Young people from the city stay with older people in rural areas, to create lasting connections between generations, preserve cultural heritage, and develop young people’s sense of belonging.
A MONTH IN A VILLAGE
The Granny Residence is a project that connects young people from cities and older people in depopulated villages in Bulgaria. The participants live for one month with the residents of these villages. The Granny Residence project is innovative because it connects both the youth with the elderly, and urban with rural culture. The aim is to preserve the cultural heritage and traditions of the country.
NEW IDEAS FOR TRADITIONAL SETTINGS
The project has been active for five years now, as over 50 young people have breathed life into depopulating villages in different regions of Bulgaria. It preserves traditions, develops a sense of belonging among young people, and creates lasting connections between two generations. Some of the activities of the groups of volunteer students during the programme include cleaning gardens, renovating buildings, and recreating old traditional customs together. New products, services and initiatives – based on local knowledge and the specific needs of the people in the villages – result from the interaction between the young urban visitors and the older rural residents.
PRESERVING TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Hundreds of locals in depopulated villages receive help and the opportunity to pass on their knowledge and way of life to the visitors, who in turn accept the mission to preserve this treasure and pass it on. In this way, young people become a cohesive force in the village, and the locals are delighted that new generations have an interest in their lives, their stories, and the preservation of their cultural heritage.
While there are civil rights that are geographically determined, it means that we deprive a huge number of people of the opportunity to choose a small village for their home or to live a dignified life in a rural area.