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It has been a year since CDOP has been working on the Erasmus+ project Open School for Village Hosts.

The idea and efforts of the entire team, made up of 7[1] partner organizations from six European countries, is to design a training program for village hosts, new superheroes who live in rural areas and are active in their communities, thereby contributing to strengthening their community and reducing the depopulation of rural areas. The training program consists of 9 courses, divided into 6 modules, which are based on learning through the development of a certain set of competencies, which we have determined in the previous period to be crucial for the personal and professional growth and development of an individual.

Last week, from 12 – 13.01.2023, CDOP attended the third parters meeting organized in the town of Valmiera, in the west of Latvia. The meeting was hosted by Radošā partnerība and Aiya and Nora made sure to show their place of residence and work through local cosmetic products, local specialties, dried fruits and sweets and a city tour through the layers of the history of Valmiera.

What a year ago looked like a group of people gathered around the same idea, but without a clear idea of what and how they should do in order to design a training program, began to take its shape in December, at the meeting in Belgrade, so that at the meeting in Latvia , finally got a shape that starts to look like the end result of the project. It is interesting that Design Thinking, as the main methodology we use in our work, found its application precisely through work on the project itself. From defining the Persona, through focus groups to determine which set of competences the activators in rural areas lack, to the iterations of the competences themselves in shaping them into training, which, as we said, has 6 modules and 9 courses.

It was necessary to delve into the research work and follow the results of all previous activities so that we could distance ourselves, look at the bigger picture, connect the actors, ideas, needs of the end users, so that we could again delve into the fine work of carving each module and individual courses within the module.


That we are a group that needs to work together is also confirmed by the fact that everyone managed to put aside vanity, previous experience and actively listen to the other participants in the conversation, which is primarily a high-quality exchange of ideas, people who have proven experience in work on competence development and designing training agendas.

The first day, 12.01.2023, was dedicated to the additional definition of course participants and conditions for the Call for Participation, which was announced at the end of 2022. The pilot training program is planned for May this year and will be organized in Italy, in Grottole. The Call is open until the end of January 2023, and the results of the selection will be announced at the beginning of February 2023.

The first day ended with a nice walk around the city accompanied by a local tourist guide and a visit to a store known for its natural cosmetics.

The second day, 13.01.2023, was dedicated to the presentation of individual modules, which were assigned to each of the partner`s organizations. It was the presentation and placing comments on the proposal of the course agenda that showed how important it is to listen carefully to each other and to develop the ability to continuously zoom in and zoom out from the topic, in order to maintain non-bised attitude and objectivity, towards our own work and towards the work of our partners.

The reaction of almost everyone present is, that we would be very happy to go through the courses designed by the partners, ourselves.

[1] Elisava University – Spain, Casa Netural – Italy, Materahub – Italy, CDOP – Serbia, Holis – Hungary, Radoša partneriba – Latvia and KobieTy – Poland.


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