EPALE Focus Week: Learning communities in rural areas

From the 6th to 10th of June you can read inspiring contributions on EPALE about Learning communities in rural areas. Read, like and comment!

Focus Week Learning Communities in rural areas

While cities and metropolitan areas offer a wide range of educational opportunities and provide many lifelong learning opportunities, access to appropriate education and learning opportunities is often more difficult in rural areas. But here too, there are many inspiring initiatives and projects that help to create learning communities that are inclusive, open and promote shared learning. Shared learning in particular helps to use the experiences of others and to pass on one's own experiences in order to open up new thematic fields.

In order to present these initiatives, the EPALE teams from Austria, Belgium (NL), Finland, France, Germany, Hungary and Poland are dedicating this thematic week to the topic of learning communities in rural areas.

Together we want to look at rural areas and explore what innovative solutions adult education offers to promote lifelong learning in rural areas: How do lifelong learning initiatives in rural areas strengthen democratic structures and civic engagement? How is political education taught there? How can media literacy be taught in intergenerational learning communities?

In line with the theme week, an EPALE online discussion on "Learning Communities in Rural Areas" will take place on 8 June 2022. Join in!

Read more about the online discussion

Make a note of the thematic week and discover exciting contributions on EPALE from 6-10 June - read, like and comment and share your experiences!

06.06.2022 Monday


Learning communities in rural areas

Besides the application of an extensive and varied pedagogical methodology toolbox, the re-establishment of physical learning and educational venues with structures and rules to facilitate social encounters between people which are productive and free from fear is a primary requirement. Venues that will allow one to spend time with other people and in direct contact with each other.


06.06.2022 Monday


New knowledge is a chance for the countryside

More and more people living in the countryside are not engaged in farm work, and people who have been living in the countryside for many years are also gradually leaving agriculture. People who choose the countryside as a place to live are often looking for alternative sources of income and new ideas for living in the countryside, not necessarily related to agriculture. What educational activities can translate into positive changes in rural areas?


07.06.2022 Tuesday

Belgium - Flanders

Learning appetite nourished by an ecosystem

Flanders is a largely urbanised region and one of the most densely populated parts of Europe. Nevertheless, there are large local differences and we find especially in the west and the east some sparsely populated areas. There, the provision for adult education is low and the participation rate is in the same range. Learning Ecosystems can dynamise the supply and the learning culture in these areas.


08.06.2022 Wednesday


Martha activities on and offline – from Hyrynsalmi to Helsinki

The Martha Organization operates nationwide, but also in district associations, where the focus is on lifelong learning, togetherness and activities. Martha associations around Finland are also implementing different ways of learning online. Reija Salovaara, Director of Civic Activities and Communications at the Martha Organization, Maija Niskanen, Chair of the Hyrynsalmi Marthas, and Kaisa Salmu, Chair of the Oulunsuu Marthas, weigh the benefits of online training especially from the perspective of the people who live in these regions.


09.06.2022 Thursday


CEPAGE RURAL COMMUNITY CENTRE: a structure providing integration and training, nestled in the heart of the Alps

Discover the wealth of activities carried out by the centre, with a strong European focus.

Discussion with the two directors.


10.06.2022 Friday


EPALE Interview: Wendy Ramola – Village life, together & digital

Wendy Ramola has a degree in social economics and works as an educational assistant at the “Ländliche Erwachsenenbildung in Niedersachsen e.V.” (LEB). Her work focuses on advising groups, associations, institutions and municipalities on educational processes. In this context, she designs and organises political and media education projects in urban and rural areas. In the EPALE interview, she presents the digital village vehicle, which aims to bring people in rural areas together with an offer on media competence.


10.06.2022 Friday


Pasta Factory – “Pasta is all we knead – all year round!”

There is an ethnic German municipality in Hungary with ageing community where the Integrated Community and Service Space (ICSS) organizes communal activity in order to reach out to elderly people for recreating their own community. In this interview Izabella Bálint Zsoltné talks about this initiative and the way they could motivate the elderly people to become active. She also provides some advice for municipalities in a similar position.

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Oferta edukacyjna dla mieszkańców obszarów wiejskich zmienia się i ilościowo i jakościowo. Jest to też warunkowane zróżnicowaniem wiejskich społeczności. Ich mieszkańcy mają różne potrzeby i różne motywacje do podejmowania aktywności edukacyjnych. Jako mieszkankę wsi bardzo mnie cieszy, że sami mieszkańcy coraz cześciej rozpoznają swoje potrzeby rozwojowe i sami szukają sposobów ich realizacji. Okazuje się, że liderzy są wśród nas :)

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Bardzo się cieszę, że jest przestrzeń na tego typu tematy w społeczności EPALE. Edukacja na wsi to temat dość trudny i nie koniecznie satysfakcjonujący. Szanse tych, którzy edukują się na wsi, a także tych, którzy są tam edukatozami, są dużo bardziej ograniczone niż w przypadku dużych miast. Dlatego pokazywanie i inspirowanie, tych którzy zajmują się edukacją w małych społecznościach ma ogromny sens i jest bardzo potrzebne. Dobrze, że to robicie!

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