European handicrafts in Daugavpils

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The society “Daugavpils jauniešu savienība” organized the international youth exchange project “Handmade. New vision” in Daugavpils from 09.12.2015 to 19.12.2015. There participated 30 youngsters from Latvia, Romania, Croatia, Spain and Poland. The aim of the present project was to promote the education of young people in the field of entrepreneurship, to develop the transversal skills of young people and to promote their employment solving the problem of youth unemployment. To achieve the stated aim the project organizers decided to involve all project participants in handicraft workshops. How successful was the idea and how it all happened you can find out in this article.

There were organized for youth from different European counties six different workshops in order to achieve the stated project aim, some of which were national and were proposed by the participants- representatives of different cultures. The variety of ideas helped the youth to create different handmade products, starting with the Christmas cards and finishing with the painted wooden toys, traditional in Croatia. Furthermore, the participation in these workshops was the first step of young people to the basics of entrepreneurship, because within the workshops they created the products for sale with their own hands.  The next step to the basics of entrepreneurship was the opening of Christmas fair, the main aim of which was to realize the created products and to collect money for charity. According to the opinions of project participants, exactly this fair, which was organized in Daugavpils Vienibas square, had the most powerful influence on them, because here they had to learn how to advertise their product and how to determine its price, how to attract people’s attention and to communicate with them and how find a common language. However, all these difficulties for young people were quite overcomed, and after a few hours they felt the spirit of entrepreneurship which lead to higher sales.

Besides the creative workshops and Christmas fair the project participants visited Daugavpils Clay Art centre. The employees of the centre enthusiastically told the guests about their centre and its work, showing them an example of a good practice in the field of traditional handicrafts. The participants visited also the local Ice Palace; many of them were there for the first time.

The society „Daugavpils jauniešu savienība” and its partners believe that this project left an unforgettable influence on the life of each project participant. Many of them improved their transversal skills and got inspiration for new ideas that probably may develop into a business in the future.