Two rural disadvantaged communities, one goal for all: capitalization of local heritage resources, through tourism, as a way to address people’s lack of civic engagement and to empower them to collaborate and make their voice count. In the project, 48 vulnerable people will work together in 12 teams and participate in 5 thematic modules/community, on: cultural and nature local guide, cooking, tourism events organisation and local branding.
1. Stelnica, SE Romania
2. Draganesti - Brezoi, center Romania
In the 2 regions, life quality is low, access to resources is limited, leading to social exclusion.Over 50% of young people want to work abroad, as a solution for poverty (the medium income is <500 euro/family of 4). Social layers are strongly divided, young people can’t find possibilities to build a balanced life and elderly people are not pleased with the European influences that attract youth in the disillusionment of a better life abroad. The problem is the resulted lack of engagement from all category of citizens in finding solutions to improve their living standards, without waiting for external solutions, but use personal and local resources.
We also noticed there is a vicious circle between life quality degradation and indifference towards natural and cultural heritage.
By collaborating with local authorities, schools, social services, local businesses and Ngos, we want to create a community development program using tourism as a tool to engage local vulnerable people in finding solutions to improve their life quality and, also, to create a bridge between different actors with different views.
The program will offer new skills to participants and enable them to collaborate, share knowledge and ideas and have a ground for open discussions. Citizens from different generations (elderly people, young people with no future perspectives), environments and life situations (with/out disabilities) will form teams to promote their community and learn to make use of local resources, as valuable resources for developing their community and their relations.
Our direct target group is represented by:
- 60 locals (24 vulnerable persons, 6 resource people/region) from all layers of the community, that will develop skills upon participating in the training sessions. They can become cultural or nature guides, event/camps organizers, cooks, learn marketing and branding.
- 5 local authorities representatives. With the help of public institutions and local businesses, we want to create a convergence of ideas and possibilities based on collaboration between elderly people, young disadvantaged people, women, people with disabilities.
Elderly people will also be a resource of knowledge about the community, traditions, crafts and can teach younger people.
Indirect beneficiaries: at least 1000 people in the local communities.
Preparation: contact local businesses and Ngos, work with local authorities to promote the project, meeting beneficiaries in the 2 communities, selection of 48 participants and 12 resource people, creating visual identity, info materials, communication strategy
Implementation:design and unroll of 5 theoretical modules/area (2 weeks/module) and the 2 practical workshops in the special camping space (it will be a group project in which the participants will practice the learned skills and will create a local integrated touristic service for a group of bloggers and other tourists -1 month of team preparations), creating the camping space
Contacting possible tourism collaborators, tourism bloggers, forming a support network that will send visitors to the area
Dissemination of the project
1. 5 modules for 60 persons from the 2 regions, on: cultural and nature local guide, cooking, marketing and local branding and event organization.
2. 48 people trained and equipped with new skills
3. 12 elderly people that act as resource persons
4. A Facebook page updated with all the activities from the project
5. Four articles in local and regional newspapers
Qualitative result: change of beneficiaries’ perspective and their collaboration for a mutual purpose, rise of self trust and local resources.
After 1 year, there will be at least 6 teams formed in the thematic of the modules in the 2 communities and they can be contacted by organizations that offer sustainable tourism services to bring visitors or they can create their own initiatives to attract visitors
In disadvantaged areas, democracy means voting for someone that makes promises once every 4 years, the authority position of local ellected politicians that often only offer social aid and not opportunities for people to get involved in the decision making process. People don’t make their voices heard and so they don’t exceed their condition.
Our message is that in democracy, the power of example can improve lives and foster collaboration and social cohesion, thus developing the community. We aim to send this message to vulnerable communities, so that their example can be sent to regional and national level and open a dialogue between diverse social environments. The new skills will help them increase the beneficiaries influence over decision makers and promote democratic values.
Being able to empower and show people that they can be more then spectators to their own lives is one of the motivation that drives us. The social paradigm of „disadvantaged area” maintains a low living standard for people, although these areas have plenty of resources, heritage and can become an engine of social economical development. Tourism and local resources, opening up these communities to new ideas can give chances to all types of vulnerable groups, lead to cooperation, acceptance and diversity (European principles) and reduce the constant dependency on social assistance programs, that maintain a status quo of precarity.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Project management – 5000 euro
Trainers – 11000
Communication – 4000 euro
Travel costs - 1000 euro
Transport – 1000 euro
Logistics - 7000
Any opinion, advice on how to offer long term and sustainable solutions, key learnings in activating local teams and feedback from people that have implemented this type of projects. Thank you!