Fermanagh Farmers visit Spanish Beef and Dairy Producers

This study visit to Granada, Spain was developed and facilitated by Heather McLaughlin, Europe Direct NI, for over 40 Fermanagh Farmers.

The programme included beef and dairy visits including the “ Ganaderia Lodaisa S.C.A. a dairy farm near Granada managed by Auricle and his sister Anna Marie. This farm has 420 animals and produces 6500/7500 ltrs of milk. This milk is sent to a local dairy run by the co-operative to be sterilized and bottled and sold directly to residents and through various distribution channels.

 “ Los Pastoreros” managed by Mr. Pepe Luis is a co-operative involved in the production, processing and preparation of pasteurised milk as well as fattening pigs. The co-operative also produces dairy products such as cottage cheese and cheesecake. The trademark ” The Pastoreros ” has become over the years a benchmark of quality and prestige in the food sector with its own production and distribution and marketing in the provinces of Granada and Malaga.

The group also visited the world-famous Alhambra Palace with the beautifully landscaped gardens. The palace was built in the 15th Century built and was the residence of the last Moorish king.

Feedback from Participants:

‘Interesting to see a co-operative and its strength in savings and efficiency in sharing fixed costs’
‘Differences in farming systems and intensive feeding programmes’
‘Good to see everything up close and how a non grass system works and to follow system though to processing stage’
‘Excellent visit, well organised and lovely to have everything arranged and not to worry how to get there’
‘Interesting to see a much different approach to environmental legislation and compulsory innoculation’
‘Enjoyed the company and conversation of the group who asked lots of questions’
‘Seeing cattle management and productions systems, cattle welfare systems which helped to improve them at home”
‘We felt well looked after, everything well organised and we had an excellent local guide’
‘Interesting to hear about the olive production’

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ENWRA European Network for Women from Rural Areas: Project Visit to Hungary 1 – 4 August 2014

enwra_5The visit to Hungary 1 – 4 August 2014 is part of a programme of visits funded through The European Network of Women from Rural Areas (ENWRA) which is a partnership between organisations in Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Poland, Turkey and Northern Ireland.

The ENWRA partnership is funded through Grundgtvig Life Long Learning Programme to deliver a programme of meetings and visits hosted by each of the seven partners to their regions to provide women with the opportunity to look at how to address the difficulties women face as a result of rural isolation such as lack of employment and poor childcare support to share and learn from each other.

Heather McLaughlin, The Rural Centre/ Europe Direct NI is the co-ordinator from Northern Ireland and over the next two years will work with the partner organisations throughout Europe to look at the problems women face in rural areas and how to overcome them.

Following a visit to N Ireland in June four women from Fermanagh and Tyrone who hosted visits to their projects and enterprises were invited to participate in the visit to Hungary: Joan McCool, NIRWIN and Fist Steps Women’s Centre, Teresa O’Loughlin, Network for Enterprising Women and Marketing Consultant,  Pauline Gilmartin, Owner of Gilmartin’ craft shop and Carmel Campbell, Women of the World Network.

The visit began in Budapest with a sightseeing visit of the city on Friday 1 August 2014 before meeting CoachOk Professional Association, the national women’s civil organisation for an overview of the situation of women in Hungary. Over the following few days participants from the seven partner regions travelled to the rural areas of Békéscaba, Medgyesegyhzà and Nagybànhegyes. Meetings with rural women included the Community Developement Assosiation of Békés county, Women’s Associations in Rural Areas, Cultural Organisations, visits to rural businesses run by women as well as participating in a famous watermelon festival as guests of the Mayor of Békéscaba.

Participants heard about specific issues faces by women from the Slovak Nationality Council and the Association for the Romanian Tradition as well as caring for the elderly and disabled from the Home Care Social Public Association and the Medgyesegyháza and Bánkút Disabled Association.

Hungary is the fourth visit delivered by the ENWRA project. The first meeting was hosted by the partners from Spain in the Rubielos de Mora, a beautiful village in the mountainous area in the province of Teruel.

The participants shared the main challenges faced by women in their regions and a common theme emerged with rural areas in general facing a decline due to an outflow of young people to cities seeking education and employment due to a shortage of opportunities in their own area. Once they leave the rural area they rarely return leaving ageing populations and an area facing economic decline which makes it less attractive for investment to encourage young people to return. Women in the area are very creative and many still carry on traditions in tapestry, lace making and other handicrafts. However, they do not see the potential of turning theses skills into businesses for themselves.

