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South America
 

The PTSNOA project of sustainable and inclusive tourism, supported by Amu and EoC, will expand and reach three other provinces in the North-West of Argentina (NOA): Salta, Catamarca and Jujuy.
The NOA is an integrated area predominantly mountainous, which records some of the highest mountains in America (Puna region). Other parts of this area are ravines, valleys, yungas and Chaco, all of them have different characteristics of climate, economy and social context and potentially are great tourist attractions.
The natural richness of the region sadly contrasts with the poverty in which many of its inhabitants live. In many cases, these farmers only develop a family subsistence economy. These contradictions have caused a strong youth migration, resulting in the depopulation of communities and family breakdown, with the loss of rural and indigenous identity and culture.
The project works on the sustainable, ethical and responsible tourism sector as an opportunity for the human and social development of the indigenous and local communities, generating job opportunities in the field of community tourism. This includes crafts, agriculture, breeding and widespread hospitality, all areas where the community will receive a training to strengthen their knowledge.
In this way, families will be able to generate new sources of employment and income, improving the quality of life of their communities also through experiences of reciprocity and cooperation, typical of our projects.

PLANNED ACTIVITIES

A) Training activities on:
a. Tourism, for the creation of tourist receptions and services management such as accommodation, restaurants, tourist guides
b. Accompaniment and preparation of business plans, commercialization plans and projects for the construction of tourist infrastructures
c. Community and institutional strengthening for local capacity building and community self-management
d. Management, tourism and social economy to strengthen the technical team’s management skills
e. Exchange of experiences and knowledge with local and international actors

B) Promotion of local culture and identity: preparation of divulgative material on the local history of the area
C) Microcredit and reciprocity fund

SPECIFIC ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

28 professional training courses on tourism, business, quality and marketing
14 exchange meetings between the entrepreneurs of the programme
42 visits on agricultural technical assistance
168 visits for assistance in the preparation of business plans
14 technical visits for architectural studies
1 micro credit fund and 1 Mutual Fund, both active
1 Marketing plan, elaborated and implemented
1 Web page of the entrepreneur network
– Participation in 2 national tourism fairs
4 meetings with travel agencies
9 training courses for the technical team
28 training meetings on active and participatory citizenship
14 meetings for the preparation of local strategic plans and code of conduct in the tourism sector
2 annual meetings of the program’s entrepreneurs
8 coordination meetings between member institutions of the program
2 international meetings of entrepreneurs (Argentina – Brazil)
Creation, printing and publication of historical documentary materials of 6 NOA regions

 

 

The project aims to improve the quality of life of socially vulnerable people through a specific incubation path of social enterprises that can give them decent employment opportunities and/or offer basic products and services accessible to the most disadvantaged population, in different regions of Brazil and particularly in rural areas or in cities peripheries.

The incubation process goes through a training and technical and financial support of: 1) socially vulnerable people or groups that are willing to start a business; 2) business initiatives that offer basic products and services accessible to people with social disadvantage; 3) entrepreneurial initiatives that provide the inclusion at work of socially vulnerable people as employees, collaborators or associates, thus generating opportunities for human and social development.

The selected people and groups are trained on the working environment as well as on integral human development through individual consultations and group training workshops. They also receive a seed-capital to start up or strengthen their business activities, according to a business plan that is elaborated and applied with the constant support of the project advisors team.

The project inspires and promotes the values of gratuity, reciprocity, cooperation and sharing, aiming to strengthen peoples’ mutual relationships and support, promoting social integration and the multiplication of new social development initiatives. For this purpose, the beneficiaries will do their best to return the contribution received as seed-capital over time so that it can generate new initiatives in favour of other vulnerable people.

Project’s principal activities:

  1. Program Participants Selection: In this first edition of the program 10 projects of inclusive communion companies were selected to participate in the activities: 3 organic agricultural cooperatives, an individual producer of prefabricated concrete, a beautician, a clothing producer, a service assistance for elderly and disabled people, a home-based organic pizzeria, a music school, a vocational training school.
  1. Training labs for entrepreneurs on: how to start a business and implement a sustainable business plan; How to manage an enterprise according to the guidelines of the economy of communion; How to transform the job opportunity into an overall improvement of the quality of life.
  1. Personalized support to the new entrepreneurs by business and human development consultants: on a business level, consultants accompany the participants in putting forward a more developed business plan and to apply it successfully and sustainably. On the personal and professional level, they will receive training and support by psychologists and personal development consultants in order to acknowledge all their potential, develop them and put them at the service of others.
  1. Provision of capital to start an entrepreneurial venture or to grow and strengthen it: projects receive funding from a Mutual Fund, with the purpose of making the necessary investments for the implementation of the business plan. They will then give the contribution received back to the Mutual Fund, to the benefit of other new projects of inclusive communion.
 


In the North West of Argentina, in a pre-Andean area, live several indigenous communities with poor livelihoods. In some places there is still no access to drinking water and electricity and families live in precarious conditions.
In the past 5 years some families have joined a program sponsored by the Episcopal Conference of Argentina for the development of community tourism, experiencing several benefits. With our intervention, supported by the businesses of Economy of Communion, other families (83 from 5 different communities) will be able to join the project, offering quality tourist reception to tourists who want to share their daily life in an extraordinary landscape.
The goal is to strengthen the skills of tourist reception of these communities, including the improvement of agricultural and handicraft production, to create sources of income complementary to those from farming and breeding which currently cover only subsistence needs.

