Agriculture and Tourism In Slovakia

The purpose of this visit was to look at agriculture and tourism in Bratislava and surrounding areas in preparation for agricultural study visits in 2016.

Slovakia is a central European country known for its dramatic natural landscape and many castles. The alpine like region of the High and Low Tatra mountains are a popular tourist attraction for hikers and climbers all over the world.

The capital city, Bratislava sits on the Danube river with Bratislava Castle on the hill overlooking the city. Bratislava city is less than one hour from Vienna, Austria. The small Carpathian region is famous for its wine production where the most famous producers of top-class Slovak wines are based.

The programme included a visit to a unique farm with sheep breeding, sheep cheese production and beef animal export across Europe. Traditional music and craft demonstration. A walking city tour of Bratislava, the UNESCO Banska Stiavnica with short falconry show, a tour and workshop in a ceramic factory and tour of a modern winery. The visit also included inspection of hotels and restuarants available for group visits.

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European Network of Women from Rural Areas (ENWRA): Project Findings

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The purpose of this two year funded project through Grundgtvig Lifelong Learning was to look at the issues that face women finding employment or setting up their own business in rural areas. The project partners from Spain, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Germany, Cyprus and the UK took part in study visits hosted in each of their regions to explore the common issues facing women seeking employment in rural areas, how the problems had been addressed in each region and to share best practice that could be transferred to other regions. Continue reading

Portuguese High School Visit London: Language and Culture

At the end of April 2015 a group of students and their teachers from Escola Secundária de Oliveira do Bairro visited London to develop their English language skills and to explore British culture. Before their visit the students prepared for their visit by researching some of the famous sites in London and each day helped to plan which sites to visit. The group arrived the weekend of the London marathon and walked from the Tower of London to Westminster. As well as sightseeing they were able to see the first runners and to cheer the runners near the end of their run making their way to the finish line at Buckingham.

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The students visited the Tower of London, saw HMS Belfast, a former Royal Navy cruiser from the 2nd World War and the Mayor of London’s famous glass building and the 87-storey Shard. They walked past the famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Golden Hind, which circumnavigation the globe between 1577 and 1580, captained by Sir Francis Drake. After crossing the Millennium Bridge the group had a picnic lunch before visiting St Paul’s Cathedral and back to visit the Tate Modern Art Gallery. The group enjoyed learning the the nicknames of some of the new modern buildings in the city area including the ‘cheese grater, ‘the walkie talkie’ and the ‘gherkin’.

One of the highlights for the students was the see the London Eye and ‘Big Ben’ at the houses of Parliament where they watched the end of the marathon some very exhausted runners, some running in fancy dress. The group ended the day seeing Trafalgar Square before visiting China Town.

The second day started with a visit to the Natural History Museum with exhibits on animals, plants, geology, paleontology and climatology. One of the most famous exhibits is a 105-foot (32 m) long replica Diplodocus carnegii skeleton, situated within the central hall known as ‘Dippy’. The most enjoyable are the sate of-the-art interactive exhibits especially the roaring T-Rex in the dinosaur area. Then a trip to Harrods before Buckingham Palace, a walk through Hyde Park before reaching the popular Oxford Street for some souvenir shopping. In the evening the group walked along Regents Street then back to Piccadilly for dinner.

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ENWRA European Network for Women from Rural Areas: Project Meeting Cyprus 29 – 31 March 2015

ENWRA is a trans national project exploring the issues women face in rural areas with partners from Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Poland, Turkey and the UK.

The project started in October 2013 with the first meeting in Spain. This purpose of this meeting in Cyprus was to review what had been achieved during the project before the final meeting and visit takes place in Poland in June 2015.

One of the main tasks was the development of a website to share the activities undertaken by the partners during the term of the project. The ENWRA website provides background information to the project, the work plan and meetings that took place in with newsletter and pictures.

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Meetings and visits to other project partners take place on the following dates:
Spain 9 – 13 October 2014
Cyprus: 6 – 9 February 2014
Northern Ireland 4 – 8 June 2014
Hungary 1 – 4 August 2014
Turkey 9 – 13 October 2014
Germany 10 – 14 December 2014
Cyprus 29 – 31 March 2015
Poland 19 – 22 June 2015

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This project is funded under the Lifelong learning Programme. Disclaimer: “ This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”

ENWRA European Network for Women from Rural Areas: Project Meeting Germany 10 – 13 December 2014

In December it was the turn of the German partner to host a visit to Welver-Dinker, a rural area in the district of Soest.

The visit to Germany was the fifth visit to take place between the partner of the ENWRA project, part of a programme of visits funded through The European Network of Women from Rural Areas (ENWRA) which is a partnership between organisations in Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Poland, Turkey and Northern Ireland.

The visit began with a formal meeting to discuss the project work plan and to review the objectives which had been achieved and what needed to be completed. After the meeting participants had the opportunity to meet women from this rural area. Visits included a visit to a real shop where a women sold English decorations, a woman’s farm and agricultural business models for apartments and rentals.

The group heard from Rural Youth, and from young women of Lohne before enjoying a performance of the men’s choir from Dinker.

