Imago Mundi Youth Association (Romania) has been involved in Volonteurope’s campaign on the Rural Isolation of Citizens in Europe since September 2014. We have worked continuously to increase our capacity to respond to the needs of young people living in rural areas. We are engaged in rural development projects in both urban and rural areas, offering young people from rural areas training and work experience opportunities with the aim of improving their employment prospects.

Imago Mundi Association has now joined forces with organisations from Europe and Africa to deliver an Erasmus+ funded capacity building project: Capacity Building for Youth Workers to bring tourism bridges between Africa and Europe (TBridges). This project is an opportunity for the Association to not only extend its area of work beyond Europe and connect with NGOs from another continent, but also to build on its experience promoting entrepreneurship and employability amongst young people in rural areas.

The project, led by the Academy of Entrepreneurship Astiki Etaira (Greece), will bring together six organisations from five countries across Europe and Africa. Project partners include: Action Synergy S.A. (Greece); Pegasus University (Italy); Atelier Mar (Cape Verde); and International Exchange Community (Ghana).

The project, which will run from March 2015 to October 2016, aims to improve the quality of youth work, and non-formal and informal learning in African partner countries, as well as foster cooperation between Europe and Africa in the field of youth work. More concretely, it aims to improve young people’s employment prospects, with a special focus on the rapidly growing sustainable tourism industry.

In the context of this project, partners will be taking part in a seminar in Athens in July 2015 and two capacity building training courses (one in Mindelo, Cape Verde in December 2015 and one in Accra, Ghana in October 2016). They will also be running an e-learning course for youth workers from January to September 2016, providing training on non-formal and informal learning, with the goal of development young people’s employability and entrepreneurship within the sustainable tourism industry and especially in the field of agrotourism.

The delegates from Imago Mundi are young volunteers and youth workers (including former Imago Mundi volunteers Teodor Constantinescu and Mihai Bulea) from rural areas in Arges County, Romania.

Through TBridges, Imago Mundi hopes to learn more about sustainable tourism, and particularly agrotourism, as an effective pathway for rural development – knowledge which we will share with our partners in Romania and the Volonteurope network!