Help us support young people from Kavadarci, Macedonia through establishing a small organic farm
Who are we?
The youth center of creACTive in Kavadarci was established in 2009. Founded by the Youth Association creACTive (www.kreaktiv.mk
), it is still one of the few open youth centers in Macedonia.
Our youth center is open daily and it provides local young people with a safe space where they can spend their free time, socialize with their peers and develop their personal skills and competencies. The main aim of our work is to empower young people aged 13 to 25 through providing them with non-formal education and leisure time activities, as well as through involving them in international youth projects. The youth center is run by a highly diverse team consisting of local youth workers, EVS (European Voluntary Service) and American Peace Corps volunteers. Hundreds of young people attend our activities every year.
Why organic farming?
Kavadarci has always been an agricultural town. Many families depend on farming, which has traditionally been the most important sector of the economy. Unfortunately, despite the great agricultural potential that the town offers and the high level of unemployment, young people are less and less interested in farming and agriculture. In addition, in the whole town of 40 thousand people, there are only few certified organic farmers. This is why we would like to promote organic farming, especially among youth. We believe that it is a great opportunity for young people who want to start their own businesses and be self-employed. In the same time, it is great for the environment and for the whole community.
And not only that – through our previous work we have discovered that organic farming can be a great tool for developing young people’s skills and competencies. Working on a farm with their peers and under the supervision of youth workers, young people learn about team work and cooperation, develop a sense of responsibility and entrepreneurship, and become more prepared to enter the job market. Thus, starting a program in the field of organic farming in Kavadarci would have a positive impact not only on the use of organic methods in agriculture, but also on the personal development of hundreds of young people. If we succeed, our program will be a unique and highly effective example of sustainable youth work.
What is our idea?
We have been working in the field of organic farming for a couple of years already. In cooperation with local farmers, we have developed hosting projects for international volunteers, who would spend a month or two in Kavadarci helping the farmers with their everyday duties. The projects have been very successful and they inspired us to start thinking about establishing our own farm, which would allow us to do much more and to involve the local young people as well.
Our idea is to buy a piece of land near the town and to start growing various agricultural products in an organic way. Local farmers have already agreed to help with setting up the farm, and we only need funding to make it possible. If everything goes as planned, we will also set a stand at the local market in Kavadarci where we will sell our products – promoting organic farming and providing sustainability to our work.
In order to inspire other youth organizations and young people to start similar projects, we will document our work and will publish a handbook on how to start your own organic farm. Inspirational videos will be also prepared and distributed through the internet.
Why do we need funding?
First of all, we need funds to purchase the land. The size of the land will depend on the amount of money we manage to raise. Secondly, we need to buy the necessary tools and mechanization, as well as to build a storage shed where we would keep them. Initial investment is also needed for purchasing fertilizers and seeds, but also for setting up an irrigation system.
Once the farm is set and equipped, we will need some money for the on-going costs, such as water supply, transportation, seeds etc. Hopefully, the farm will soon start to create income, which we can use to cover the expenses and make additional investments. But the initial funding is crucial, and this is why we truly hope that this campaign will be successful. $8000 is the minimum we need properly start a farm, while any extra funds will allow us to purchase more land, tools and mechanization. If we don’t manage to raise the set amount, we will start on a smaller scale and we will try to provide additional funding afterwards. This is why we use flexible funding.
What do you get?
Apart from the regular updates on the project, which you will get by e-mail or in a video format, we are also offering you an exciting set of perks. Depending on the amount you decide to donate, you can get a postcard with a thank you note, souvenir from Kavadarci, unique handmade presents made by the young people from our youth center, the handbook that we are planning to publish, and even items such as Macedonian travel guides, CDs and DVDs.
If you live in Macedonia you can get a basket of our organic products, and if you are from another country then you can visit us. For our most enthusiastic contributors we are offering a free stay with a hosting family in Kavadarci, organized tour to our farm and around the town, wine tasting at a local winery and all the organic food you can eat while you are here. Don’t miss your chance to have a very unique holiday next summer!