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New Activists For Rural Development- Meet Kristin Langer from the Netherlands

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I am a young activist working on a more inclusive sustainable future. I am from Germany, but I have lived in the Netherlands for the last two years. Before the lockdown I used often move between urban and rural areas of  Germany, Netherlands and Italy, where my activities, families and friends are.

I developed my working experience in a cross-border project (“onbegrensd”) for youngsters, mainly in rural areas at the Dutch-German border, focusing specifically on their wishes and needs. In 2019 I had the chance to join the Dutch Delegation for the European Rural Parliament in Asturias, Spain, where I got very inspired and deepened my activities in relation to rural development afterwards.

I have a professional background in the development of projects regarding inclusion and empowerment. I graduated with a Master`s Degree in Social Inclusion: Education and Health in Social Work at the University for Applied Science in Bochum, Germany.

During my Master’s thesis, I had the chance to identify strategies to empower people with intellectual disability for the labour market in the field of agriculture, in cooperation with the Hugenote Kollege Wellington, South Africa. I learnt a lot about community development, and I investigated gaps of the labour market in terms of gender equality and accessibility.

I am currently working as a research associate for the NGO “Fachstelle Interkulturelle Mädchenarbeit NRW” based in Germany, initiating inclusion projects for girls with disabilities from migration backgrounds. I work to create awareness about gender equality and women´s rights at the local, national and international level. Moreover, I started my own Social Initiative “aLLe” by “Krila” thanks to the European program “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” in Netherlands. Together with different stakeholders, I create inclusive projects and accessible workshops for political, cultural participation as well as inclusive education for sustainable development (ESD). In my freetime I am active in an inclusive permaculture community garden in the Netherlands.

I am grateful to be part of an international youth network with 15 countries, called Generation Europe, funded by the International Association for Education and Exchange (IBB e.V.) to further an active European Citizenship. The project is focusing on underrepresented youths in international projects, targeting young people from rural areas as well as those with flights experiences or broken educational biographies. In the last three years I helped youngsters from Germany, Belarus and Italy to identify local problems, support each other in their local projects and meet in international encounters.

My parents were always supporting me to take action for change. It is also nice to see that some family members have moved (back) to rural areas, where my family was originally from. They support me especially through exchange of thoughts, discussing solutions and showing support for my mission.

My professional goal for the nearest future is to start a barrier-free intergenerational project in a rural area, accessible by climate-friendly transport solutions, offering garden for education for sustainable development, with space for art and music activities, workshops and international meetings. It would be combined with an inclusive organic coffee bar where people from different backgrounds find work and get support in their future plans. In any case, I plan to learn and stay active as much as possible in the areas mentioned. In the current future, I am planning a music camp for girls and young women from Germany and Netherlands and involve more countries in the future. Together with the “MädchenMusikAkademie NRW” we want to invite girls* and young women* to do music together and empower each other in 2022. If you know some girls and women who play music or want to learn an instrument, I would be delighted to hear from you!

Contact:  kristinlanger@gmx.de