We have a land close to Nocrich (Sibiu) where we intend to create a youth ecological farm: to plant melliferous trees and plants and to grow bees with the community children from the villages around. All along the year of the project implementation, children will take part in practical workshops and seminars about sustainable and ecological agriculture, the law of return, biodiversity, the importance of natural pollination and bees’ products. Thus they will eventually educate their families.
The main activities will take place in the village Nocrich, Sibiu county, center of Romania.
Children in rural area around Sibiu have little access to any kind of ecological training and are not aware of the damages produced by the standard agriculture and way of living of their own families. Most of the local farmers use pesticides that kill the bees and tend either to grow monocultures, or have fallow lands because they don’t have the means to work them. We believe that by teaching the young generation about the possibilities of the ecological agriculture, biodiversity and apiculture, we can change the entire perspective. Moreover, there is a mixed local society composed of Romanian, other minorities and Roma people, the latter disadvantaged. So with our project we will enhance social cohesion and cooperation among them.
Real democracy is the power of each and every person, without prejudicing other’s rights. In other words the power people have together for their own good. And power starts with awareness and knowledge. Just like every change, ecological agriculture starts with each of us but most of all it should start from an early age and that’s what we envisage to do, teach the youngsters. Our initiative is for and with the local youth, who will be involved in our project from the very beginning: planting trees and melliferous plants and growing bees together. Active citizenship is about caring and experience exchange. They will receive and give forward knowledge about how to maintain the nutrient cycle, to give back to the earth, to leave more for other species, to grow organic farms.
The direct beneficiaries of the project are around 300 local people: children and youth in the village of Nocrich and other schools in neighbor villages, who will actively take part in the project and become adoptive parents of the trees and bees they will plant and look after, together with the volunteers, trainers and members of the team.
Indirect beneficiaries are first the children’s families, whose awareness regarding the importance of being ecological will be raised throughout the children, the whole community, the local authorities, schools and the Scout Center were theoretical seminars will take place, and also local producers and media partners.
The calendar of the project includes 2 main community planting periods, nut and almond trees in November 2020 and respectively phacelia or other melliferous plants in spring 2021. In parallel, beneficiaries will be taught to prepare the exiting hives for winter and increase the bees’ families. We will organize monthly training sessions held by experts, interactional and adapted for the age of the children. The trainings will be both practical and theoretical, according to the agricultural year, on ecological culture, treatments and nutrients, natural pollination, the importance of bees’ products. The target groups will be able to check on the evolution of the plants and bees anytime. Throughout the year of implementation, our activities and results will be promoted online and offline.
Landscape diversity: an organic garden/orchard and apiary grown by the young generation, with approximately 300 direct beneficiaries and volunteers in rural area involved
Growing awareness of the whole community about the importance of preserving biodiversity and of the ecological agriculture and apiculture
Acquiring skills and expertise about efficiently growing one’s one farm/garden and apiary that will inspire other local or national initiatives
More active and involved youth, with mature and responsible view on the local opportunities with global benefits
Consequently, more small, family organic farms and hives in the region
Development of the ecosystem and the local sustainable economy, thus leading to general well-being
Significant increase of quality of life and happiness
Let’s look to democracy in Europe as a puzzle. Or even a big garden, if you want. We are a piece of this puzzle and if we can make it as a piece, we have already contributed to the whole picture. I strongly believe that prosperity and happiness come from local and regional initiatives like ours. By growing a community ecological farm and apiary, not only the entire region will benefit from it, but the whole ecosystem. By teaching the young generation and local people principles of sustainable management of the natural resources, they will not only give back to the earth, but give back to Europe and the entire planet. It’s like in a garden, we have to maintain the nutrient cycle, leave for other species and in time all these small farms will interconnect and change Europe’s map.
First, I am very fond of the region and local people, since I spent all my summer vacations at my grandmother’s in Nocrich. I have inherited a couple of hectare that I would like to put to good use and that’s how this idea came to me. I believe that we can only grow together with the community help and by using ecological and organic methods, thus we can also grow happiness. In 2018, I founded The Cultural Association In Ars Veritas, whose president and project manager I am. Since then but even before, I have carried out projects with disadvantaged children, but also for promoting the cultural heritage of the region. I am very keen on bee growing and biological gardening and permaculture and permanently try to improve my knowledge. I believe that the more we give, the more we receive.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Material, equipment and production costs: 15.000 EUR
Personnel costs, members of the team and external experts: 25.000 EUR
Promotion materials and communication: 4000 EUR
Accommodation and meals for the external trainers, space rental, utilities and office expenses: 4000 EUR
Travel costs: 2000 EUR
Personal contribution (value of the land): 10.000 EUR
First, we would greatly appreciate any feedback about our application and advice about the possible difficulties we might encounter during the implementation.
Second, we would like to share our vision and expertise with other applicants of similar project and maybe collaborate in the future.