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RUBY Project 2024 – Rural-UrBan Youth Connection

RUBY Project 2024 – Rural-UrBan Youth Connection

The first Erasmus+ project for the Alba Eglesia Foundation 

The Alba Eglesia Foundation will participate in its first Erasmus+ project, “Youth Exchange RUBY: Rural-UrBan Youth Connection”, acronym RUBY, as a partner organisation. The project won funding within the Erasmus+ Programme, KA151-YOU – Accredited projects for youth mobility, in 2023.

The consortium leader of the project is ICSE & Co – International Centre for Southern Europe – Italy. The partners of the project are: European Academy of Strategic Training and Business (EAST) from Croatia, Alba Eglesia Foundation – Fundația Alba Eglesia from Romania, Cēsu Novada Vecpiebalgas Apvienības Pārvalde from Latvia, and Asociación Rumbo A Europa from Spain.


Topic of the project 
The RUBY project aims to create a dialogue between youth from rural areas and urban areas on the topic of sustainable tourism. The young participants will discuss the effect of mass tourism, the environmental, social and economic impact of tourism, how travel and tourism can become more sustainable, how young people relate to sustainability, how young people from both rural and urban areas can works together to promote sustainability, their reflections on the way society perceives and acts towards sustainable tourism and sustainability in general.

The project contributes to the European Youth Goals Agenda through the following elements:

  • Connecting EU with Youth: it allows participants from the 5 countries of the project to understand their role in Europe, to feel a sense of belonging and to connect with peers from European countries.
  • Inclusive Societies: it allows participants from different backgrounds to meet, debate and share ideas and solutions, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
  • Information & Constructive Dialogue: it ensures young people have better access to reliable information, supports their ability to evaluate information critically and engage in participatory and constructive dialogue.
  • Moving Rural Youth Forward: it provides young people from rural areas an opportunity to learn and to fulfil their potential.
  • Quality Learning: it integrates and improves different forms of learning, equipping young people for the challenges of today and tomorrow.
  • Space and Participation for All: it strengthens young people’s democratic participation and autonomy, provides youth spaces in tourism, an important area of European society and culture and creates a connection between rural youth and urban youth.
  • Sustainable Green Europe: it ensures young people are environmentally active, educated and able to make a difference in their everyday lives about the impact of tourism and the importance of sustainability.
  • Organisations & European Programmes: it allows equal access for young people from the partnering countries, youth organisations, non-governmental organisations and European youth programmes, building a society based on European values and identity.


Project activities
The project will consist of 2 main activities:

  • 1 Advance Planning Visit – APV – planned to take place between 9th and 11th of May 2024 – in which the group leader from each partnering organisation will come to Florence, Italy, discuss the details of the project, prepare the final logistics and present each organisation in an official meeting.
  • 1 Youth Exchange – planned to take place between 9th and 15th of June in 2024, in which the participants from Italy, Croatia, Romania, Latvia and Spain will participate at workshops and practical activities, make field visits, prepare intercultural nights, debate about the project topic and much more.


Estimated results and follow-up of the project
The project will have the following estimated results:

  • Increased knowledge of participants on sustainable tourism in Europe
  • Increased knowledge on how rural and urban communities implement sustainable practices in tourism
  • Mapping of local experiences – from rural and urban areas – that can enhance sustainable tourism
  • Mapping of tools that youth can use in making local tourism more sustainable, etc.


The follow-up process will consist of:

  • 1 Dissemination event in Viscri, Brașov county, in which the 6 participants from the project will present their experience from Italy to young people from the Bunești area
  • 1 Social media campaign to promote the project results and a media gallery of the project
  • 2 Website articles presenting the overall project, its partners and its results.


Selection of the young people and the designated group leader
Our organisation has published on its social media pages an open call for young people from Romania, from both rural and urban areas, resulting in the selection of 6 participants who will travel to the youth exchange. After evaluating the applications sent by the candidates, we selected 6 young people: Alexandra, Călina, Mihai, Gheorghe, Martin and Laura.

The 6 participants will be led by Elena Cautiș, the Romanian group leader. Elena Cautiș is a 28 years old PhD student within the programme “Environmental Sustainability and Wellbeing” organised by the University of Ferrara, Italy. Her PhD thesis is about interpretation of landmarks, heritage communities and sustainability. Elena has gained experience over the course of years by participating in projects related to culture, heritage, sustainable development, climate change and in international conferences such as Interpret Europe 2023 and ICOMOS GA Scientific Symposium 2023.

Elena has experience in coordinating workshops and international events for youth workers in the field of cultural and natural heritage within the network of HeritaGeeks – which she co-founded.

In the past, Elena was ambassador of the programme European Heritage Youth Ambassadors, organised by the Europa Nostra, the European Students’ Association for Cultural Heritage and the European Heritage Tribune, for which she published several articles. She was also a volunteer for the Mihai Eminescu Trust Foundation in Romania. Her main social media pages are: http://linkedin.com/in/elena-maria-cauti%C8%99-8656b3166 and https://www.instagram.com/elenacautis12/.


For more information, like and follow our Facebook and Instagram official pages 
Stay tuned for more updates on the project by liking and following our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/albaeglesia and our Instagram page – https://www.instagram.com/albaeglesia/. If you have any questions regarding the project, its activities and you are interested in knowing more about our organisation, do not hesitate to send us an email at contact@albaeglesia.org. As our organisation continues to grow, we are looking forward to becoming partners in more European projects and thus allowing more young people from Romania to participate in our open calls and get selected to travel in Europe and to enrich their knowledge and experience.


Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.