Barcelona social inclusion, empower 2500 homeless

by Aseel Honein
From Ternura Roja
From Ternura Roja's Community Challenge submittal

Its time for Community Challenge in Barcelona!

We have started an online workshop in the form of a friendly competition, to raise awareness of the socially excluded among the “included” peoples of their communities. The challenges brought to us were diverse and complex, asTernura Rojas mentioned, when reporting her Challenge from Spain about “Romani Women” who get pregnant at a very young age, remain illiterate, beg in front of supermarkets, and often fetch their food from waste bins, as depicted in the picture, below.

Amid the economic crisis of beautiful Spain, with 25% unemployment rates, it is strongly anticipated that the numbers of homeless people will increase. Does that mean another generic “food and shelter” response will be made? 

Well, one way to help is, of course, to provide a shelter, and palliative amounts of food to move the homeless from one day to the next. In Community Challenge, however, we believe that people empowerment is the key. As the Chinese proverb says: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a life time.”

We also believe in the healthy exchange of ideas between people and nations: first, to promote mutual respect, understanding and tolerance; second,simply, because what works for some people could benefit other people as well. And undertaking that exchange is what Rojas has done during her two-week-challenge.“Learning goes both ways,” Rojas said. “I learn about their culture and they learn about mine, and we learn to respect each other’s. That way, we can introduce cultural changes in both cultures…”

The results are especially satisfying when the empowerment helps everyone in a community—those who reach out, and those who are reached. Learning about individuals like Ternura Rojas and so many other participants,who are social innovators, and social contributors—because they not only acknowledge social problems, but also provide great proposals and suggestions!

I look forward to utilizing all the wonderful insights gained from this opportunity to learn from each of you—and want to thank every donor, supporter,and friend. Without you, every one of you, this workshop would never have been possible.

Thank you again.

Links:

We have been so inspired by all the interactive dialogues through campaigning and decided to host and sponsor an online workshop to engage individuals (hopefully energetic students and professionals) in social humanitarian work. And to keep it interesting best interventions selected by our jury members will be rewarded free mentorship and 500 Euros worth of prizes.

The purpose of the workshop is to offer responsible individuals means and know-how to help empower socially excluded individuals and homeless. The online workshop has already launched but will extend it till end of April to encourage people from all over the world to contribute to "Empower the Person Campaign".

Workshop participants can enroll anytime by sending the following details to communitychallenge.bcn@gmail.com:

Full Name:

Age: (18+)

Residence area:

Occupation:

Extra-curricular activities:

Links:

Green Bags from SF
Green Bags from SF

"Empowering the Person Campaign" raised $3,000 of fundraising Challenge on GlobalGiving during the month of August. Thank you to everyone for your contributions.  With over 60 donations and 47  comments, your support was overwhelming.

"Empowering the Person Campaign" has inspired many of our friends from all over the world. We have recieved different proposals in conducting street action artistic research by Andrew Hill from San Francisco. Andy's proposal was to interact with the public on different sustainable habits varying from waste management and green public bags to growing different seed crops.

"Empowering the Person Campaign" is seeking to recruit student volunteers in Barcelona to pursue street research to aid homeless citizens of Barcelona, through awareness and inclusion, and then to blog about it.

We thank all our supporters, artists, contributors, and volunteers!

From San Francisco
From San Francisco
What if these flowers were real!
What if these flowers were real!

"Empowering the Person Campaign" has recieved its first artistic innovation called "Mobile Garden Cart" that could help empower people who need food security, in which well-balanced “kitchen gardens” can contribute much to the diet and health of individuals and families, wherever they are. And if there is extra produce, it can be shared, or sold. Leftover building material, furniture and many more are always scattered and found on the streets of Barcelona. It seems to us that its the perfect place for DIY projects. The "Mobile Garden Cart" MGC project will raise awareness on bio-diversity, and support of co-dependent pollinator ecosystems, which will appeal to the advantages of owning/propagating individual garden. The MGC is a great contribution by Artist Vounteer Michele Baron who writes an effecient description for this intervention. However, the next step is to make this description visual for the public. Here is Michele Baron's proposal: The MGC can be a wholly-contained unit, with seed-sprouting, container gardening, watering, and composting all in a portable growing system. The cart can be wheeled to maximize exposure to sun, and enable resilient gardening even when no plots of land are available. (Of course, the wheels must have a brake system, and, preferably, a block-and-wedge secondary stationary device.) A water sack can be filled, and a flexible piping system can be used to either water (drip or osmosis), or to create a fully-operational hydroponic (soil-free) garden, as well. This decreases water waste and evaporation, and ensures sufficient watering even if the gardener is away for a time. A composting unit can be enclosed just beneath the base of the container platforms—essentially, a double-platform frame, with perhaps 12 inches to 18 inches (30 to 50 cm) between the levels. A durable plastic housing can be placed within, benefitting from the warmer temperatures at the base of the Cart, where garden trimings, and other suitable vegetation can be combined to yield an ongoing source of compost. Worms or beneficial bacteria may be cultured within, as well—and thus if soil containers are used, the soil may be refreshed between each planting. If the garden is hydroponic, the compost may be donated to another garden space, nourishing more of the earth. Another benefit of this composting segment is that it insulates the base of the cart, ensuring a longer growing season, and enables a higher platforming of the framework for hanging containers, since the center of gravity and weight ratios are improved. A central, higher “ridge-pole” frame piece may be added at the top-center of the Cart’s framing system, to support anti-insect netting, open-weave vine-supporting netting, or acrylic/plastic cover-sheeting (if available)—to protect from insects, high winds, rains or droughts, and cold, improving the growing season, and garden productivity. Seed-sprouting trays, if desired, may be track-suspended along the top rails of the framework; they needn’t be very wide, only long, and will not block the sun’s rays to other garden containers. If possible, carts could be sold to urban and other landless, financially-stable gardeners, with an announced slight increase in price, so that other carts might be donated to the indigent landless, who also need food security, and could vastly benefit from a sustainable gardening system.

Please comment to help us improve this intervention. Thank you so much Michele Baron!

Living off the streets as tourist attraction!
Living off the streets as tourist attraction!
Homeless man, sleeping on streets of Barcelona
Homeless man, sleeping on streets of Barcelona

The Barcelona Social Inclusion project will help to build a better future for the housed and homeless citizens of Barcelona, through awareness, empowerment, and inclusion. The Barcelona Social Inclusion project will highlight the causes and consequences of homelessness, and guide outreach and informational activities, which will also assist the homeless to become socially engaged. Chosen, in June 2010, by the prestigious World Bank Institute and Urgent Evoke program for social innovators and entrepreneurs, the Barcelona Social Inclusion project has, in one month, continued the work of its Project Director, interviewing and documenting the Homeless and others in Barcelona, creating video, photographic, and other documentation of the plight of the Homeless, in their own words and realities. Networking with students, citizens, organizations, and, of course, family and friends, the founder/Director of the Barcelona Social Inclusion project has gathered an active and inspired group of volunteers and supporters. To keep friends and supporters informed, Barcelona Social Inclusion has begun several web pages, including facebook, vimeo, and twitter.

Pao! Homeless neighbor
Pao! Homeless neighbor

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Aseel Honein

Location: El-koura, North Lebanon - Lebanon
Project Leader:
Aseel Honein
El koura, North Lebanon Lebanon

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