Supporting vulnerable people and facilitating their re-integration into society through small volunteer jobs on local farms.
Belgium has a longstanding tradition of hosting people with disabilities on farms: an approach that is commonly called ‘social farming’. A specialised hospital in Wallonia developed such a project in order to facilitate the re-integration of their patients into the local community by supporting their participation in farming activities. The RDP support mainly covers the cost of having two supervisors in the hospital centre; in charge of liaising between the farmers and the patients, developing the network and advocating the benefits of the scheme.
After running the project for one year, there are now 12 farms enrolled in the scheme. They support the participation of 13 vulnerable people, who each engage in farming activities one day per week.
Longer-term objectives (2017-2022) are set, aiming to (i) sustain the network of participating farms over time, (ii) design a specially-adapted tutoring scheme in cooperation with agricultural partners, and (iii) raise the profile of social agriculture in Wallonia.