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  • Meghann Ormond

Rural Migrantour


Rural Migrantour is an #ErasmusPlus KA2 project that brings together Terra Vera (Slovenia), Stichting Pocket Stories (The Netherlands), Viaggi Solidali (Italy), Paths of Greece (Greece), LAG Svilengrad (Bulgaria), Foundation Nuto Revelli (Italy) and Jungi Mundu (Italy).


Its goal is not only to expand the thriving #Migrantour responsible tourism network (https://lnkd.in/evc7je6q) but also, for the first time, to develop rural guided walking tour routes that recognise and honour the role of human migration in the rich cultural and natural heritages of rural areas throughout Europe.


I'm part of #ruralmigrantour through my ongoing work with Stichting #PocketStories (the foundation behind #rootsguide - www.rootsguide.org). In this project, Ingi Mehus and I help to facilitate the members' learning process, supporting the development of participatory research and design skills and competencies necessary for the co-creation of Migrantour guided walking tours in the five countries involved. As an educator and action researcher at #wageningenuniversity working on the intersections of #migration and #tourism, I'm also involved in this project to learn about how partners develop these new Rural Migrantour guided walking tour routes.


From 3-7 April 2022 #devoorkamer's Yetunde Oludare and I represented Pocket Stories in Rural Migrantour's first IRL gathering in Kostanjevica na Kriki, a beautiful little town on the Slovenian-Croatian border at the very tip of the Balkans that's home to Jana Milovanović, the Rural Migrantour project leader and director of Terra Vera. The town - surrounded by forest, strawberry fields and vineyards - is located along the Balkan Route taken by many seeking asylum in Europe. It is also the site of the famed international wood sculpture park Forma Viva that has brought artists from around the world since the 1960s together to explore politics through art.


During our time together, I had the honour to co-design and facilitate some of Rural Migrantour project members' engagement in an intensive 3-day-long experiential learning process designed to develop empathic listening, qualitative research, oral and visual storytelling, and #participatory mapping skills that ultimately enabled us to co-create a Rural Migrantour route in Kostanjevica na Kriki itself.


We came out of the training experience with a real sense of connection to each other and, despite the short time there, to Kostanjevica na Kriki. And we also emerged from it with strong motivation to bring our learnings back home and make something really meaningful together with our intercultural companions for Rural Migrantour participants.


My deep thanks to all of my amazing fellow Rural Migrantour project members and to our local guides, hosts and interviewees for an unforgettable week together full of good vibrations! #europe #diversityequityinclusion

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