On March 11, iiINTERest submitted to CISU an application for a completely new project, namely the After School Project.

The idea for the initiative was planted as early as 2014. At that time, four employees from Ahead’s management visited Denmark and paid a visit to the International College of Helsingør. Grundtvig’s ambitions to ensure lifelong learning and public enlightenment for the rural population have since been discussed and concretized among Ahead and iiINTERest until they have come to fruition in the form of a project proposal.

The Afterschool project targets poor young people with no upper secondary education, living in rural areas. Their low educational attainments exclude these young people from educating themselves further, thus providing them with less opportunities to be trained in a profession that can secure them a stable income in the rural areas. In addition, the educational materials used for public school education in rural areas are primarily aimed at an urban context, and therefore relate very little to the reality in which children and young people actually live. Many young men end up migrating to the cities in the hunt for work. This makes the situation even more difficult for the women and the weakest of the population, who do not easily travel and adapt to new working conditions. The Afterschool project aims to offer young people in rural areas a locally available opportunity to educate themselves and thereby create a basis of living in their local context.

The after-school concept has already been tested through previous projects, where the focus has been on teaching natural resources management and organic farming methods. The concept of an ​Afterschool has been met with great support from the locals in the project areas. Through village meetings, future students of the Afterschools have identified the competences, that they would like training in. Ahead has grouped these competencies into four different topics: methods of cultivation & management of small farms; health; local democracy & access to rights; and local culture & history.

The idea is to employ local resource persons with expertise in one or more of the above areas. In cooperation with the local authorities, these resource persons will teach young people without educational qualifications in the areas they live in. The training will take place at the premises of the local village schools after teaching hours, so that it does not coincide with neither the children’s education nor the participants’ working day.

The project can become an important component towards curtailing the trend of increasing migration from country to city by offering the young generation in the villages the technical skills needed to ensure them a working basis and more stable income opportunities in the rural areas. In addition, the project seeks to strengthen civil societies in the project areas and contribute to greater ownership over democratic decision-making processes in the rural population.

If CISU approves our application, the Afterschool project will be launched as of 1.7.2020 and extend until 31.12.2022. Our fingers are crossed!