If the distressing images broadcast during the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015 taught the world anything, it’s ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s the problem.
Blazing the motto, ‘Regenerating land. Regenerating lives,’ the Regeneration Project Granada is a forward-thinking collaborative attempting a new approach to refugeeism, with their vision of repopulating a relatively uninhabited village in the Spanish province of Granada using permaculture models.
“This project aims to build a mutual relationship and trust between refugees and rural communities through the regeneration of degraded landscapes,” explains one of the team’s core members, Gilbert Jassey, a Gambian refugee who is seeking asylum in Spain after being persecuted by his government for environmental activism. “By using permaculture models to regenerate and redesign degraded landscapes we hope to bring diversity, livelihoods and abundance.”
The rural village Regeneration Project Granada has set its sights on, has virtually become a ghost town due to depopulation caused by high unemployment and deterioration of the land. It is hoped that together migrants, refugees, local people and anyone interested in participating, can work the soil to create sustainable livelihoods, all the time regenerating the ecosystem and economy of the area.
“The most rewarding parts for me in being involved in this project are bringing hope to a changing climate by using the best sustainable practices for regeneration,” Gilbert says, “and working with refugees to give back to and exchange with their new communities through win-win solutions by working with nature.”
As one of five groups to win the Lush Spring Prize Intentional Projects Award, Regeneration Project Granada receives £10,000 to help bring their idea to fruition. “Winning the Lush Spring Prize has meant a lot for me and my team,” Gilbert tells us. “It means that the hard work, love, and dedication we are giving to this project has been recognised. This has added to my motivation to do more in making the world a better place for human habitation and all species. I’m committed to using the opportunity to improve the community and the land. I believe the result will benefit many generations to come.”
To be a part of Regeneration Project Granada visit www.erolesproject.org