During the worst moments of the pandemic, in the last 20 months, the FCV has only been able to host 5 international activities, 3 of them implemented in association with 3 professional training centers in Bulgaria and the NGO ‘Center for European Initiatives – Stara Zagora’, within the framework of action 1 of Erasmus + program of the European Commission, for teachers and students in the vocational training sector.
After hosting a group of tourism teachers (in September 2020, in Barcelona), the FCV hosted for 3 weeks, in May 2021, 19 teenagers, aged 16/17, studying organic farming and machinery traveling from Kazanlak (Bulgaria) to Vilanova I la Geltrú (Barcelona, Spain), together with 4 school teachers. Activity has been selected by the Human Resources Development Center, the body responsible for the implementation of the Erasmus+ program in Bulgaria, as the best among more than 170 implemented in 2021 throughout Europe. The activity, titled ‘Career Opportunities in Agriculture’ was a success despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, the lack of knowledge of English by most of the group, and the logistical challenges involved in carrying out the practices in 5 places at the same time, 3 of them outside of urban centers. We could maintain the interest, challenge and intensity throughout a 3 weeks program not only because of quality internships, but also due to activities foreseen to get to know the natural environment, exchange experiences with experts, share feedback, and with playful and entertaining visits. The experience was not limited to performing practical tasks, but the group was able to meet farmers, businessmen, and fishermen with a lot of experience who, despite language, cultural and age obstacles, were able to transmit their passion for a job well done, and their esteem for the territory and its limited resources.
This good news, unexpected for the FCV, is an opportunity to thank again the group of teachers of the ‘Vasil Levsk’ school, for their trust, by using methods and dynamics different from those they are used to, as well as all the people who were part of the team, facilitating and supporting logistics (Sia and Jaume), creating and supervising the practices (Joan, Francesc, Lluís, Luca and David), helping as translators (Ana and Maria); as cooks, drivers and guides (Francesc, Zuhair, Fran); letting us make use of their land (Elisa and Miha), making the video of the activity (Ioanna) or advising us months before its start (Joanaina and Oscar) to find the most suitable places to carry out the practices.
We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Atenea Park apartments and the Hotel Cèsar, where the group stayed, as well as to the NGOs ‘Associació Salut, Benestar i Xarxa’ and Garraf Coopera, the ‘Salvem l’Ortoll’ Platform, the Vilanova i la Geltrú City Council and the House of the Sea (Casa del Mar). Thanks everyone for your help!
For the FCV this recognition has a special value, because it is the first international mobility for students of vocational training centers, and even more being dedicated to a relevant topic such as organic farming.
Based on these experiences, the FCV plans to organize two more activities in 2022 for a small group of students from other two schools, who will carry out their educational practices in winery, on one hand, and in hairdressing and cosmetics sectors, in the other hand, also in Vilanova and the Geltru (Barcelona, Spain).
To learn more about the activity, we recommend reading the news about its results, at https://www.catalunyavoluntaria.cat/resultats-daprenentatge/
We also encourage you to watch the video of the project: