Doctors of the World Portugal will join LAR project to provide healthcare and health education actions to 4 refugees and migrant families and 25 seniors residents of Ima village, center of Portugal. LAR project combats simulteanously the isolation of the elderly population due to rural desertification, and barriers to integration for refugees and migrants in Portugal, increasing health literacy of both vulnerable groups, promoting active aging, and intercultural citizenship.
Village of Ima, in São Pedro do Jarmelo Council, municipality of Guarda, Center of Portugal.
Portugal faces a set of challenges, particularly in the interior rural areas of the country, such as desertification and an increasingly older population with poor access to health services. Ima is a serious case of desertification, as it has a current population of 25 inhabitants and the town council of São Pedro do Jarmelo as a whole has 184 inhabitants, 59% of which is aged 65 or more (2011 Census). From 2001 to 2011, while the population between 15-24 decrease 60%, the 25-64 decrease 30% only the 65 or more increase in 38%. The desertification and consequent population aging brings an important challenge for portuguese and european society in the future. This project aims to combat social isolation of inhabitants of rural territories and promote active aging.
Our idea brings together, in a global and unique way, the fight against rural desertification and the respective aging of the population, and the effective inclusion of refugees and migrants. By integrating 4 refugees and migrants families in Ima as agriculture workers, we intend to join efforts to increase awareness and understanding between the host community of rural villages and refugees and migrants, breaking barriers, opening minds and dispelling any fears or suspicions, making the locals come to see the refugees and migrants as individuals who can contribute with their skills and knowledge to local development, bringing new ideas and experiences and fresh energy to the village. Both groups of beneficiaries will participate in health education actions to promove health citizenship.
Migrants and refugees face a series of challenges and obstacles to integration in Portugal and many of them have not yet managed to guarantee their autonomy. The goal is to support 4 families, in total about 20 people who have ended the first host program, want to stay in Portugal and have interest for agricultural work.
Local community of Ima village has been involved in the project and actively participated to the rehabilitation of houses for the families to come, creating a feeling of usefulness and belonging to society in older people.
Youth: we want to engage youth of Guarda, organizing activities of education to intercultural citizenship with schools students to meet Ima community and LAR project.
Between 2018 and 2020, AIIR have established institutional and functional partnerships, rehabilitated local vacant houses provided by the community to receive the refugees families, found land and develop and agricultural development plan, and communicated with the local community. The expected date to welcome the 4 families is September 2020.
As Doctors of the World Portugal, this funding will allow us to complement the LAR project intervention in the health area, hiring a nurse to provide nursing consultations, organise medical consultations with volunteers, drug support, and develop an health education program.
AIIR will also sthrengthen its activities promoving intercultural exchanges between local community and the refugees and migrant families.
-4 families of refugees and migrants (around 20 people, including children and adults) live and work in Ima village.
-Consequently, decrease of the aging rate of Ima village and limiting effects of rural desertification.
-Improve access to health and quality of life for 45 people from Ima (both local and migrants) through access to medical and nursing consultations, drug support, health screenings and health education; social support and approximation to national health service.
-Social inclusion between the traditional and new residents of Ima.
-Develop a communication and advocacy plan to combat the stigma associated with refugees and seniors, transforming two vulnerable groups into active citizens.
Lar Project is a contribution to one of the biggest humanitarian crises on record with impact on democracy in Europe, the so called “migrant crisis”, creating a replicable model of cooperation among the various public and private entities which will guarantee the best conditions for the families hosts and hosteds. Integrate refugee and migrant families in rural areas of Portugal can be seen as a mean to avoid crises resulting from social tension and polarization artificially created.
Our ambition is that Ima experience will encourage the European countries to recognize in these future compatriot families that will contribute to the prosperity and development of their country, namely for the development of villages with marked rural desertification.
MdMP acts denouncing social injustices and human rights violations, in particular, barriers to access to health care. The motivations that underlie this idea are our engagement towards the two public. Firstly, solidarity with refugees and migrants who had to leave their homes, often to avoid war and conflict. We have been participating, since 2016, in the process of welcoming refugees, through the provision of health care at the Temporary Refugee Reception Center (CATR), in Lisbon and at Évora Refugee Transition Center (CTR). Second, MdMP works with isolated older people in Porto and Lisbon to combat exclusion, social isolation and contribute to citizenship in health of the senior population, MdMP develops various activities that improve the quality of life of the elderly.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Human ressources (one nurse during 14 months and assurance costs for volunteers): 28452€
Activities costs (education material, medicines and nursing and diagnostic material volunteer camp, intercultural dialogue): 4110€
Office costs: 2600€
Overheads 7%: 2608€
Any comment welcome!