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Community development, Social inclusion


Strengthening community and inclusion of PWSs through work and education on the Didactic farm, garden and nursery while setting conditions for social entrepreneurship development.


Who is behind this?

Dino Babic

Udruga ISTARSKO - Ekomuzej iz Vodnjana [ISTRIAN de Dignan - ECOMUSEUM]


Who is joining forces?

Informo Association


Association for Rehabilitation and Education TOWERING POPLARS


Nursery Longo (Rasadnik Longo)



Idea pitch

Today, more than ever we need community – strong, inclusive, emphatic, and nature-oriented. We want to drive changes by identifying the talents of the PWDs and helping them to overcome socio-economic and emotional barriers so they can become an equal part of our community. By activating greenhouse, we will provide specialized educations in organic agriculture, business, and active rehabilitation and socialization for the PWDs so we can prepare conditions for starting the social enterprise.

Where will your project idea take place?

City of Vodnjan (6 100 ppl) with its surrounding rural area, Region of Istria, Croatia

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

In the County of Istria PWDs make 6% of the total population. In 2019 the Association faced by itself the challenges employer has to face to adapt the workplace for PWDs as well as get better insight and feedback from the PWDs employees in improving workplace conditions. Integration of PWDs (from childhood on) has not been properly settled by the State. We want to give our contribution in several levels for the PWDs-personal growth and motivation, knowledge in the business and agronomy field, acceptance in the community as equal and valuable members, engage business sector and local and regional stakeholders to make additional effort in improving the present situation, nurture local and ecological production. All of this should set all conditions for social entrepreneurship development.

Who are you doing it for?

1) PWDs –educations and activities for PWDs will be organized on few levels, placed in the school garden, Didactic farm and nursery with children, youngsters and the rest of the community. Also, we will provide a personal approach to tackle self-confidence. Based on the possibilities/health issues of a specific person with a disability, we will encourage their personal and professional development. In the green garden, they will be educated in the agricultural field through the learning by doing method
2) children – through different workshops and activities in the school garden and farm, interesting games role-playing as PWDs, children and PWDs will learn how to interact and socialize
3) local community in the City of Vodnjan
4) entrepreneurs
5) family members of PWDs

How do you plan to get there?

The project will consist of a number of different activities and we want to give a chance for the voice of the community to be heard and a chance to bond and grow together.
1) collecting information from PWD associations and their members on their needs and problems, taking into account individual disabilities, education and specific person needs
2) collecting information from employers who can/want/already have PWD as employees-defining obstacles and challenges and proposing possible solutions
3) development of proposals and recommendations for improving the capacity of PWDs and removing obstacles to their employment
4) roundtable with all stakeholders for the adoption of concrete conclusions and action plan (involved associations and members of PWDs, employers, local/regional political actors) will be held
5) workshops with PWDs and children in the school garden, didactic farm and greenhouse
6) workshops for PWDs for agricultural occupations and work in the nursery
7) PWD education workshops on motivation, business skills and spotting talents
8) info days and job fair for PWDs and presentation of their skills
9) finalizing of preparations for starting social entrepreneurship
10) promotion of all phases of the project and dissemination of results

What are the expected results?

An active citizen is the one who not only practices his civil rights and obligations but also improves his local community in any way possible.
- improved personal and business skills of PWDs
- informed PWDs about their rights and encouraged in active advocacy
- socialized PWDs through work in the school garden, farm and workshops with school children
- children and the community developed awareness of the obstacles PWDs carry, empathy and a healthy attitude towards PWDs
- educated PWDs in the field of agriculture in the nursery
- settled goals and concrete moves for improving the potential of PWDs in the regional labor market
- encouraged employers for creating jobs for PWDs
- all the conditions for starting a social enterprise have been laid

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

By actively involving local stakeholders in both the creation and execution of content we hope to overcome the aura of passive citizenship and to create an environment where all voices are heard. Being able to be on both sides of each will generate new ideas and projects as well as engage a greater number of beneficiaries in the project. Our project will give the PWDs a direct voice in creating better conditions for them through the round tables with all stakeholders (employers, local and regional authorities, PWDs associations) and later with proposing the results/propositions to the legislator in improving policies. Through the education process, PWDs will learn about their rights as well as the procedures needed in influencing the change of political decisions and legislation.

Why is this idea important to you?

We are founded to improve the local quality of life, promote the values of cooperation, work and solidarity among members, the local community and visitors. The feeling of belonging, taking care of the preservation of the oldest traditions and the quality search is the source of our inspiration. Our ethical approach has a special focus on the social integration of PWDs. Our association is a meeting point for people all over the world who share the desire to develop a better society for all and enjoy nature. The project team consists of project managers with years of work experience in the private, public and civil sectors. As we are acquainted with how the system works we found ourselves with a mission to use our knowledge in making our community a better living place for all.

€ 63000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

20.000 eur – one-year green garden rent with water and electricity covered, and landlords advising on growing and nurturing plants
15.000 eur – agronomist who will take care of the seedling and professional guidance and education of all participants in the work of the green garden (PWDs, children, other volunteers…)
13.000 eur – seeds, plant pots, other material
20.000 eur - personnel costs for mentorship, training, office expenses, travel costs
5.000 eur - communication, promotion material





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

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