Proxecto Sementeira, Ecological Social and Labour Inclusion

Sementerira is a project carried out by Cáritas to contribute to environmental, economic, and social sustainability in the region of Ordes. It consists of providing urban vegetable gardens to families suffering from economic deprivation, and/or from social exclusion, or families who are at risk of exclusion.

It aims to provide these families the opportunity to participate in a social project, and to provide them with a support tool for their economic sustainability through vegetable farming for their own consumption. This initiative attempts to minimise the dependency that they have on food banks, as well as to contribute to their training, in order to help on their labour inclusion.

Around 30 families benefit from this initiative. They can use a 7.000 m2 area for their plots in the urban centre of Ordes, which was assigned by the Council. Each plot has a small greenhouse, in addition to other services, store places, and an area reserved for recycling, where compost is made.

Imaxen proxecto sementeira

The process of learning a horticultural job is not only technical. They are also trained on how to organise groups, material management, labour skills, and living together. The training process is completed by learning how to apply the previously mentioned knowledge in the work sphere: active employment seeking, the analysis of the area's working conditions...

When training is completed, a job pool is created. The job-pool acts as a facilitator to find paid employment and assessing self-employment initiatives.

Esmelle's Project: Recovering Communal Solidarity and Patrimony

This project starts in the parish of Esmelle, in the area of Ferrol, at the end of 2013. Its goals were to put into value the Val (Valley), by recovering its heritage and to use sustainably its resources.

The neighbourhood association of Esmelle, in a volunteering way, organise working sessions to rehabilitate and clean the ethnographic heritage. Moreover, they carry out educational sessions dedicated to rural environment, heritage, and to recover the indigenous forest.

Their goals are the following

  • To promote volunteering action focussed on heritage recovery and conservation
  • To train and increase public awareness on environmental protection.
  • To promote tourist activities in the Val de Esmelle.
  • To put into value ethnographic, historical, and intangible heritage.

In order to achieve the above mentioned goals, the help of neighbours is needed, as well as to seek the administration and holders support, and to carry out social activities that help the understanding of the project.

Imaxen proxecto esmelle

This project can be carried out in different places. For the project to succeed, it has to awake neighbour’s awareness to change their environment, to preserve what is theirs, and to respect resources.

Aurora dos Camiños: Participation and Community

Aurora dos camiños is a project which is inspired by the Camiño de Santiago (St. Jame's Way). It was founded as an associated worked cooperative in 2011, in the parish of S San Martín de Ozón, in Muxía Council. It offers a hosting service for pilgrims.

In an estate rented to the Archdiocese, where the remains of a monastery from the 12th Century, and the rectory house can still be found, there exists a rehabilitation and recovering process in which partners, neighbours and people who want to get to know the project participate.

Imaxen Aurora dos camiños

Partners not only want to offer a place for pilgrims to rest, they offer the opportunity to participate in a community experience based on the exchange of personal and professional experiences.

Thematic activities and knowledge workshops are organised, in addition to the rehabilitation of cultural interest goods, historical recreations, and organic agricultural activities.

Territorial Care in ITI Peneda Gerês

Environmental protection measures are frequently seen as a threat by traditional inhabitants of the protected areas. However, the landscape and natural conservation of our land owes much to traditional farming. When there is an ageing, or decaying population, the traditional practices that configured the landscape and environmental balance that we inherited decay as well.

imaxen Peneda

The project carried out by Intervención Territorial Integrada Peneda-Gerês (Territorial Integral Intervention Peneda- Gerês) aims to support agricultural, shepherding, and forestry methods, which are compatible with biodiversity and landscape conservation. Therefore, it aids to preserve natural habitats, as well as the territorial setting of traditional population.

In order to accomplish this economic incentives were used. Both communal forest members and private owners were directly paid when their shepherding and agricultural working methods were environmentally responsible.

Communal forest members even take on social care projects using the services provided by the program. An example of this is the construction of a day care centre for the elderly.

One of the key aspects of this experience is that it is founded in a participative structure. It gives priority to local agents, as associations and cooperatives of producers from the area participate. Therefore, an effective strategy of land stewardship is achieved.

Therefore, the environment needs to be seen, especially at the present moment, as an endogenous resource, as well as an opportunity of a way of life for the traditional local community.


Main issues to be discussed:
  • Participative structure and land stewardship
  • Shepherding and agricultural working methods were environmentally responsible.

Mercado de la Cosecha, social responsibility and rural development

Mercado de la Cosecha is a platform of initiatives and organizations that share and propose ideas to boost the competitive development of Galicia and the sustainability of rural areas.

imaxen mercado de la cosecha

It begins with the principles of innovation, quality and sustainability and its goals are:

  • Disclosure of innovative proposals that are leveraging the socio-economic development of rural areas in Galicia by generating wealth and value.
  • Promotion of collaborative activities as a meeting point for all those people whose goal is the enhancement of our own, but with added and differential value.
  • Boosting the development of tools that can promote innovative initiatives with high potential for the sector


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Main issues to be discussed:
  • The appreciation of initiative and innovation in rural areas
  • Social responsibility as an engine of development

University Youth Serving Rural Development: Geraz com Querença

The parish of Santa Leocádia de Geraz da Lima developed the project “Geraz con Querença”.