ENWRA Newsletter Hungary

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Meetings and visits to other project partners take place on the following dates:
Spain 9 – 13 October 2014
Cyprus: 6 – 9 February 2014
Northern Ireland 4 – 8 June 2014
Hungary 1 – 4 August 2014
Turkey 9 – 13 October 2014
Germany 10 – 14 December 2014
Cyprus 29 – 31 March 2015
Poland 19 – 22 June 2015

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EU_flag_LLP_EN-01 This project is funded under the Lifelong learning Programme. Disclaimer: “ This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”

Portuguese Student Placements in Hospitality and Marketing: Edinburgh

With the support and collaboration of Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland (HIT) and the Apex Hotels I was delighted to facilitate hospitality and marketing placements for students from Portugal. The students participated in a week long placement in the wonderful Apex Hotels in Edinburgh. Each of the students was hosted in one of the four hotels, Apex International, Apex City, Apex European and Apex Waterloo Place. They began their placement with orientation training before receiving details of their rota for the week. They were supervised by the Head Chef and the Marketing Managers and undertook a range of duties in each of the departments.

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ENWRA: European Network of Women from Rural Areas Visit to Northern Ireland

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The visit to N Ireland 4 – 7 June 2014 is part of an EU funded project called European Network for Women in Rural Areas (ENWRA). The purpose is to link women from other regions of Europe to look at how to address the difficulties women face with childcare, rural isolation and lack of employment opportunities.

Over the next 2yrs each of the partners hosts a visit to their region to share the variety of work and activities that women are involved in rural areas. Visits have already taken place in Spain and Cyprus.

The visit is organised by Heather McLaughlin, Europe Direct Northern Ireland as the UK partner in the ENWRA project and supported by Teresa O’Loughlin, Chair of Network for Enterprising Women in Fermanagh who runs her her marketing and consultancy business ‘Think 6″.

The visit to N Ireland began in Belfast and after a meeting in the EU Commission Offices to discuss the project work plan the group travelled to Dungannon, Co Tyrone to visit First Steps Womens Centre which provides support, training and education to women ready to return to work or set up their own business.

The group then moved to County Fermanagh to share the experiences of local women and how they live and work in a rural area. Women from Poland, Hungary, Cyprus, Turkey, Poland and Spain visited and met the following businesses run by women in rural areas of Fermanagh. The women ran a wide range of businesses including goods and services. The purpose was to meet, discuss and inspire ENWRA participants to think of the skills and expertise they have which they could develop as a business from home.

Anne Rutledge: Tudor Farm Guest House. Bridie Gormley: Dulrush Guest House Linda Harron: Swicks Candles Teresa O’Haire: Orchard Acre Farm Fiona Kerr: Fiona Kerry Jewellery Anita Muckerjee & Eva Harenza, Women of the World Gabriele Tottenham, Blaney Yoga and Spa Linda Johnston: Film Maker & Relationship Education Expert Sarah Compton: Use Yourself Well Louise Reilly: Talk-Up Marketing Consultancy Louise Hardman: Wove in Hove Weaving Shauna Gallagher: Nature’s Inspiration Cosmetics B Baker: Home made baking

It was clear to the visitors that although women in this area faced the same issues of lack of employment the women had responded to the problem by setting up their own business to create employment for themselves. The businesses of the women entrepreneurs used their skills which ranged from crafts to professional services. Most of the women were sole entrepreneurs working so it was important for them to have an opportunity to network to support each other to share difficulties and to promote each others business and collaborate where possible. The Network for Enterprising Women was a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs to meet all of these networking and support needs. The other difference which was highlighted between women entrepreneurs in N Ireland and the other regions was the use of digital media to promote the business. Many of the women entrepreneurs used Facebook, Twitter and Blogs to promote the business much more than on other regions where digital media was rarely used.

ENWRA Newsletter Northern Ireland

Newspaper/ Press Report on visit to N Ireland

Irish Music and Dancing
Scottish Country Music Dancing
Polish Traditional Dancing

Meetings and visits to other project partners take place on the following dates:
Spain 9 – 13 October 2014
Cyprus: 6 – 9 February 2014
Northern Ireland 4 – 8 June 2014
Hungary 1 – 4 August 2014
Turkey 9 – 13 October 2014
Germany 10 – 14 December 2014
Cyprus 29 – 31 March 2015
Poland 19 – 22 June 2015

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“ This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”

Portuguese Tourism & Hospitality Visit to Edinburgh

This meeting was to explore the possibility of hospitality placements for students from Portugal to provide them with some practical experience in the area of hospitality. After gaining theoretical and some practical experience at vocational school the aim is to develop their skills further through a short term placement. They benefit through working in the industry as well as developing their English language skills and cultural experience working in another region of Europe.