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Newspaper/ Press Report on Study Visit to Germany

Meetings and visits to other project partners take place on the following dates: Spain 9 – 13 October 2014 Cyprus: 6 – 9 February 2014 Northern Ireland 4 – 8 June 2014 Hungary 1 – 4 August 2014 Turkey 9 – 13 October 2014 Germany 10 – 14 December 2014 Cyprus 29 – 31 March 2015 Poland 19 – 22 June 2015

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This project is funded under the Lifelong learning Programme. Disclaimer: “ This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”

Portuguese Students Visit London

From the 2 – 5 December 2014 a group of 21 students from Escola Secundária de Oliveira do Bairro visited London. The students represented three professional courses in Travel Marketing; Laboratory Analysis and industrial Maintenance and proved to be model guests to the UK who were respectful, thoughtful and interested in everything they saw.

Before arriving in London the students had prepared for their visit by researching all the key sites and had produced their own guide to the city. At the beginning of each day the students helped to plan and agree the sites to be visited. Students were appointed to take it in turn to plan the route using the London underground and lead the group using the various colour coded tube lines. At each site the students were responsible for explaining the history and interesting facts to their peers in English.

The students and their teachers enjoyed a very full 4 day programme which included all the major sites in London. On the first day the group completed a walking tour of Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, some of the most recognised sites in London. They walked to the London Eye before crossing the Thames to Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly, Regent’s Street, Oxford Street and Marble Arch on the way back to their accommodation in Bayswater Road.

On the second day the group began with a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral before walking across the millennium Bridge to visit the Tate Modern Art Gallery. After visiting the Gallery they carried on along the Southbank of the Thames past Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Golden Hind, famous for circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580, captained by Sir Francis Drake and HMS Belfast, a former Royal Navy cruiser from the 2nd World War. Lunch was a picnic outside the Mayor of London’s famous round glass building overlooked by the Shard, an 87-storey skyscraper before walking across Tower Bridge and around the Tower of London. They learned the nicknames of some of the new modern buildings in the city area including the ‘cheese grater, ‘the walkie talkie’ and the ‘gherkin’. In the afternoon the group visited the Science Museum which was founded in 1857 and attracts 3.3 million visitors each year. The museum covers all areas of science and technology and includes an interactive learning area where you can explore their skills in carrying out repetitive activities to determine how well we pay attention in activities!

In the evening the group had the opportunity to visit the famous Covent Garden area which was originally a fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site. The final visit was to Chinatown, with over 80 restaurants showcasing some of London’s finest and most authentic Asian cuisine.

On the third and final day before departure the students began the day with a visit to the Natural History Museum with exhibits on animals, plants, geology, paleontology and climatology. One of the most famous exhibits is a 105-foot (32 m) long replica Diplodocus carnegii skeleton, situated within the central hall known as ‘Dippy’. The most enjoyable are the sate of-the-art interactive exhibits especially the roaring T-Rex in the dinosaur area.

In the afternoon some students enjoyed a visit to Madam Tussaud museum to have their pictures taken with some famous wax models from politics, music and film including Justin Bieber, One Direction, President Obama and Princess Diana while others spent their time at ‘Winter Wonderland’ in Hyde Park. This Wonderland is a regular yearly feature for Christmas with fairground, Christmas Markets, ice rink and a range of festive food cafes and restaurants.

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ENWRA European Network for Women from Rural Areas: Project Visit Turkey 8 – 13 October 2014

enwra_5The European Network of Women from Rural Areas (ENWRA) is a partnership between organisations in Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Poland, Turkey and Northern Ireland.

Heather McLaughlin, The Rural Centre is the Northern Ireland partner and over the next two years will work with the other six partners to look at the problems women face creating employment in rural areas and how to overcome them. Over the 2 year project each of the partners hosts a visit to their region to share how women develop business ideas in rural areas. Visits have taken place in Spain, Cyprus, Hungary and N Ireland. In October it was the turn of the partners from Turkey to host a visit to their region of Konya.

Heather was accompanied by Shauna Gallagher from Nature’s Inspiration who hosted the group at her shop in the Buttermarket, Enniskillen during their visit to Fermanagh in June 2014 where they met and visited a number of women entrepreneurs.

The ENWRA partnership is funded through Grundgtvig Life Long Learning Programme to deliver a programme of meetings and visits hosted by each of the seven partners to their regions to provide women with the opportunity to look at how women create employment in rural areas.

In Turkey the participants visited the Department of education and Komek Centre which provides vocational training for women. The main challenges faced by women included an outflow of young people to cities seeking education and employment due to a shortage of opportunities in their own area. The older women who were left in rural areas tended to work in factories and very few had set up their own business even though they were skilled in local crafts such as dress making, sticking and art. Because of lack of women entrepreneurs in the area to act as role models to show what was possible the women did not value these skills as the potential to create employment for themselves. There still existed poor local infrastructure to support women who wanted to work with limited local transport and a lack of affordable childcare to support women who wanted to work.

Video of Turkey

Newspaper/ Press Report of study visit to Turkey

Meetings and visits to other project partners take place on the following dates: Spain 9 – 13 October 2014 Cyprus: 6 – 9 February 2014 Northern Ireland 4 – 8 June 2014 Hungary 1 – 4 August 2014 Turkey 9 – 13 October 2014 Germany 10 – 14 December 2014 Cyprus 29 – 31 March 2015 Poland 19 – 22 June 2015 EU_flag_LLP_EN-01

This project is funded under the Lifelong learning Programme. Disclaimer: “ This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”