From August 9 to 29, the Fundació Catalunya Voluntària has hosted the project of Erasmus+ VET titled ‘Career Opportunities in Agriculture’, an internship experience which results from an agreement with the ‘Vasil Levski’ Professional School of Agriculture, of Parvomay, implemented in partnership with the NGO Center for European Initiatives ‘Stara Zagora’ (Bulgaria).
The activity has been carried out by a group of 19 students aged 16/17 who are studying agriculture, machinery and economics, who have dedicated two-week mornings to an intensive internship program, designed by professionals from different entities in the agriculture and fishing sectors; profit companies, cooperatives, not-for-profit organizations and community-based initiatives, that are located in the Garraf and Baix Penedès counties (at the Barcelona province, Catalonia).
The young adolescents, in small groups of 3 to 5 people, accompanied by 3 school teachers, have been able to learn differently from what they are mostly used to for almost a month: through observation, hands-on practical tasks, communication in a foreign language and reflection in small groups, on topics as diverse as sustainability, organic agriculture techniques, machinery, technology and economics.
The program of the project of Erasmus+ VET ‘Career Opportunities in Agriculture’ was designed by the FCV to ensure that, despite carrying out the tasks in small groups and in the same entity, everyone felt part of a single group, creating spaces to share reflections, conclusions and learning in a daily base.
To highlight the value of observation, action, communication and reflection as key sources for learning has been one of the success elements of the activity, allowing the acquisition not only of new knowledge, but also of developing new skills, attitudes and perspectives, despite the diverse levels of interest and different subject of studies within the same group.
The 3-week program has allowed the whole group to learn about the work of the 5 collaborating entities, which were responsible for designing and carrying out a 14-hour internship program.
The group has been able to know the activities carried out in an urban garden (in Vilanova y la Geltrú), of a pioneer company in the use of technology applied to the work of the vineyard and the care of the soil (Fortuny Fabregas, in the small town of Pla del Penedès), a young agricultural cooperative (La Piotxa, in Mas Trader, Cubelles) and another orchard in Cubelles, completing the program the Welfare, Health and Networks Association, with practices dedicated to the maintenance and recovery of fishermen’s nets and traditional fishing arts (in the Port of Vilanova y la Geltrú).
The fact that supervisors have been able to transmit to the students their dedication and passion for work, despite language barriers, has been another key to the success of the activity, along with having offered quality content on very specific topics, thanks to their personal and professional backgrounds.
The program of visits has included visiting Barcelona, Sitges (7 KM from Vilanova), being welcomed in a special event in the Plenary Hall of the City Council by the Youth councilor of the city, visiting the Victor Balaguer Museum, the Railway Museum, the port of Vilanova, the ‘Sea House’ (‘Casa del Mar’) and, over 3 weeks, many of the corners of the city, such as its beaches, the old town of ‘La Geltrú’ and the natural paths recovered by the Platform ‘Defensem l’Ortoll ‘and the NGO Garraf Coopera, and the community garden located at the ‘Viver Hill’ (‘Turó del Viver’), among others.
We want to thank all the collaborating organizations for their profesional support and, especially, Ana and Maria, the 2 volunteers who, by performing the simultaneous translations from Catalan to Bulgarian, have allowed a more direct communication of many of the students. We are also thankful to the many people, who have been part of the organizing team, in tasks of transport and going with the groups. Many thanks to all of them for the care and the hospitality.
Undoubtedly, the experience is already part of the educational, personal and emotional baggage of the group of adolescents who have participated in the activity, and we are sure it will last for many years.
In times of a pandemic, it is worth mentioning that all the group’s PCR tests were negative and that, after a week back in their country, the entire group is in perfect health shape, as well as the more than 20 people who have collaborated in Erasmus+ VET “Career Opportunities in Agriculture” , coordinated by the FCV for learning purpose, and carried out with the support of the Erasmus + program of the European Commission and the Bulgarian national agency.
For more information about the activity, you can send us an email to email@example.com.