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Small Villages, Big Minds

Small Villages, Big Minds

“Tower, Gardens, and Music of the Village” — a project inspiring youth to take an in-depth look into their hometowns and learn about new professions. 

Although Ukraine and the outskirts of Kyiv are becoming increasingly urbanised, adolescents within rural regions still face the issue of finding employment and a suitable profession. Most of them dream of moving to a big city to start a career without realising the unique opportunities available in their rural towns. Agricultural work is typically deemed dull and dated by younger generations who perceive it as solely caring for pastures and animals – but this is far from the case! Today we’ll be discussing a new project that is bringing agricultural science to the forefront of young people’s minds. 

 

The Project

The project’s name is “Tower, Gardens, and Music of the Village” (bashta, horodi ta muzyka sela in Ukrainian) and it was implemented in July this year in Muzychi and is set to run until December 2020. The program is the brainchild of local artist Alevtina Kakhidze and the NGO “Let’s Change The Village Together”, and it is also supported by the European Union under the House of Europe programme. In the programme, local youth are guided by scientists, new media artists, and an architect as they explore their surroundings, experiment, and learn about working with data and performative art.

 

Future Thinking

During a set of workshops, participants learn about different professions and what those jobs involve, such as the roles of biotechnologists, new media artists, urban architects, cross-industry analysts, and data visualisation specialists. The aim is to highlight the array of interesting opportunities that exist in this field of work and to inspire today’s youth to pursue one of these professions in the future. The youngsters also learn valuable career skills like creative thinking, information analysis and programming, and teamwork skills. 

 

Valuable Learnings

Throughout the workshops, students also do many different activities like measure the volume of frog calls and the eco-friendliness of tomatoes, make a high-quality recording of a beetle, count the number of composters in their village, and then convert all this information into art. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? Working with the data that they collect, students can further understand modern economic and environmental processes and draw conclusions all while using their village as a case study. Learning about the communities where they live also inspires them to take ownership and become a local changemaker. 

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Professional Guidance

In addition, participants have weekly meetings with their mentors where they learn new media art, work with data, work on the architecture of the future tower of the town, and take experiments with a biotechnologist. 

In September, Director of the National Antarctic Science Center Yevhen Dykyi will deliver a lecture for the participants of the project and the public in Muzychi. He’ll talk about how scientists are monitoring climate change and how two types of flowers growing in Antarctica are related to some species of flowers growing in a village outside of Kyiv. 

Overall, it’s a great initiative that not only supports the younger generation’s involvement in Ukraine’s agricultural development but one that helps widen their job prospects for the future. You can check out their Instagram page

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