Who can join
The project seeks to be inclusive, so hosts may be anyone that has something different to teach and show relating to falconry. Hunting falconry would be prioritized in this regard, but falconry centers, raptor rehab stations, falconry hospitals, cultural or political institutions with a primary falconry focus would all be welcome to participate.
The coordination team would like to ask IAF national delegates to collaborate with us in recommending places and individuals that would be willing to participate. Initially, projects would ideally be vouched for by two people or entities known to one of the coordinators of the project, a national delegate, someone who has participated in IYEP previously, or a member of the IAF secretariat or a member organization. This would be to ensure that youths are put in touch with hosts that are known for their excellence and their disposition to transmit their art to the next generation on an international scale.
All youths between 18 and 30 years of age are encouraged to participate in this, but just like the hosts, it would be desirable for them to be recommended by two falconers known to IAF, its member organizations, national delegates, the coordinators or the IAF Secretariat. This is to ensure that falconers that are connected through the IYEP can contribute to lessening their host’s workload and already know some basic falconry techniques. The ethos behind the IYEP is to enhance and add to youth’s falconry knowledge, not to teach basics from the beginning. A brief rubric of basic skills that one needs to have has been created, as well as further skills desired by specific hosts (e.g. skills handling large eagles, basic veterinary knowledge, experience with longwings, etc).
The idea of having both youths and hosts recommended by a minimum of two falconers each that are known either directly or indirectly by the IYEP is to ensure that youths contribute with skills that will allow them to be of help and that mentors have something of interest to teach the youth.
These experiences are intended to be anything between 1 week and 4 weeks depending on the disposition of the host and the youth. This time frame has been chosen as it may take at least a full week for the host to assess the youth’s falconry skills and allow them to handle their raptors. After that, a minimum of one week would give the youth the necessary time to learn different skills and adjust to the new place. While less time would also allow for some knowledge to be imparted, the international nature of this would make it ideal if it were to be at least a full week in length. On a case-by-case basis, youths may be able to coordinate with their hosts to stay longer or shorter. The exact length is merely a guiding suggestion. The concept foresees this being used purely to facilitate these links on an international basis, as on a national basis the local falconry community, mentors, and clubs could easily help young falconers in finding a place where they could volunteer or could offer to take someone on as an apprentice.
At the end of a visit arranged through IYEP, both the youth and the host are asked to rate their counterpart on things such as the knowledge that was imparted, the helpfulness of the youth, and further aspects. This would allow the IYEP to see whether a host or youth has been outstanding or whether they were less cooperative and helpful. This would then affect whether they would be recommended for future projects but would be visible only to the IYEP coordination team. Hosts and Youths may post their experiences and pictures on their site (see below) to give other youths and hosts ideas and to allow youths to get a preview of what their time could be like. This way, both hosts and youths could also ask their counterparts what a host or youth is like and what they would highlight about their experience.
At a later stage, this website will have a member’s area for which hosts and youths who have been recommended by at least two falconers as detailed above will receive personalized log in details from the coordinators. With these login details, they will be able to set up an account with pictures, interests, records of their experiences, and other details.
Hosts and youths can either find each other through their profiles or they will be able to send a request to the IYEP coordinators who can then help them in finding a connection that fits their criterion.