Community development, Environment and sustainability

Rural Population Connected

We want to anticipate the future and the technological needs that the population demonstrates, as well as innovate, train, undertake and empower young people in an unsupported rural environment.


Who is behind this?

Cristina Oliveira

LusitanoRuralVive - Agência para o Desenvolvimento Rural, CRL



Idea pitch

The village of Aveloso, like others in the interior of Portugal, has been faced with several factors, such as depopulation, an elderly population and unemployment that have encouraged the abandonment of agricultural land, endogenous products and the departure of younger people. Our idea is to create a place (already defined) where we intend to create a co-work space, where entrepreneurial projects can be born and a room for digital literacy.

Where will your project idea take place?

Aveloso, North Portugal

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

In the specific case of Aveloso, and despite a large percentage of elderly people living here, this village still has a fairly large young community. And it is because of the lack of opportunities that we see these young people leaving (to study or work). Three social problems have been identified, namely:
Depopulation: finding a strategy to assist conditions that promote the return of young people who have left the village.
Poor employability: here we have a strategy to develop the economic fabric by making the co-work space more dynamic and give support to entrepreneurs.
Poor digital literacy: it is a weak point that most of the adult do not know how to use digital tools, such as a simple computer and the use of the Internet.

Who are you doing it for?

We want to work with children, young people, adults (working age population), women, migrants and people with disabilities.
Regarding the group of children (school age), we want to enhance digital literacy so that they can use the internet safely.
Young people who have been leaving the village to study or work, we want to develop with them skills and opportunities to settle in the territory of Aveloso.
The adults (most of whom are unemployed) we want to support them in developing projects of entrepreneurship or self-employment.
In the case of women, it is essential to work on female empowerment.
In the case of a desertified territory, we should look at migration as an opportunity and not as a problem.

How do you plan to get there?

1Develop a participatory community project to analyse, discuss and reshape good practices for entrepreneurship support and digital literacy sessions.
2Organise educational workshops in the field of digital literacy and entrepreneurship as to create dynamics among the population residing in the territory and beyond.
3 Create cycles of debates on rurality, citizenship and other topics.
4Create a video showing the dynamics of the project and the micro enterprises created.
5Create a network to support other people living in the rural territories.
ACreate an identity-brand for the project
BMake an evaluation plan
CIdentify needs with stakeholders and target groups and have meetings with experts
D Hold meetings with facilitator and experts
E Hire someone / participant in training for the facilitation process
F Provide capacity building training for community development experts
G Issue targeted invitations
H Organize the event during the summer
I Ensure health and safety compliance (COVID -19)
J Organise social events
K Organise sightseeing tours around the important points of the village
L Organise a group activity to evaluate events
M Provide support for ideas that arise
Methods: Formal education with computers
Approach: Targeted invitations, building trust, developing an informal and convivial atmosphere

What are the expected results?

At the end of the project we will have a more cohesive, and more empowered and entrepreneurial community.
The people will be more confident to act to promote their essential skills to integrate professionally in the community and the society.
We will have a more sustainable and innovative territory.
A more developed community, and economic power, autonomy to pursue its own local interests, purposes and thus resist becoming more and more victims of desertification

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

One of the main social problems identified in Portugal, but which is transversal to any country, is the desertification of its rural territories, which happens because these territories do not offer job opportunities and consequently leads to younger people leaving. The issue of desertification and its consequences must be addressed by all members of our community. That is, to involve the local population in a series of dynamic social, educational and economic activities where, for example, issues of unemployment, gender inequality, empowerment, as well as the loss of population, abandonment of land and local wisdom are addressed in a creative and critical way. The outcomes and transformations of these activities will encourage the development of our local economies.

Why is this idea important to you?

We are Cristina Oliveira and Miriam Gonçalves, we lived and grew up in the village of Aveloso and we are the founders of RuralVive, which is an agency for rural development. Over the years we have noticed the population leaving in search of opportunities. To try to combat desertification, I created a methodology which contributes to the leverage of micro and small businesses, this program is adapted to the constraints and peculiarities of the rural environment, creating a positive environment to support the emergence and growth of companies in low-density territories. We believe that it is through the empowerment of the population at the local level that we are able to contribute to the construction of a more enterprising, cooperative and solidary global society.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 33800,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Staff costs (project management and monitors): 15,000
Space improvement (furniture, decoration): 3,000
Office and equipment costs (computers, router, printer, projector) : 10,000
Communication costs (web site creation, publicity, media dissemination): 2000
Event costs (drinks, snacks, activities materials): 1800

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

It would be great to see how we can internationalise our agency and support rural entrepreneurship. We already operate in almost the entire national territory (Portugal), and we want feedback from other similar European experiences to exchange ideas; It is by learning that we can grow.



Idea created on April 25, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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