help young people that are entering the labour market for the first time are crucial. A development of transferable frameworks is the third project objective addressed to all project partners.