The project consists of defining a long term strategy to energize the territory. Its main objective was to put into value the territory's endogenous assets and to contribute to give back value to the local cultural identity and the life quality in this rural space.

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In order to achieve this objective 9 young newly graduates in different areas of knowledge were hired. The areas of knowledge in which these newly graduates have specialised in were tourism, sports, agricultural engineering, gerontology, and computer science among others.

Each of them had to develop a project likely to turn into a viable business once the hiring time was over. They also carried out group interventions, such as in fairs, where local production was promoted.


Main issues to be discussed:
  • University knowledge and rural development
  • A model of sustainable development is built on the basis of traditional community formulas

Biomass as Employment Driving Force in Vilalba

The Centro Ocupacional (Occupational Centre) is a facility specialized in day care. It is meant to provide comprehensive social and personal care for intellectually disabled persons. The centre provides training and formation activities, as well as vocational training and activities to developed personal and social skills.

imaxen mulleres de O Viso

Over the last years, the centre carries out a project using forest biomass aiming to exploit this energy resource, and to satisfy the heating power requirement of the facility.

In relation to the use of biomass, it not only supplies the boiler of the centre, but also generates a series of activities that promote labour integration, employability, and training. In addition to environmental care activities and to promote sustainable development, it also aims to put into value local resources.


Main issues to be discussed:
  • Joint agents in common projects of universalist character
  • Identification of resources with potential for inclusion

Reserva da biosfera Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo

The Rural Development Association Mariñas-Betanzos, is a non-profit association. It was created in 2008, and its aim is to manage locally rural development programs and projects in Abegondo, Aranga, Arteixo, Bergondo, Betanzos, Cambre, Carral, Cesuras, Curtis, Sobrado, Culleredo, Coirós, Irixoa, Miño, Oza dos Ríos, Paderne, Oleiros and Sada.

terras do Mandeo

Its activities are aimed to contribute to sustainable development in the territorial area of Mariñas-Betanzos, and to be a centre of integration and representation for different public and private agents. Its working methodology is based on the interaction of different sectors of the local economy.

It successfully encouraged the candidature of Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo Biosphere Reserve, as a way to insure its environmental heritage conservation and its utilisation as an asset for its economic and social development.

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Main issues to be discussed
  • Environmental conservation as a tool to improve economy
  • The energising action of local agents

Sustainable Rural Communities Recovery: Aldea do Couto

Through a study carried out by the University of Santiago de Compostela, this project seeks to establish ways for the socio-economic recovery of the Aldea do Couto (Couto Village) and to turn it into a sustainable centre able to energize economy and employment through new business proposals. In addition, it seeks to draw population to the area, in order to stop the demographic decline process that rural Galicia is suffering from.

imaxen Aldea do Couto

Moreover, it seeks to provide an alternative to women and youth suffering from unemployment. It can be exported to other rural centres, as they can use it as a model for their socio-economic repercussion.

Main issues to be discussed:
  • University aid in the recovering of villages.
  • A sustainable development model is created based on traditional communal formulas.

South Tipperary Development Company, focussing on a local & integrated development


This organization aims at improving the social and economic circumstances of targeted individuals, groups and communities within the South Tipperary area through the implementation of a number of Rural Development and Social Inclusion Programmes.

South Tipperary Development Company (STDC) is the Local Action Group (LAG) for this area. It operates two primary programmes, namely The ‘Rural Development’ or ‘Leader 2007-13’ Programme and the Social Inclusion (LCDP) Programme. It has over 225 people employed on these programmes and employs a further twenty people at their headquarters in Cahir, County Tipperary, Ireland.

A number of initiatives operate within each programme including The National Recreation Strategy, the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) and the local community work programmes of ‘Tús’ (meaning ‘Beginning’ in Irish).

The Tús Programme is an Active Labour Market Programme (ALMP) that is delivered locally by South Tipperary Development Company (STDC) on behalf of the Government’s Department of Social Protection. Tús is designed to provide short term working opportunities to unemployed people, while at the same time supporting the broad range of services delivered by community and voluntary bodies. Providing that an organisation or group is a not-for–profit one, they can apply for a participant who can work part-time for twelve months with that organisation. The working opportunities can range from office administration, sports training, community centre caretaking, to mountain trail maintenance or habitat restoration. The only limits are those placed by the non-availability of suitable placement opportunities in an area. The more remote the area, the less opportunities are available for a person from that locality to benefit from the programme. This, in a small sense, relates to the earlier Symbios theme of ‘territorial exclusion’.


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Key questions:
  • The tight link between rural development and social inclusion
  • How to use the community (social, environmental, etc…) needs as an opportunity to create short term jobs and labour inclusion in rural areas