Our settlement is surrounded by centuries-old farmland. The old knowledge and traditions associated with it are still present, but the people of the farms do not recognise their own values and interests. Our project aims to develop their commitment to local issues and their will to act by mobilising and involving them. Through the collection and presentation of local values, the quality of life and advocacy capacity of farm dwellers will be improved, which can have an impact on the whole region.
Hungary, Békés county, South Békés, Kétsoprony village outskirts
Farmers do not have access to decisions that affect them. They cannot define themselves as a community and thus act as one. Their needs, if they can be articulated, are isolated attempts that are not taken into account by the local decision maker. They are increasingly ashamed of the farm lifestyle, not recognising the value of the diverse self-sustaining knowledge they possess. They are largely excluded from inland services and information is not reaching them. There is a lack of transparency in the way local government operates. The population is shrinking, young people are moving out of the settlement. There are fewer and fewer young people who still have the old skills.
The target group of the project is the total farm population of 210-250 people of mixed age group, mainly families, living in the outskirts of Kétsoprony. The number of inhabited farms is 160, with more farm buildings still relatively intact, which are no longer inhabited for living purposes but are used for farming, e.g. keeping animals, or which are completely abandoned and falling into disrepair. 80% of the homesteaders have three or more children in the family, the rest are elderly or single. About 15 families have moved from the city and bought the farms cheaply. They have low education levels and cannot make use of their environment and need to catch up. There is, however, a more active, more inclusive group of people who will be involved in the preparation of the action plan.
I. Some of our volunteers will conduct in-depth interviews with farm "speakers" who we see as potential candidates. Thus, a "SEED" will be formed, who will be invited to the community development workshops and involved in the community survey work.
II. organise a 5 session workshop under the professional leadership of the Community Developers:
- Understanding the application plan, the phases of community development, the concept of local society. Basic skills for interviews.
- Community survey as a method. Good practices. Developing questionnaires together.
- Interviewing techniques, emphasis on awareness and resources. Learning techniques of action, agreeing on households to be visited.
- Evaluation and summary of the completed interviews, transfer of experiences.
- Preparation of the summary of the community survey, identification of main professional orientations. Possibilities for feedback from the community survey.
III. Community discussion in several stages in the framework of public event - presentation of the summary of the exploratory work to local residents involved and interested in the survey, invitation of local leaders and decision-makers
IV. develop an action plan together with those involved. Vision: development of information and people-to-people contacts between farms, united action, advocacy, better organisation.
The outskirts will become visible to the local administration. Isolated people become a united, organised community. Those who have not been able to represent their interests are now able to articulate their needs and stand up for themselves. They recognise their values and do something about it, because they have centuries of history and the knowledge and experience that comes from it, which they can use to develop a sustainable way of life. Their quality of life and relationships will improve. The population retention capacity of the village will be strengthened, and the village will be able to develop economically. Decision-makers also recognise the need for the outskirts, seeing it not only as a burdensome obligation but also as an important factor for the future of the municipality.
Because we are involving the target group members in the community survey, for whom the project is being carried out, they are also involved in its development. The topics of the community development workshop will include modern methods of interviewing, questioning, negotiation, how the local administration works, access to local services, and tenders. The workshop will focus on awareness-raising and resource identification, learning to avoid the traps of complaining and complaining. They will actively participate in the preparation of an action plan, which will include the launching of different development processes in response to the needs identified, and on which they can take decisions to improve their own quality of life.
Our organisation has been running a farm of Kétsoprony for 9 years. Here we present the traditions and knowledge associated with farm life, which still exist in the local farm community, but which are constantly being destroyed. Our members come from local families who were born on farms themselves and have come to realise that their knowledge is valuable and that they want to pass it on. They have volunteered with us for many years, committed to ensuring that the values of the farm community do not die out. Author of these lines has been a family carer for 18 years, a librarian and the founder of two local NGOs. I have been living in Kétsoprony for 40 years, I have initiated many development processes and I can see the potential and hope in the revival of the farming community.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Community development workshops staff costs: 1100 EUR
Cost of experts: 700 EUR
Publication: 1800 EUR
Project film: 1000 EUR
Closing event: 150 EUR
Volunteer costs: 1500 EUR
Building infrastructure at the Kemencés Tanya (Kiln Farm): 1500 EUR
Project management personnel costs: 800 EUR
PR: 700 EUR
We want to know if our idea is considered effective enough to strengthen democracy. Are there other organizations that have gained experience in similar projects and with what results. How else can you measure results in this type of project? Is there any experience with sustainability?