The rural heritage, a challenge for creative youngsters

In the context of poverty, lack of diverse educational offers, as well as lack of employment opportunities in rural areas, which lead to serious effects such as prompting youngsters to leave the rural communities and go to other countries further and further away, the Regional Centre of Resources for Non-Governmental Organisations – CENTRAS Constantza developed—with the financial support of the European Commission through Youth in Action Programme, between 15 August 2009 and 15 December 2010—a project for the development of creative and entrepreneurial skills of 45 youngsters, aged 15-18, from 3 rural communes of Constantza county (Topraisar, Mihai Viteazu and Techirghiol). The project aimed to take advantage of both their personal resources and the rural heritage’s resources- the two essential prerequisites for durable rural development.

Both in the planning phase of the project and in its implementation, we encountered in the rural communities included in the programme a need for development of youngsters’ creativity, as an important resource for creating economic opportunities for them and their communities. Many youngsters are inhibited in finding motivations of any kind, especially economic, to remain in their communities. That’s why most of them plan on leaving. Having lost, in this way, a creative and productive human resource, the local community loses the most important development resource, ages and slowly disappears physically and culturally.

Creativity is a person’s most important resource, necessary in the personal and professional life, and is closely related to uninhibiting the inner Free Child which, due to the requirements and social norms, each of us often replaces with the condition of a critical Parent or with a very serious Adult who forgets to smile, to play, to create. The poor development of the inner Free Child is due firstly to the home education, the type of relationship developed with family members of origin, the messages transmitted by them during the process of emotional development of the child, an anxious or resistant attachment promoted by the mother, instead of a warm and stable attachment, the excessive liberties or, on the contrary, the parental prohibitions which do not allow the development of the child’s autonomy. The stable attachment is a very important life skill and represents the foundation for an adaptive and flexible social networking of the child. This life skill materialises around the age of 4 or 5, through constant relationships—stable and nutritious from an emotional standpoint—with an adult or with their counterpart. In these relationships the child should be able to express himself/herself at cognitive, emotional and behavioural levels and is further assisted during the entire course of development. In the absence of such attachment, deviant behaviours and juvenile delinquency are likely to occur.

The life model provided by the parents themselves to their children and the type of relationship between parents and children in the rural areas, the presence or absence or parents (many of them being gone on shorter or longer periods of time to closer or very remote areas/countries), their ability of emotional expression and communication plays a very important role in the structuring of the youngster’s personality. Unfortunately however, most of the time parents are overwhelmed with daily worries and financial problems, forget to give themselves to their children and offer them in return substitutions for their presence, such as clothes, material comfort, pocket money, latest-generation computers which occupy their child’s time, very expensive phones, grandmothers or aunts as babysitters. They hope that all this will compensate their love. However, one day they discover that the relationship with their own child has changed, or there is no longer any relationship, and it’s hard for them, sometimes even next to impossible, to pass along values and life principles to their children and to teach them how to love. Parents suddenly realise they have a child stuck in violent and misfit reactions, devoid of creativity and unable to find alternatives and solutions, a child who only asks or expects... and they believe this is not fair...

Therefore the idea of this project is to meet the need to develop the creativity as an important resource in order to improve the life quality in rural areas through awareness of blockages having occurred during their life. This is accomplished by unleashing the resources, developing the thinking along alternatives and the motivation to find creative solutions and to remain in the community of origin, realising that the country life offers as many advantages as the urban life.