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Rural Revival and Sustainable Development

Heritage & Environment| Views: 1859

We support innovative projects that explore how to bring new vibrancy to rural communities by celebrating their heritage, building on existing strengths, and creating sustainable new connections to the wider world. SNF grants, particularly those in Greece like the Foundation’s Vamvakou Revival initiative, aim to help pioneer models of action that can inform similar projects around the world.

Vamvakou Revival: They’ve got big plans for this small village

Vamvakou, built in the mid-15th century on the slopes of Mount Parnon is a typical Greek village, with a main square, a church, and a cluster of traditional houses—at least at first glance. But Vamvakou also has more robotics labs, resident musical ensembles, and experiments with non-Newtonian fluids than one might expect from a traditional village.
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“The revival of Vamvakou is a very ambitious project which, we believe, expresses a collective need, today perhaps more than ever, to return to our roots with respect and hope.”

SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos
A focus on the region of Laconia
Green space in downtown Sparta
Photo: Archaeological Museum of Sparta

An initiative focusing on the wider region around Vamvakou, Laconia, seeks to help showcase Sparta’s archaeological treasures, activate civic space, sustain the traditional arts of Byzantine music and hagiography, and ensure access to quality health care for residents of the region.
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Kick-Starting New Agriculture for a New Generation

New Agriculture for a New Generation aims to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people in the Greek agri-food sector, with a major SNF grant and expertise in agricultural education from institutions in Greece and the United States. Components include:

Sowing the Seeds of a Better Future for Bean Producers in Prespes

“I no longer have to guess what’s going on in my field. Now I know for sure. And I can easily access all this valuable data via my smartphone.”

Organic bean farmer Lazaros Nikolaou

This season, innovations in the growing process made possible by SNF through the POLIPRESPA sustainable development program allowed growers in far Northern Greece to monitor field conditions in real-time and access individualized expert support.
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Hikers participating in a POLIPRESPA cultural program
The POLIPRESPA program also includes arts and culture activities. Photo: POLIPRESPA

Explore more grants

  • The Greek Paths of Culture, a network of hiking trails in Thrace supported by The Elliniki Etairia – Society for the Environment & Cultural Heritage
  • An educational program for Greek farmers on the cultivation of Greek fodder crops from Greenpeace Greece

Learn more about SNF’s support for collaborative efforts to celebrate and preserve heritage and environment while promoting local sustainable development