Wellbeing of Farmers: Physical Wellbeing, Mental Wellbeing, Social Wellbeing
Key Challenges: Lack of basic services, Pressure from society/negative perceptions
Key Target Groups: children from farming communites
Farm Size: Small/Family
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Key contact: Adina Pașcoiu
Organization: LAG Napoca Porolissum
Social Inclusion in LAG Napoca Porolissum Territory
Rural Youth Parliament
ENRD – Rural Inspiration Awards
Establishment and equipping the Center for Social inclusion in the territory of Napoca Porolissum LAG. LAG Napoca Porolissum set up a social inclusion centre in the village of Gilău to offer young people a space to interact and participate in various activities and events.
The centre was furnished with tables, chairs and modern technological equipment, such as laptops and interactive whiteboards.
In addition, the LAG purchased a minibus of 8+1 seats to facilitate young people’s access to events organised at the Centre or in nearby cities
With this project, Napoca Porolissum aimed to facilitate minority and vulnerable groups’ access to integrated social services by setting up a social inclusion centre in a rural area. Once established, such a centre would offer young people a space to interact and participate in various activities and events.
The LAG aimed to help young people in rural areas develop, discover their voice, find their purpose and – most importantly – get involved in the development of the communities where they live, turning them into a place to stay.
The LAG considered the centre to be a first step in addressing the main issues faced by young people in their area: poverty, lack of development opportunities and the difficulty to imagine a future in their home villages.
This is a multi-funded project, from EAFRD, Erasmus+ and the Operational Programme Human Capital.
The project allowed a centre for social inclusion to be opened in the village of Gilău, furnished with tables, chairs, and modern technological equipment, such as laptops and interactive whiteboards. The space is rented, renewed once every two years.
In addition, the LAG purchased a minibus of 8+1 seats to facilitate access for young people to events organised at the Centre or in nearby cities like Huedin or Cluj.
The centre is still open to young people and regularly organises activities.
The minibus is still available.
While implementing the project, the LAG realised that the issues faced by rural youth need to be addressed from several perspectives: providing services for young people, professional guidance and empowerment were the next logical steps. The project made the LAG understand that change occurs over time, through repeated interventions in several directions.
Main Outcome of the activity
Several events took place at the Centre in Gilău.
- 40 young people benefited from the educational, social and recreational services provided.
- 125 people benefited from vocational guidance and counselling services; 32 of them were then employed and/or integrated into the labour market.
- 98 people participated in a social entrepreneurship course; 30 of them submitted business plans and eight obtained funding to implement their projects.
- Children and young people from the LAG territory participated in two camps to combat discrimination and four workshops to promote community involvement.
- The LAG organised working visits for young people to the University of Agronomy in Cluj, and in turn, hosted a visit by some young people from the JaIM association in France.
- Several LAGs in Romania have shown an interest in this intervention model: GAL Delta Dunării, GAL Tecuci, GAL MVC, GAL Lider Bistrița Năsăud, GAL Lunca Joasă a Siretului. Thus, the LAG team can transfer its experience to other organisations interested in developing similar projects.
- More than 500 children in primary education were psychologically evaluated in order to identify gifted children and personal support and development services were provided to 20 gifted children from the socially disadvantaged family.
Main Practical Recommendations
The opening of a Centre for Social Inclusion is only an example of the infrastructure needed to reduce the gap between rural and urban opportunities for young people.
The creation of Rural Parliaments in collaboration with partners from other countries provides an example of how rural areas may empower young people, extending the model of intervention at European level.
The problems faced by young people in rural areas may not be the same in every European country, but the example of some may be helpful to others. Young people in rural areas are not included in programmes that empower them and give them a voice because efforts are often directed towards more stringent needs.
Rural Youth Parliaments are an innovative tool and together with the LEADER method, they may solve many of the problems faced by rural areas, given young people are the best solution for building a future that belongs to them anyway.
Key Stakeholders Involved
- LAG Napoca porolissum core team and territory
- Sacuieu City Hall
- Sacuieu Secondary School
Most Innovative Aspects of the Solution
The project addresses actual needs and issues found in the territory and focuses on empowering youth in rural areas, thus working on rebuilding the social fabric in rural communities.
This project stands out as a model for social innovation in rural areas, ensuring replicability though the LAGs across country (and even at European level).
LAG Napoca Porolissum was also awarded with the Rural Inspiration Award for this project, under the Socially inclusive & innovative futures category.