Community development, Environment and sustainability

Dialogue & Action for the Future winner

Building up a community-led regeneration of a small mountainous village through a multi-stakeholder model


Who is behind this?

Elena Tzamouranou

Dock - Social Solidarity Economy Zone


Who is joining forces?

Association of All Manganiakonians (Syllogos Apantaxou Manganiakiton)


Koukouva SCE (Social cooperative enterprise)


Nostos SCE (Social Cooperative Enterprise)



Idea pitch

The small village is facing the challenge of growth and development in a changing world and is continuously decreasing in terms of demographics, local economic and social structures. But, even the smaller communities can become actors of change: this project is about raising awareness, building the necessary capacity as well as social & civic infrastructures not only to avoid further desertification but also to regenerate as a community in a more viable and sustainable way.

Where will your project idea take place?

Manganiako, Messinia, Greece

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

As common in smaller rural areas, Manganiako is facing the challenge of growth and development in a changing world and is disconnected from decision- and policymaking on both the local and the regional level letting the community in a feeling of isolation and abandonment. The once prosperous village is continuously decreasing in terms of demographics, local economic and social structures. The local association has been trying since 2011 to keep the relations between the community members regardless where they live, mainly through cultural events, while tackling everyday problems is on a minor and fragmentary level. Manganakonians lack the knowledge, capacity and means not only to avoid further desertification but also to regenerate as a community in a more viable and sustainable way.

Who are you doing it for?

1st level: community members of Manganiako, regardless where they live (approx. 910) who are divided into 2 main groups (those who are waiting for help from outside and those who want to take action on the basis of self-organizing).
2nd level: the often untapped potential of the children in the light of future community members, but also friends and visitors of the village (approx. 3.200/year)
3rd level: residents of 4 other villages in the surrounding area, to trigger similar discussions and processes
4th level: every person/ body interested in community-led regeneration of small rural areas

How do you plan to get there?

Our approach is based on Action Research: a continuous repeated process of identifying issues - building capacity - engaging in dialogue - reflecting on outcomes. In addition we will use a combination of methodologies and tools on participatory planning, collective action, local sustainable development & social solidarity economy. During the project we will work within the community (A1-A4), create infrastructures (A4 - A5) and develop as an ecosystem (A6 - A8).
Action 1| Study of Local Economic and Social Structures: mapping current situation, problems & unmet needs analysis
Action 2| Capacity Building of Community Members: workshops & community building (democratic procedures & decision making, sustainable local development & SSE)
Action 3| Popular Planning Processes for the Sustainable Local Development involving all Stakeholders: roundtables & public consultation events for community strategy and action plan for the future
Action 4| Transforming the old Agriculture Cooperative Building into a Community Space
Action 5| Creation of a Community Development Centre: responsible for implementing the community strategy & action plan (see Action 3)
Action 6| Advocacy: capacity building, policy brief & plan for advocating on local and regional level
Action 7| Establishing network activities with 4 surrounding villages
Action 8| Dissemination of the Project & Results

What are the expected results?

Through the project we expect the Manganakonians to be more aware, engaged and active when it comes to local development issues, while they will have stronger bonds and relationships between them. We expect the infrastructures created by this project: the Culture of Dialogue, the Participatory Strategy & Action Plan, the Community Space & the Development Centre to empower both the community & association and to enable further development in the surrounding area in the future. In addition, we expect the beginning of a transition when it comes to active citizenship in Manganiako to activate interest in public issues moving from being simply a policy receptor to become part of the solution and participate in local policy making.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Our logic is based on the quadruple: Capacity building, Awareness, Μobilization, Αctor of Change. Through action research, community members will gain a deeper understanding of the impact, the various development models have. Through capacity building, people will be empowered in expressing opinions, deciding on collective action and forming a common future. The awareness that they can shape their future together will form a collective identity which goes beyond the narrow geographical boundaries. Community members will be empowered in the way that they can affect the policies on a local level, learn how the local government works and get a methodology on how they can have a voice. It is about becoming part of the solution, to move from personal lobbying to local political mobilization.

Why is this idea important to you?

We are community members & regular visitors of Manganiako, a group of multidisciplinary professionals with relevant background & experience for the project. We are: the local association & Nostos, a local social cooperative, both rooted within the community with deep knowledge of the issues and relations of the village. Koukouva, a social cooperative, with expertise in community development, non-formal education & networking, and Dock, a non-profit organization, with expertise in project management, local sustainable development through participatory processes, advocacy & networking. We strongly believe in the power of smaller initiatives with proximity relations, because they can bootstrap more easily, create new ideas on democracy and active citizenship and become actors of change.

€ 44744,-

Total budget

€ 34744,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel Costs | 21.360,00 €
Materials for Community-Build Events (Community Space & Development Centre) | 5.000,00 €
Equipment & Supplies | 3.000,00 €
Communication | 3.020,00 €
Advocacy & Networking Activities | 1.500,00 €
Transportation & Accommodation | 864,00 €

Own Distribution | 10.000,00 € (Personnel, Workshop Materials, Transportation & Accommodation)

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We are happy to welcome any feedback and comment on our idea. If you run or are aware of a similar project in your area, please get in touch to exchange ideas, concerns, experiences & tools.

Project Journey

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Elena Tzamouranou

Giorgos Chronopoulos NOSTOS



Idea created on April 26, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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