The group met with Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland (HIT) who’s mission is “Assisting people to achieve their potential within Scottish hospitality”. HIT Scotland aims to inspire individuals to be the best they can be through scholarships and bursaries. With experience of working closely with Further and Higher educational institutions they were the ideal contact for the Portuguese School to source placements for students.

The group had an opportunity to visit some of the famous sites in Edinburgh including the Castle, the Royal Mile, and the Scottish Parliament.

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The European Network of Women from Rural Areas (ENWRA) Visit to Cyprus

The European network of Women from Rural Areas (ENWRA) held its second meeting in Cyprus first meeting in Spain 5 – 9 February 2014.

ENWRA is a partnership between lead organisations in Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Poland, Turkey and the UK.

Heather McLaughlin, The Rural centre, Europe Direct NI is the co-ordinator from Northern Ireland and over the next two years will work with the partner organisations throughout Europe and with rural women’s groups in this region to share best practice.

Each partner identified the key issues that women are facing in their region and shared information and experiences. For example in N Ireland, women are isolated in rural areas and there is a need for support and training opportunities for them as most of the training offered to women entrepreneurs takes place is towns and cities which are difficult to get to and costly. There are some governmental and European initiatives that support the entrepreneurship of women in rural areas. Women tend to move to live in larger cities when they are young but return to the rural areas life return to their home town or a village to raise families. Many women set up their own business using their skills to create employment for themselves that fits around family life. This entrepreneurship is a source of innovation to the local community. In Poland, there was an issue where women find it difficult to return to work after they give birth because there is limited infrastructure in rural areas for childcare and it is costly to leave your child in a kindergarten as salaries are very low. In addition, the mentality of women is also another factor since they believe that after birth they should dedicate themselves mainly to childcare and raising their familes. In Cyprus there are also several initiatives; but sometimes are more general in nature. For example, there are many day centers for the elderly where they can spent their time constructively which is mixed, but the majority is usually women. Moreover, there are programs such as Women’s entrepreneurship which funds with 50% the start up of businesses of women. In Hungary, there are also similar projects of entrepreneurship where they help women to set up their own company, while it covers some basic set up costs many of the women have to self finance using family support. In Hungary, most of the problems regarding maternity leave, day centers, opportunities and obstacles are similar as in the rest of the countries. The German partner gave information about the situation of women in Germany and the support that exists to help them to set up businesses based around their skills. The same issues of lack of affordable childcare existed to support women either return to work or set up their own business. it is difficult to find work that is flexible to fit around family responsibilities which is generally the role of the women in the family.

The meeting included field visit in the rural areas of Paphos, where participants had the opportunity to see women running their own enterprises. Visits began at the Museum of Evagoras Pallikarides in Tsada, a national hero and to the Museum of Folk Art and Tradition in Kallepeia. The group then visited Mrs. Christallas workshop in Lemona Village where they saw her make traditional Halloumi cheese as well as taste it. The next visit was to an Equestrian Club, where Mrs. Marlen in Amageti manages her horse farm. Marlen is from Canada and as a foreign woman in Cyprus she managed to create her own business. The working visit ended in Lemona, at the winery Tsaggaridou where a family Cypriot company passed from the father to the children, Lukia and Angelos who keep the family tradition alive. The participants were given a tour in the winery and they cooked for us a Barbeque and distinguished Cypriot mezes; while we tasted Cypriot wines.

The project is funded through Grundgtvig Life Long Learning Programme and the aim of the partnership is to share the experiences of women across these regions to look at the problems they face and how to overcome them.

ENWRA Newsletter Cyprus

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This project is funded under the Lifelong learning Programme. Disclaimer:“ This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.rus

Study Visit: Community Development in Poland

Krakow, Poland 24 – 28 November 2013

Heather McLaughlin, Europe Direct NI developed this study visit programme for a Community Network to look at community development in Poland. After arrival on the first day the group had a tour of the some of the most famous sites in Krakow, the capital of Poland led by and English speaking guide.

A number of visits followed over the next few days to Communes in Wadowice to look at the projects they had developed in their area and to hear about local development and inter-regional co-operation; Raciechowice to discuss major projects, ecology projects, community transport; Jodlownik to discuss major health, rural community development and cultural activity programmes and local development and Czorsztyn to explore major projects, rural tourism, environmental protection. Some of the projects visited included a power station and a salt mine.

The group also took time to visit the Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau which was an overwhelming experience.

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