For rural residents to receive training, resources and support that will enable them to:

  1. Gain new skills and knowledge related to sustainable development practices, sustainable agriculture, and environmental conservation, alongside specific training, including:
    1. Information technology skills development
    2. Graphic design
    3. Innovative housing, including sustainable building practices
    4. Practical building and carpentry
    5. Electrical technician training
    6. Woodworking
    7. Organic and sustainable agricultural production
    8. Marketing agricultural products
    9. Education and training for rural educators, with a focus on early childhood education
    10. Education and training for program facilitators, with the goal of scaling the programs to further rural communities
  2. Develop marketable products and;
  3. Access markets through online trading platforms, sector-specific private social networks, and their own websites, alongside direct trade through product placement support

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    Motivating Factors Applicable to Our Initiatives in Serbia

    • In order for a transition to a Circular Economy, Renewable Energy sources and Sustainable Development to be successful, rural stakeholders need to be involved in the process. Their individual and community needs must be met in order for educational and awareness-raising programs to achieve meaningful impact outcomes.
    • According to 2018 World Bank Data, 43.91 % of Serbia’s population is comprised of rural residents. This is the second-highest percentage of rural residents across the Balkans, with 51.76% of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s residents making their homes in rural areas according to 2018 World Bank Data. In contrast, Bulgaria’s rural population is only 24.99% of residents according to the same source. For this reason, rural innovation in Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina is crucial for the realization of the sustainable development goals. Given that rural residents in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are primarily farmers, education related to carbon emission reduction, green energy, alternative building options such as hemp-based materials, and the planting of income generating crops, such as industrial hemp, that are simultaneously carbon-negative, are crucial elements of sustainable development across the region.
    • In 2019, data from the National Statistics Office of Serbia (RZS) drew attention to children, teenagers, the unemployed and rural residents being at greatest risk due to the effects of poverty. Official figures for 2017 showed that 25.7% of the population lives at or below the poverty line. The poverty line is drawn at 15600 dinars (130 euros) for a family with one member, 28080 (234 euros) for a couple with one child and 32760 dinars (273 euros) for a couple with two children.
    • Rural innovation can become a successful poverty reduction strategy if programs and training address both skills development and market access, including access to new and innovative ways to market and sell products, and also access to fair and equitable employment opportunities based on transparent criteria.

    Contact us to find out more about how you can get involved in supporting Rural Innovation for Sustainable Development

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