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The Little Garden Project | Civic Europe
Community development, Social inclusion

The Little Garden Project

Fostering a culture of communitiy participation in co-creating therapeutical garden


Who is behind this?


Udruga za promicanje održivog načina življenja GREDICA


Who is joining forces?



Croatian Permaculture



Idea pitch

We wish to activate the local gardening and permaculture community in broad volunteer action in envisioning and building therapeutic gardens for and together with the inhabitants of The home for the adults in Jalžabet. The garden will be created with full participation and according to the wishes and ideas of its future users and will not only be the place for therapeutic rehabilitation purposes, but for relaxation, enjoyment and rest, thus increasing the quality of their lives.

Where will your project idea take place?

Varaždin and Jalžabet, Varaždin County, Northwest Croatia

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Broad local community will step in and by participating in volunteering activities together with inhabitants of The home for adults in Jalžabet evision, create and build a beautiful therapeutic garden for them. People placed in the institution often come from poor backgrounds, with different impairments and disabilities, mainly regarding mental health. The institution lacks in numbers, financial capabilities and/or knowledge to organize and raise the therapeutic garden even though it would largely increase quality of life of their users. Trough community action we will tackle the social stigma and integration of this marginalized group as well community capacitiy for volunteer actions while creating more empowered individuals.

Who are you doing it for?

1. Users of The home for the adults in Jalžabet and their proffesional services - 30 persons
2. Members and users of urban gardens of the city of Varaždin - 30 persons
3. Permaculture practitioners - 10 persons
4. The wider local community

How do you plan to get there?

INTRO-Project promotion and communication with beneficiaries, raising awareness on benefits of volunteering and encouraging target groups to get involved. Team organization and initial meetings, the preparatory work concerning the launch of the project.
CREATIVE PLAYGROUND - series of educational workshops where participants will be able to suggest their vision and idea of ​​what the garden should/could look like. Workshops will be led by experienced facilitators, and participants will be empowered to present their ideas and opinions and to actively participate in the whole process.
LET’S BUILD SOMETHING TOGETHER - volunteer actions of garden construction - raising flower beds, planting plants and landscaping according to the design that they all agreed is the best and most functional. The actions will also be of an educational nature - the volunteers will gain knowledge and experience about building, arranging and planting a garden in a permaculture way through practical work. Educational workshops for Home users and professional staff open to public - in order to continue to grow and maintain the garden in an organic way, a series of workshops will be organized for Home users and professional staff.
WRAP -UP - Promotion of project activities, wrap- up conference and opening of the garden.

What are the expected results?

By participating in volunteer actions the local community will build the therapeutic rehabilitation garden in Jalžabet, which will be placed on a plot of approximately 1000 m2 in surroundings of The home for the adults in Jalžabet. Citizens will strengthen their capacities, experience and knowledge and become aware of the importance of volunteering as a way to improve the quality of life in the community, especially in relation to marginalized groups.
The level of social inclusion of beneficiaries will increase and the foundations for the potential future cooperation among all stakeholders will be laid.

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

The emphasis in this project is on mutual cooperation between the most diverse groups of participants by age, education, financial status, gender, health and the like with one common passion- gardening. By encouraging mutual cooperation and dialogue in the creation and construction of the garden in Jalžabet, the participants will bridge their differences in attitudes and opinions together to create something truly beautiful. Furthermore, by participating in volunteer actions they will become aware of the importance and power of their own engagement in creating a better community for all.

Why is this idea important to you?

Rusalka Majer – has a life long passion for making a positive impact in the world. Involved in organizing and managing Urban gardens in Varaždin, promotes organic gardening and sustainable development.
Nenad Maljković - Cultural creative, network weaver, interested in social and economic aspects of permaculture, effective collaboration in groups for systemic change. Champion of permaculture, Transition and Modern Agile principles. Enabler of local, bioregional and global high-trust networks for systemic change with "towards regenerative cultures through dialogic collaboration" motto.
Marko Hruško - occupational therapist, with 10 years of experience working with mentally ill adults whom he helps organize daily activities with the aim of preserving and raising their quality of life.

€ 36000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Office - 2000 EUR
Travel and accomodations - 5000 EUR
Staff - 15000 EUR
Workshops - 2000 EUR
Volonteer actions (garden) - 10000 EUR
Public relations - 2000 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We appriciate your comment on our idea! If you find it intresting be sure to contact us, maybe we can envison and create something beautiful together!





Idea created on April 11, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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