Nea Kallikratia, Halkidiki Project, Youth empowerment in the Agri sector!

Meliha Esra İnan

I am Meliha Esra İnan, a third-year philosophy student at METU. I participated in the “Youth Agrihacking Talent” project in Thessaloniki on  10-17 February 2022. Primarily, I would like to thank the ANKA Project Team for providing me with the opportunity to participate in the youth exchange in Thessaloniki.

Thanks to this project, I had a chance to participate in many activities that opened my horizons on youth entrepreneurship in agriculture and having a pleasant time, making good friendships with participants from different nations, and getting to know other cultures. I can say that this one-week process was full of activities.

On the morning of the first day, after getting to know each other and melting the ice, we went down to the beautiful beach of Nea Kallikratia. We discussed our expectations, fears, and contributions, split into groups and took photographs of these topics in the open air. Then we presented the photos we took. Very original ideas and photos emerged. It was an absolute pleasure for me to learn something even from such an event.

In addition to such group physical activities, we listened to presentations on initiatives in the agricultural sector, projects, problems, and how improvements can be made. We held workshops to apply what we learned from these presentations. In 20-30 minutes, we prepared our own startup projects, made posters, and presented them to other participants. You cannot believe how creative you can be in these activities!!

All of the events were beautiful, but there were 2 of my favorites. We were divided into groups in the first one, and each group was given one pen. In about thirty minutes, we tried to exchange the pen for more valuable things by talking to people with our entrepreneurial spirit and using our persuasion ability. We talked to people from the public, shops, restaurants, markets, etc., we came across. It was a very interesting activity, and our group had one dice, one packaged cake, one ring, and a lighter instead of a pen at the end of the study.

My second favorite was the Scavenger Hunt, which we did as a group. Each group was given a simple sketch of where we were staying, and we had to go to certain places on the map and complete the missions to reach the finish point. Each completed task was related to the other. While doing these tasks, you could find the opportunity to gain general knowledge about the agricultural sector in the world, on the issues to be considered in the agricultural industry.

Furthermore, we toured Thessaloniki one day during the project. It was wonderful to discover a new city, taste new flavors, and discover the region’s history with an excellent team. Last but not least, one of the most beautiful aspects of the project was the cultural nights held in the evening of every day. Each evening, there was a country presentation, and everyone tasted other countries’ local dishes. Participants gave general information about their country by making presentations. We tested this information by playing Kahoot, which created a sweet competitive environment. We tried to do traditional dances together. I had a great time with everything and made very nice friendships.

To sum up, we gained awareness about the problems in the agricultural sector, such as the climate crisis. At the same time, we organized activities that we learned by experiencing entrepreneurship through group activities. I had an enjoyable time and learned a lot in every respect. Learning by having pleasure and experiencing was amazing!

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