RDP project database
A Young Perspective on the Countryside (Een Jonge Kijk op het Platteland)
This Leader transnational cooperation (TNC) project inspired the rural youth of two LAG areas from Flemish Belgium and the Netherlands to both discover themselves and present to each other the potential of their own rural areas.
The idea for this initiative roots partly in activities undertaken by the NetNix foundation, which operates a regional platform for young people in the area of the Dutch partner LAG Noordoost-Friesland. Cooperating with education, government and business sectors, the purpose of NetNix is to capture the life and interests of young people on film and to use the internet or social network for dissemination. School and college students and professionals work together to deliver video documentations for the youth.
The objective of this project was to reduce the loss of knowledge about and the 'brain drain' from the countryside. Therefore, the Flemish-Dutch partnership's intention was to apply innovative ways to raise awareness among the youth about the possibilities and opportunities their region has to offer. More specifically, the project aimed to motivate young people to view the region in which they live from a different perspective, by inviting them to participate in the design and the production of a regional marketing campaign, and by encouraging them to do so by making use of information technology and social media tools.
Main Joint Activities
Young Belgians reflected on ways to visualise the Meetjesland, Leie en Schelde region, choosing from a range of themes (tourism, culture, landscape, housing, economics and education). In November 2011 they produced 3 videos. Thereafter, exchange visits between project participants from the Dutch and Flemish partner areas took place in March and May 2012. These were entirely planned by the youngsters of each LAG, and included school and local media contacts as well as visits to local sights.
Results and Transferability
Three movies introduce the North and South Meetjesland, as well as the Leie and Schelde area. Research enriched the knowledge of youngsters beyond the limits of their villages. The use of social media and film to communicate interesting local facts to their peers from North-East Friesland provided for a fresh complement to their curriculum. Aiming to ensure the exchange visits were as interesting as possible, Dutch and Belgian youngsters looked at their own region from a different perspective. The visits established the differences and similarities between the two regions, and the problems and benefits of living in rural areas. Images of the exchange visit have been posted on Facebook.
Pupils from Maldegem/Belgium remained motivated until the end, although their actual participation exceeded the 2 hours/week initially agreed to by their school. “Working with 18 instead of 16 year old may have had more impact on stopping the brain drain”, says the Flemish LAG coordinator. “Once going to college and getting to know the city, students better appreciate the quality of life in the countryside”, and she asks herself if the perception of the former participants is still the same.
Project location and other information
More Meetjesland and the Leie and Schelde project movies at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uqqh4S1TDrE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX0cN7j0O1w A compilation movie was produced to cover the project in its integrality. The project was also the subject of several broadcasts on regional television: https://boerenbuiten.be/movies/boer-en-buiten-2012-23-javi-tv/Exchange visit coverage: https://www.facebook.com/WeetjesOverDeMeetjes?ref=ts&fref=ts
Total project cost (€)
EAFRD contribution (€)
National contribution (€)
Other funding sources (€)
+32 9 379 77 28
Languages for contact
Original Language version
At a glance
Number of Partners
Final beneficiary type
Local Action Group, Other
€20 000 - €99 999
Theme / Measure:
Implementing the LEADER Approach
421. Implementing co-operation projects
Cooperation, Cultural heritage, Leader, Education, Young people