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By Mandeigh Wells-Ali

Sicilia Integra is a beautiful reflection of how a project which seems to have a very direct set of objectives, actually weaves an intricate tapestry of interconnectedness. A project that set out to ease the integration of migrants into a new life is also contributing to the restoration of local communities and supporting restorative and organic agriculture. Now, with the soon to be launched Grani di Gaia, the project participants will also be responsible for the creation of new economic opportunities as they create and sell their own brand of pasta products to an increasing European market of organic pasta consumption.

The participants have already completed a five-week course in Design for Sustainability and Organic Food Systems and are now engaged in farm work, bakery work and the development of Grani di Gaia – the business. The next phase is to bring in unemployed Sicilian youths to the projects to facilitate social cohesion, create meaningful jobs and contribute to the resurrection of growing ancient wheat grains in an environmentally sustainable way in Sicily. It’s a triple win situation.

Read how the participants are doing on our blog.

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Sicilia Integra is Gaia Education's Project-Based Learning programme aiming to support the socio-economic integration of migrants arriving in Sicily through sustainable community and agro-ecology capacity building activities. Read more about the programme here.