Centro Social das Taipas’ project Aldeia Toda is working to create capacity for hostelry in mountain villages to become key for tourism and communities.
Centro Social das Taipas (CST) project addresses two problems:1) the deep degree of ageing and human desertification in mountain villages in Portugal’s hinterland; 2) the lack of professional human resources in accessible tourism.
Many hotels, even in mountain areas, are often adapted to accessible tourism, therefore able to open their facilities to disabled or dependent visitors. This tourism segment is important, since dependant do not travel alone. However, the market does not work since it lacks specialized human resources., who will allow families to have some rest while their dependants can be watched over. Hotels do not have these professionals, so they cannot sell this product.
After having a long and successful experience building a Nursing Home, CST is now putting their experience at the service of a larger community, by creating the much-needed professional human resources that will, as SME’s, supply the hotels with professional caretakers when needed, and open this segment of the tourism market in depressed regions. For now, the project is working on technical capacity creation. The project is for now just exploring parallel possibilities, like “Co-farming” and Community professional caretakers, in villages that can profit from a 24h surveillance for dependant tourist and dependant local inhabitants (it will be Aldeia Toda), in order to create solutions for a more human ageing process even in dependent periods.
Even if CST has a budget that surpasses the 4 million € annually, for this capacitation process the predicted budget is of 30.000€. Capacitation will prepare people to create their own SME’s to serve either in nursing homes or in hotels.
Evidence of success
The project is built by an experienced institution, funded in 1970, and recognized by the state as a public utility charity since 1984. Today the CSP has Nursing Home, a Kindergarten, Free time activities (ATL), Day Center for Seniors, Home Support Service (SAD). The Nursing Home reached its limits by receiving 57 seniors, but the 80 employees of the institution serve more than 197 seniors and 100 families.
Potential for learning or transfer
The need for professional caretakers for hostelry allowing informal caretakers to relive their well known stress, while still in proximity with their loved ones, is transversal to the whole of Europe. The project it self is planned to be used as case study allowing the best parts of the practice to be transferred. The ongoing good practice we present is the CST and their now temporarily paused (due to COVID 19) capacitation process for the creation do SME’s.