This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. The author is solely responsible for this publication (communication) and the Commission accepts no responsibility for any use may be made of the information contained therein. In compliance of the new GDPR framework, please note that the Partnership will only process your personal data in the sole interest and purpose of the project and without any prejudice to your rights.

Val Robus - May 2023

The ACORN project aims to engage, empower, and inspire young people in rural areas to become active citizens, co-creators, and implementers of rural development initiatives. The ACORN – Activating Young Rural Development project partners went to Malta for a learning exchange meeting recently. Laurence and Aoife went on behalf of Momentum and Aoife has written more about the event:

We had an incredible few days in Malta and we’d like to say a big thank you to Antoine and Christian from VisMedNet for being incredible hosts and for showing the partners of the ACORN Project your beautiful Country.

The first morning started off with a stunning ferry ride across the port from Sliema to Valletta, what a way to arrive at our office for the day in the Valletta Design Cluster.  Momentum and Roscommon Leadership Partnership kicked off the meeting with a project management workshop and the partners spoke in detail about the ACORN Work Packages (stay tuned for these as we release them). The primary focus of the meeting was learning and exchange, so we swapped information surrounding the strengths and weaknesses for each country’s youth.

VisMetNet had then organised a wine and Hyperlocal olive oil tasting at Tan Nixxiegha Olive Grove in Bingemma with Christian from Merill Rural Network. The wine was made with grapes produced from vines that grow on the local farm, which are pressed and bottled on site. It was a fascinating look into a rural business. Tan Nixxiegha Olive Grove was founded in 2000, when brothers Charlie and Raymond, acquired a patch of land for the cultivation of olive trees in Binġemma.

We enjoyed sampling locally made bread with gorgeous toppings, including capers, olives, hummus, and sheep’s cheese. The sheep’s cheese was made three days before the tasting. Charlie gave us a guided tour of the grove and told us more about the variety of fruit and flower that they grow there. We also learned about the native Maltese Black Hen, they are a rustic breed that are raised both for eggs and meat on local farms.

On our second day of the Meeting, we were taken to the Centre for Agriculture, Aquatics and Animal Sciences also known as MCAST in Qormi, where we learned all about agriculture in Malta. Some of the many facts that were learned were that the Maltese government have financial support in the form of grants for the youth of Malta to help them to start farming, though the cost of land far outweighs the benefits of grants available to the Maltese youth. Interestingly, all animals have to be housed inside all year round due to the ground levels being very high in nitrates.

VisMedNet had organised a Pastizzi Hands-On Workshop for lunch. We watched a demonstration and then we all got to make our own Pastizzi, which is a traditional savoury pastry. After our lunch they had organised for a local Francesco who is a musician and Traditional Instrument maker to play some of the traditional instruments for us.

We loved our visit to Malta and we are very grateful to VisMedNet for this wonderful experience, we came away inspired for our work on the ACORN Project. 

Welcome to a world where heritage meets innovation, where the past and future intertwine to create something truly remarkable. This is the vision of the ID20 Institute, a pioneering organisation nestled in the heart of Idrija, Slovenia. With its rich history as a former global mercury mining powerhouse and its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Idrija provides the perfect backdrop for the groundbreaking work of the ID20 Institute.

Our Inspiration

The drive to push the boundaries of heritage innovation led a group of dynamic young entrepreneurs and enthusiasts to establish the ID20 Institute. Their mission? To fuse the rich tapestry of Idrija's heritage with cutting-edge technology, fostering groundbreaking advancements in business, service, and creativity sectors.

Why Collaborate with ID20?

Professionalism at Its Core

Personalised Project Management

The Power of Collaboration

Unwavering Commitment

The Backbone: Idrija 2020 Association

The roots of ID20 lie in the Idrija 2020 Association, which brings together over 40 young activists and supporters. Since its inception in 2012, the association has been a catalyst for youth development, focusing on areas like local strategic development, entrepreneurship, and heritage revitalisation. Its ultimate goal is to transform Idrija into a youth-friendly municipality.

With the founding of the ID20 Institute, the association extends its reach, dedicating resources to research, promote, and support the next level of cultural heritage innovation.

Join Us in Shaping the Future

The ID20 Institute stands at the forefront of blending heritage with innovation, charting a new course for Idrija and beyond. Whether you're a professional, entrepreneur, or enthusiast in the realms of heritage, business, or creative sectors, we invite you to join us in this exciting journey. Together, we can take heritage innovation to new height.

Click HERE to find our more!

ACORN is a two year project funded through the Erasmus+ Programme. Activating Young Rural Development (ACORN) is a landmark project for European Year of Youth 2022 which will develop a new suite of resources including a transferable mechanism for youth inclusive rural development in Europe. Championed by partners in four European regions during the lifetime of the project.

We had our young people participate with a survey through the ACORN Project. The main objective of the survey was to explore the issues and opportunities of youth engagement in rural development and uncover best practices, which will hopefully engage, empower and inspire rural young people to become active citizens, co-creators and implementers of rural development initiatives.

On the 6th of April 2023, Roscommon Leader Partnership (RLP) had their suck valley way conference. Mark Dolan, Olivia Dunn and Katie Cronin spoke on a panel where the discussed their experiences in the National Rural Youth assembly and ACORN Erasmus+ project they have recently participated in along with their view of being a young person living in Rural Ireland.

Mark, Olivia and Katie are actively participating with local community development groups to further the progression of their community while also assisting in line with the ACORN Erasmus+ Project and with the local and economic plan with LEADER. In line with the Rural Futures policy these young people are making strides along with their peers in youth participation.

During the conference they answered questions directed to them but they also had an open floor discussion. It was an opportunity for the young people to be heard and give their feedback on advancements which they felt needed to be overcome to make rural areas more attractive for young people to live and work.

On Thursday the 11th of May we had the pleasure of having Minister Humphreys officially open up The Cube Flexi Space building in Roscommon town. She got to visit multiple projects that Roscommon Leader Partnership had to offer. This included our Erasmus+ Project ACORN, where we showcased what it had to offer and how we incorporated our young people into it.

During Minister Humphreys visit to The Cube Flexi Space, she got to visit over a dozen community groups and enterprises who work within the centre. This visit provided a chance to highlight the dedication of workers, board members, and volunteers who all contribute significantly to the growth and wellbeing of their local communities. Furthermore Minister Humphreys, opened up The Phoenix Youth and Community Hub in Ballaghaderreen, and The Digital Hub in Ballinlough.

The ACORN Erasmus+ Project will run until September 2024. More details about the project are available on the project website.

About Roscommon Leader Partnership:

Roscommon Leader Partnership seeks to champion needs responsive, local yet outward looking development initiatives which focus on improving the quality of life in Co. Roscommon for all. We provide practical and needed supports including grants, training, work placement and advice to community and voluntary groups, social inclusion target groups, small businesses, farm families and businesses and potential entrepreneurs. We also collaborate with a wide range of local organisations in the delivery of our services.
© 2024 ACORN. All rights reserved.