With the goals of promoting dialogue about local development and migration while supporting ecologically balanced social entrepreneurship, the twins Centre des Hommes (Togo) & La Bolina (Spain) turned their ideas of a New Story into reality. Together with the additional support from a GEN Ambassador, the two communities produced an educational video series and launched a website for Centre des Hommes. The Community members shared their experiences, exchanged resources, and reflected on issues of agroecology, social entrepreneurship, and migration. By involving almost 20 interviewees they have so far reached around 50 people.
The collaboration not only enabled a deeper understanding of the impacts of their work but it raised motivation and sparked more ideas for future projects. As soon as COVID restrictions allow it they plan to host a public event to present the project results and increase visibility. Also, they hope to facilitate volunteer exchanges between Togo and Spain. Right after the first video is published they are planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign to enable the projects to further advance collaboration, particularly in water management and a community learning centre that will increase its impact in the local community. The videos and the crowdfunding campaign will allow both of them to increase their visibility and reach different audiences.
This project was a valuable opportunity for all the members and stakeholders in their communities to reflect on the wider implications of their work, establish links and exchange their points of view. Thanks to their collaboration they both discovered each other’s realities which was inspiring and motivating. For La Bolina it was interesting to have a glimpse into the network of sustainable communities in Africa and getting to know the work of CDH, while for Centre Des Hommes it was inspiring to discover a project that focuses on agroecology and migration. Through sharing their insights they discovered common values that motivate their efforts in such different contexts. Finally, they also shared ideas and resources that could help them to continue with their collaboration.
– Centre des Hommes (CDH) focuses on local development in Togo involving farmers, artists and children to offer them opportunities to overcome poverty through social entrepreneurship and education. They are in the process of building an ecovillage site where to support the local community to thrive, but they need to do water management intervention on their land as one of the steps that will facilitate the realisation of the training center “Ecovillage Centre Des Hommes” (ECDH).
– La Bolina envisions a world of connected ecological, regenerative and intercultural communities and activates this vision in a depopulated rural area of southern Spain. They are dedicated to the promotion of a local circular economy and a dignified and respectful integration of migrants and refugees, running education and training programmes and growing and selling ecological vegetables.
For Ecovillages, eco-projects, regional and national ecovillage networks
For years there has been the practice of “twinning” within GEN, where ecovillages, eco-projects, and ecovillage networks form special friendships and support each other. Over time, these friendships solidify and evolve into mutually beneficial relationships. We now have wonderful examples of twinning relationships in GEN and are excited to streamline the twinning so more projects are able to find and support each other.
GEN is now supporting twinning relationships in a more systematic way, as a ‘dating agency’. When possible, we try to provide modest funds to support collaborative projects. Know more in the Twinning page.
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