Learning, Teaching, Training Activity in Girona, Spain

On 25th-30th October took place in Girona, Spain - the Learning, Teaching, Training Activity (LTTA) meeting for the 22 representatives of women's organisations from three European countries: Italy, Portugal and Romania. The activity took place within the ABLE - A Better LifE project, a project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union.

The Spanish partner, Blue Room Innovation organized an exemplary study, learning and working visit program in the region of Catalonia - offering the possibility to deepen the intellectual products developed in the project so far, namely: the access to the ABLE Platform and the knowledge integrated in the modules developed for the Platform by all the institutional partners: The Open Network for Community Development Foundation and Romanian Women's LOBBY Association (Romania), Form2you Association (Portugal), Euro Project Lab Srls Association (Italy) and Blue Room Innovation (Spain) - the host of the whole meeting.

Within the LTTA, the participants had the opportunity to learn more about the work of rural women's organisations in Catalonia through the joint meeting held at the delegation of Catalan Government (Generalitat) rural department in Girona.

The meeting was attended by the president and director and the department explaining different rural policies implemented in the area, and the following associations explained their experience as basic point of discussion:

  • Ramaderes de Catalunya - Women shepherd in Catalonia, how they are organized after differences between masculine comments and they have been organized in Whatsup group as an association. They share business but also learning processes and innovation...
  • ARCA Association - ARCA is a network of support and representation of Local Action Groups (GAL) whose mission is to energize the rural world by making it easier for the people who live there to have a better quality of life and new opportunities.
  • Associacio Catalana de dones de la Mar - From sea field presented the fact that only 3 women in Catalonia are fisherwomen for this reason they collected different professional initiatives related to the sea as sport, research, and commerce...
  • Joana Oliveira – Expert at Form2You presented different Portuguese initiatives:
  • creative activities for a happier and more sustainable future. https://mariaalmiramedina.weebly.com/
  • Casa das Cenas Association - Sintra Education through the Art of Preserving Cultural Heritage.
  • Cláudia is responsible for the Cirand'Arte Project, which consists of activities carried out in the school community, valuing contact and respect for nature, as well as creativity and good coexistence. The target audiences are mothers and children living in rural areas, with low levels of education and with some difficulties in developing a profession. Most have low digital literacy.
  • Associaçao Janela das Brincadeiras - The association works with children and young people, and one of its main areas of intervention is the families of these children, namely their mothers. Among the multiple activities and projects, this association organizes every year Holiday Camps for adults and seniors, training adults, especially women from rural areas. https://www.facebook.com/Janeladasbrincadeiras
  • Projeto KIKA - Gabriela Pereira, a psychologist by training, is responsible for the KIKA project, an association that distributes daily food to needy families, many of them from ethnic and/or religious minorities, in which women have an undervalued role. Some of the characteristics evidenced by these women are Low self-esteem; lack of decision-making power; they also have projects linked to African communities, whose objective is to help orphan children and empower women for life in the 21st century. This association is linked to other associations of victims of sexual abuse, and domestic violence, among other weaknesses. https://www.facebook.com/Projetokika
  • Sintra Cresce Saudável - Raquel Ferreira, nutritionist by training, an employee of the municipality of Sintra, develops community intervention projects in nutrition and public health - from theory to practice. She has a project (Nurturing for emotions) in which she develops the empowerment of women, valuing their professional work. These are mostly women from rural areas who do not feel comfortable in the work they do, such as: cooks, kitchen and cleaning assistants, etc. https://crescesaudavel.sintra.pt/in-english
  • Chiara Catapano – An expert at Euro Project Lab from Italy, presented the support that they are giving to the cooperatives and the difficulties that they find to support women's leadership. Part of a Confcooperative organisation All members are women and cooperatives leaders works on: women empowerment, gender equality, projects. https://www.confcooperativemiliaromagna.it/.../Dirigenti...
  • Project Sblockmotes: the importance of words inclusive language, fighting stereotypes, vademecum vocabulary, games (crosswords)
  • Cristina Victoria Cherț - Executive Director of The Open Network for Community Development Foundation from Romania, presented an ongoing project within the foundation, the FORWARD project that addresses the development of women entrepreneurship in rural areas. The FORWARD project is a combination of sustainable development in rural areas of small businesses run by women who want a stable financial resource, a happy family and the use of local resources in the development of crafts.
  • Laura Albu - President of the Romanian Women's Lobby Association from Romania, presented an initiative called "Fruits and Gifts" - supporting Romanian agriculture and small rural producers. Within the framework of the above-mentioned initiative, a dialogue is mediated between the small Romanian rural producer and the big companies owning supermarket chains in order to develop local production.

Blue Room Innovation organised a working visit to the Catalan countryside and representatives of women's organisations from the partner institutions visited the Winery managed by two impressive women (mother and daughter) from Vinyes Olivardots. After this Girona Apples cooperative was visited and women have seen how all together can create quality products with high innovation and digitalization despite we are in the rural areas and finally the farm Mas Bes was visited where a part of their animals for milk and meat, also they have different possibilities of rural tourism, events organization, sustainable energy with compost, local product promotion in order to realize different realities of work and life in this European area.

It was an intense learning programme, it was a period of reflection and discussion on the development opportunities that rural women currently have in Europe in different areas, European countries. It was a programme in which the exchange of best practices between the present organisations demonstrated once again that through dialogue, Europe will grow through learning and become a social and more solidary Europe.