The main activities are the following:
• Community Counselling to strengthen management skills and legal formalization of the activities;
• Purchase of equipment to improve the handcraft production and advice for finding new markets;
• Purchase of material and equipment for accommodation facilities;
• Improving the drinking water supply system in a community;
• Involvement in trade fairs of the tourism sector;
• Visits at the beneficiaries reception facilities by agencies and tour operators;
• Cleaning of natural sites and organization of trails for hiking tours;

An integral part of the project is the Fund of reciprocity to which the beneficiaries will contribute in cash returning over time 30% of the grant received and in valued form (40% of the grant received) in order to put to the disposal of other future beneficiaries the structures, experiences and expertise.

The total cost of the project is € 123,727.83 of which € 55,846.90 borne by AMU-EoC.

 


Bolívar is a small town of 2.500 habitants, in the middle of the Peruvian Andes, at a height of 3.200 metres.
Its territory also includes 30 small communities, scattered over a vast area and difficult to reach.
We are in the Peruvian region of La Libertad, at its extreme eastern edge. People here live mainly on agriculture: they grow potatoes and hay for the animals; there is also some small herd of dairy cows. Someone is employed in public offices, but most of the adults go to look for work on the coast, men like farmers, women in service in some families. The consequence of this situation is that in Bolívar there is an age group almost completely missing; practically the children grow up with their grandparents.

The project “A school on the Andes” was born from a proposal of father Emeterio Castañeda, priest of Bolívar.
He has long realized that many children do not attend public schools, either because the distances to be covered are very long, or for the need of the families to have their children to work the land.

In 2011 father Emeterio has started a school in the parish. He has carried out a painstaking work to persuade every family of the importance of the study, ensuring that he would give the children a meal.
Later, he had to rent a house because the parish classrooms were not enough; in a short time, in fact, the children became 80.

The school employs teachers paid by the state. In Peru, indeed, the government ensures the payment of salaries even in private schools, if given enough guarantees. There is however the need to stabilize the lessons, and this is the weak point of the current school, because the rented premises do not allow giving this guarantee. The primary objective of the project is to ensure the continuity of school activity; that’s why a new school will be built, consisting of 11 classrooms and a secretary office. It includes both primary and secondary school, and about 250 children and teenagers are expected to attend.

Moreover a second phase of the project can already be glimpsed. There is in fact a larger and far away strip of territory from where the children cannot get to school even with long hours of walking. So it would be required for them a protected environment, a family-house with trained staff that will welcome them.

The contribution necessary to complete the entire project, lasting three years, amounts to € 391,036.40. The project includes the construction of 11 classrooms plus the secretarial premises, the purchase of the equipment, children’s meals and teacher’s training.

Details for expenditure items:
– Construction (design, material, labour, infrastructure) € 183.055,25
– Furniture and equipment  € 17.666,40
– Teaching materials € 11.919,84
– Training of the teachers € 8.462,82
– Children’s meals € 30.168,32
– Local coordination, administration, logistics, monitoring and local promotion € 61.556,49
– Project management € 39.103,64
– Administrative costs € 39.103,64.

Required contributions:
2014 € 301.940,95
2015 € 48.457,31
2016 € 40.638,14

UPDATES

The school was inaugurated on March 15, 2015.
For more updates on the status of the project, see the news and related articles on the side page.

 

Located at 2,500 above sea level, Cochabamba, with its 500,000 inhabitants, is one of the main cities of Bolivia. In the city, Area 5 is distinguished by the high poverty indexes and crime. Half of its 60,000 inhabitants live in crowded tenements and with habitation problems (no water, sewers, etc.); one inhabitant out of  3 is an immigrant from the Bolivian plateau and from the mine areas looking for a work. The birth rate in the district is about 3,3 children per woman, against the national average of 2,7.

Between 2002 and 2006 some members of  Fundación UniSol visited time and time again many families of the district, noting the living conditions and real needs. In many homes physical space where the youth can study is lacking. Indeed, 90% of families have only one or  two rooms to live in, with bathrooms and utilities in common with other families (from two to nine), and, also for this reason, about 20% of the youth do not attend school.

In answer to this problem, in 2007, Fundación UniSol created the “Rincon de Luz” Centre (literally  “Corner of Light”): three rented rooms for after-school activities, offering the youth of the district the possibility to study with the help of volunteer tutors; but not only, a workshop-space too in which the mothers can carry out little manual activities to integrate the family incomes.

At the end of 2010, the members of UniSol understood that the time had come to increase the quality and invest in a project managed professionally to offer a more effective and durable contribution for the needs of the Area 5 population. In a working year, the UniSol team in close contact with the AMU team and involving families of the district were able to identify, in their work and the adults’ employment, the area on which to focus energies and, sustainable over time, to guarantee the families a way out from the conditions of extreme poverty and need in which they found themselves. Therefore what was needed was to invest on professional training and on the stability of employment.

It’s exactly what we will continue doing from January 2012, with a three-year project. In addition to activities of school and nutritional assistance, and of integral formation for families, new perspectives will also be opened up, through the following activities:

–       Workshops to develop the motivations and the psycho-aptitude capabilities oriented to create micro-businesses (for about 550 people);

–       Orientation service for formation courses and for the possibility to support micro-businesses offered by the private or public institutions (for 330 people)

–       Professional and technical scholarships in exchange for work in the activities of the Centre (for 32 people)

–       Direct advice to start micro-businesses and a service for granting microcredit (for about 157 families)

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