NGO for people with substance use disorders "Vida" Rijeka
Eco-recovery of community is encouraged through joint venture of two social groups: rural residents and people stationed in assisted living community for addicts in process of social reintegration. Through organic agriculture at arable land, food production and preparation, recipe sharing and teaching urban citizens ways of rural life, people of different identities will build sustainability and democracy from below. The whole process ends with an activist festival on Midsummer.
Lokve, Gorski kotar, Croatia
Lokve is rural area in Croatia where we've established Residency for addicts in process of social reintegration. At first, sudden change in social stagnation provoked locals to be overly cautious toward socially disadvantaged newcomers, but eventually resulted in gradual acceptance. Now rehabilitated addicts want to initiate further change in the community which at first glance lacks politics of friendship and welcome culture. For decades challenged by socioeconomic monotony and cultural poverty, village shows readiness for uprising and dispensation of ideas and activities, especially after COVID-19 crisis impoverished producers of food in Croatia, including Lokve and nearby industrial city of Rijeka.
Residency for addicts is already promoting democracy by receiving people of different identities with addiction problem: refugees, women, people with mental comorbidity. Relationship of these people with locals will be stimulated in joint engagement around production of community food (gardening, making medicinal preparations, harvesting) at our arable land. Furthermore, we'll organize learning groups for urban citizens with residents of Lokve as mentors (both addicts and locals). Eco-democracy is thus established through giving opportunity to rural population in gaining sense of productivity and urban citizens in learning forgotten ways of connecting through food. Activist festival with an evocative dimension at the Midsummer will serve as a project presentation and dissemination.
Lokve are little place from which mostly young population emigrates, while elderly remain with difficulties in accepting new social groups. Newcomers are addicts of diverse identities in the process of social reintegration, who feel safe but slightly uncomfortable in the village. Instead in latent conflict, they will spend time in a joint trans-generational and trans-cultural exchange of knowledge in order to create a sustainable community. The beneficiaries are also residents of the nearby industrial city of Rijeka, which we plan to teach rural ways of food production, while simultaneously encouraging much needed communication between urban and rural worldview. Our audiences are also ecology activists, journalists, experts and other visitors of the closing festival event.
First step is finding locals with knowledge to mentor addicts in agriculture, gardening and food processing. We'll organize 3 educations on these topics with locals as trainers and addicts as pupils. Every two weeks throughout the year all interested locals will be able to come to Residency to participate in food production and exchange of goods. Both social groups will conduct learning groups for urban citizens (3 groups on rural food production, urban gardening). As intervention for restoration of cultural scene, we'll make activist festival on eco-democracy and addiction eco-recovery. Final step is creating activist cookbook through research about traditional recipes in Lokve, but also people behind them.
We'll measure success through the implementation of all planned activities and by using evaluation methods like questionnaire among the participants of the project. By the end of the project, tensions between addicts in social reintegration process and local population would decreased, enabling culture of tolerance and friendship to emerge. Join food production would reduce stress caused by the economic crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic. Lokve would be one step closer to a fully sustainable community. Urban population would also reduce their prejudices towards rural residents from which they learnt about producing food for their own needs. Our Residency still represents social innovation, and would further profiled itself with progressive method of eco-recovery.
New EU Action Plan for Human Rights and Democracy mentions few priorities we are also addressing by this project: first, protecting and empowering individuals - we are making sure that person is not reduced to one's identity or prejudice against it; building resilient, inclusive and democratic societies - we are hoping to encourage further communication between different social groups to ensure the stability and openness of the community; delivering by working together - emotional, reproductive and social work is sharp focus of our project because we believe they're one which will benefit everyone. Horizontally our project is linked to sustainability and ecology to prevent the effects of climate and post COVID economic crises, what is also recognized as a priority at a European level.
Our mission is to create a therapeutic environment, provide support and help for people with addiction, their families and groups at risk of developing addiction and social exclusion. We are creating supportive space so they can achieve their potential and realize their human rights, meaningful relationships, complete recovery, social and work inclusion, sense of belonging and contribution to society. We encourage the community to care and we ask those who have the power to use it responsibly for the good of all members of the community.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Personnel costs: 26.000, 00 EUR
Office expenses: 3.000, 00 EUR
Purchase and maintenance of technology: 7.000, 00 EUR
Volunteer costs: 3.500, 00 EUR
Travel and accommodation costs: 3.000, 00 EUR
Annual lease of arable land: 800 EUR
Material for agriculture and gardening: 2.500, 00 EUR
Manifestation expenses: 2.000, 00 EUR
Publishing and promotional expenses: 2.200 EUR
- Are the activities specific enough?
- Is the idea feasible within a year?
- Is the idea clear enough?