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From resistance to resilience. | Civic Europe
Social inclusion, Community development

From resistance to resilience.

Paulo Freire Rural University in the region of Tierra de Campos. Pedagogies, sovereignties and sustainability to generate a resilient territory.


Who is behind this?

Violeta Aguado Delgado

CDR Carrión de los Condes



Idea pitch

Living in the rural areas has become an act of resistance. Our project seeks to transform the resistances that are daily exercised from isolated communities into capacity of resilience through pedagogical processes where diverse local people become the main character. To this end, we will reactivate the Paulo Freire Rural University, a popular education project whose aim is to promote an alive rural world in pursuit of cultural democracy and the people's sovereignties.

Where will your project idea take place?

Villages with less than 400 inhab. from the region Tierra de Campos,Palencia,Castilla y León, Spain

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The project's framework is the fight against depopulation in Castilla y Leon Region, one of the oldest regions in Europe, where rural areas do not exceed 20 inhab. per Km2 and 70% of the territory is already a "demographic desert". The lack of social and professional opportunities for the young population and the migrants, added to the fact that in the last decades the social promotion of women has been understood through the exercise of a qualified profession far from the rural world, has generated a selective imbalance by sex and a stagnation of the socioeconomic structures and dynamics.The disappearance of public services as a consequence of the depopulation process and the disappearance of communal educational spaces promote exclusion and a low social cohesion

Who are you doing it for?

The project is aimed at the local population in general with special attention to the most vulnerable people in the territory:
- Migrants, who lack spaces for integration and opportunities for development.
- Young people, who are forced to emigrate in the absence of social and work opportunities. (Around 2,175 young people from the region emigrate per year)
- Rural women, who do not have spaces for their individual and collective empowerment. (High levels of masculinization 87%)
- The elderly, who are affected by the reduction of public services and the loneliness generated by the depopulation. (1 in every 3 inhabitants is over 60 years old).
- People of low socioeconomic level who are being expelled from the cities, due to the increase in the standard of living.

How do you plan to get there?

The project arise from a previous process of identificación of the resistances that people in rural areas have been carrying out since the territory began to become a socio-demographic desert. Starting from this we seek to transform "resistance" into "resilience". through these processes: 1.SOCIAL AND SOLIDARITY ECONOMY PROCESSES: Organize a system of exchange between local producers and consumers, develop a rural coworking. 2.PEDAGOGICAL PROCESSES OF RECOVERY AND EXCHANGE OF RURAL KNOWLEDGE: creation of a rural communal radio, collection and exchange of ancient rural knowledge. 3. PROCESSES FOR CREATING RURAL SOVEREIGNTY: Recovery of abandoned spaces in the rural environment. 4. PROCESSES OF GENERATING SUSTAINABILITY AND FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE: seed conservation and exchange network.

What are the expected results?

For us, success comes in small doses, any reached goal will be an achievement. And we have short term, medium term and long term objectives, and also results expected.
In short term, we will reactivate the Universidad Rural Paulo Freire Tierra de Campos, and gain visibility again. In medium term, in about a year, we pretend to revitalize the territory and create an educational area to exchange, share knowledge and opportunities.
The local community is empowered by giving them a voice, involving them in decisions and processes, creating meeting spaces, listening to their needs, making them active agents and protagonistsT.he success would be to reach people in the rural community and be able to serve as a model or example for other local communities elsewhere in Spain.

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

We want to dignify one of the most punished territories in our region, as well as the lives of those who inhabit them. Our objective is to deconstruct this idea of ​​a homogeneous rural environment and work from diversity and plurality with activities in favor of equality and tolerance. These activities are based on the principles of collective action and the Sustainable Development Goals, that is, we do not work with isolated individuals, we work with heterogeneous communities. They start from a social construction of subjectivity, which generates a social change in the territories through active participation and giving priority to those groups that are socially disadvantaged. Furthermore, we will always work from interdisciplinarity, creating a relationship between theory and practice.

Why is this idea important to you?

We are two young women with training and work experience in various fields ) who were forced to emigrate from their small villages and now wish to return but cannot find opportunities to develop professionally and personally in their territories. Our roots sink in the land of "Empty Spain", we were educated to want to leave here but in the course of our youth we realized that returning to the land is the answer to the model of life we would like to have: to live in a more sustainable and socially committed way by creating living spaces in a place destined to abandonment. We have the capacity and the skills to carry it out, but even more importantly we have the personal conviction that this is our path.

€ 52500,-

Total budget

€ 49000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs (Functions: Planning, execution, evaluation and communication tasks). (Two people/12 months): 40.172,00 €
Travel and acomodation (staff and participants): 4.500,00 €
Materials for the activities: 6.300,00 €
Office expenses: 1.300,00 €
Other expenses (insurances): 328,00 €
TOTAL: 52.500,00 €

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to know similar experiences in other rural places in Europe to get feedback.

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