Freedom, spare time and progress require new solutions
‘’The young people in the rural areas cannot get to the leisure activities they wish to attend to, parents are driving themselves to fatigue, transport to – and from school is a huge challenge, and we’re having a hard time maintaining and attracting families with young people. We don’t know for sure if this project is going to succeed, but to me it looks probable, and unless the municipality has any better alternatives, I would recommend the politicians to participate in the project. We’re in need of solutions!’’
These were the words of the chairman of the rural area districts’ council in Billund municipality at a Young Villagelift arrangement at Billund town hall 12th of May, and it tells very well about the challenges the Mini Young Villagelift projects are designed to ease. The purpose of the projects is to give young people in the rural areas equal freedom as their peers in the cities, when it comes to choosing sports – and other leisure activities. It is designed to give young people more freedom, to help their parents get more spare time and to help the local community maintain and attract families with young people. Overall the projects help local communities to progress.
The public transport cannot solve the problem, but can the local community solve it themselves? The local community’s cars are shuttling between rural area and cities with free seats, so the solution exists. The question is, whether the local community’s adults are willing to give a lift to the local community’s young people, and whether the young people are willing to drive with other adults.
The solution is practical – and safe driving-friends
Young people and parents agree that the problem can be reduced or solved with ridesharing, where the parents and the young people establish practical and safe friendships.
And the interest is there. For young people, driving-friends could mean less dependence on parents, but parents and young people also believe that driving-friends in general could give the young people better opportunities to participate in leisure time activities, which in most cases are in the cities. Parents to the young people in rural areas admit that parents’ driving to school and leisure time is both an economic burden and moreover, it also makes it hard to make a busy everyday life run smoothly.
The Mini Young Villagelift project
The Mini Young Villagelift project is designed with the purpose of establishing safe friendships in the rural areas’ local communities.
The project starts with a workshop, where the purpose is to establish understanding about how students, their parent, teachers and the school together can get the local engagement and participation that is necessary to solve the problem.
In the workshop we will present activities and tools designed to establish understanding and commitment, as well as the Coofle Driving Friends App that is designed to establish practical driving-friendships. Practical driving-friendships will be created across the safe communities in the young people’s classes, in their sports-teams and other young local– and spare time communities.
In the workshop there will typically be 2-4 local community young people, their parents, a representative for the neighborhood council or another society, and a school leader.
From GreenDriveThinking there will be two persons. An adult Young Villagelift Consultant, who is the facilitator of the workshop, and also a Young Villagelift Youth ambassador (aged 14-21), who will participate in group work with the young people about designing their own Mini Young Villagelift project for the local community.
The purpose of the workshop is that the participants from the local community in the end has to make a decision about what they wish to do next. If the local community decide to start a Mini Young Villagelift project, the local community’s young people can draw on experience, good advice and material from the GreenDriveThinking consultants and through them, from similar projects from other local communities.
Coofle VIP App (The Calculator)
The workshop and the following work at schools and educational institutions gives the young prople the possibility to ask their parents some relevant questions like:
- Mom, how much time do you spend driving me during a week?
- What do you think the fuel cost?
- What does your time cost?
- Do you know if there is someone nearby I can drive with, or whether we can have someone with us?
- This is just a beginning, but if many adults with car sign on to the Coofle Driving Friends App, we can get the “Intelligent Coofle” App, and make it possible for me to get a safe shared ride three out of four times I need it. What do you think that could mean for our household economy?
To try the calculator click here
Download data from your class or the entire school
When both the young people and their parents have entered their data into the Coofle VIP Calculator, the data can be used during class teaching, for example in math, geography or biology lessons, where both the economy and CO2 subjects can be discussed.
Coofle Driving Friends
The Coofle Driving Friends app will show the young people, where classmates and students from other classes in their school lives. Parents and other adults with cars join classes as “safe followers” of the school classes. This part of the workshop is all about getting the young people AND their parents to log on to the Coofle Driving App and create the safe groups that they should be a member or follower of. The immediate benefit is that children, young people and their parents can find safe ride-sharing friends. In addition to this, the young and their parents get a class and phone list, that they don’t have to maintain themselves. Both young and parents can also find out who is living in their Neighborhood, where they are working and where they have their leisure activities.
Click here to watch the video (Danish – coming in English soon)
What you pay for
The workshop includes the Coofle VIP App (The Calculator), the Coofle Driving Friends app, a GreenDriveThinking consultant and a Young Villagelift Youth Ambassador that can talk directly to the young people.
Read the program here
After the workshop is completed, adults and young have a “hot-line” to call for support and discussions about their local project.
The local community must find participants for the workshop. We recommend the following:
- 2-4 young people between 15-17 that is living in rural areas and has a transportation problem
- Parents , that recognize that parents driving with young people is a challenge
- A representative from the local community that consider missing transportation opportunities a limitation for local development
- A school principal or representative from the local school
- Possibly one or more representatives from the municipality
Price and financing
The price for the workshop including everything: € 2.500 kr. excl. VAT, transportation and accommodation.
There are several funding possibilities. The purchaser can be anyone (local association, municipality, school, etc.) A school can be a preferred purchaser, but the purchase can then be funded or co-funded by sponsors or by requesting co-financing from the municipality, etc. Please contact us for further information about this. We can assist in search of financing, especially where local companies can get a good marketing value both locally and through national/international GreenDriveThinking exposure.
Next steps after the workshop, is activities in the community to reach the 34% adult participation. That will take time, but the goal should be to reach this before the anticipated release of the intelligent Coofle App January 2018. It should also be mentioned, that bike initiatives etc, would be a natural part of local projects. (See “Intelligent Coofle” Screenshot here)