PROFARM Network Meeting Netherlands

At the social farm zorgboerderij Hoeve Op Vollenhof in Wezep (Oldebroek) the first Dutch Local PROFARM Network meeting took place. At this meeting there were a lot of Profarm stakeholders, including representatives of social farms, local institutions, the world of education, companies in the agricultural sector with a strong social vocation (companies and social / educational farms), associations, social collaboration.

On behalf of the project team PROfessional and personal empowerment in social farming (Profarm) of the Groene Welle, Anton Kiewiet welcomed the PROFARM delegates for the first network meeting, on January 19, 2017. De Groene Welle and Dutch Foundation of Innovation Welfare 2 Work – the two Dutch PROFARM partner organisations – explained the European project Profarm. Besides the Dutch there are also representatives from Italy and Germany, each with two institutes involved in the project. The project is led by the province of Umbria in Italy.

The Project outline: In addition to developing European policy reform for social farming, the project focuses mainly on teaching students which currently are hard to offer adequate training. We need to educate them to get these students what they need to develop into a fully fledged job in the green sector. During this project we will develop an appropriate learning path, for students in a Work Based Learning setting offered in an educational program within a care farm / care business. With this appropriate learning route we want to prepare them for a position on the labour market. Obtaining a certification, preferably a degree appropriate to the capabilities of the student in question, is a very important objective…

During the local network meeting the following topics were covered:

  • Introduction to get image in the network
  • Explanation European project Profarm:

Groene Welle is responsible for implementation of the pilot

  • Zoom in on the target
  • What students we are talking about?
  • Memorandum of Understanding
  • Do you want to commit to the project Profarm?
  • Talk about options for implementation of the pilot project on care farms
  • What is already there, what is possible and what are the challenges?


The Questionaire & Work Based Learning

A participants of this meeting received a request to fill in the questionnaire. The purpose of this questionnaire is to identify the best practice. This purpose was not clear to everyone in advance. The participants discussed about a solution to still get the right information.

Anton explained the meaning of work based learning in the current Dutch education. A few remarks from the local network audience were: The positive aspect of the social farms is the context in which young people can live and learn. A social farm provides a peaceful environment. Moreover they can provide the proper care. However, the situation on a social farm is not always an authentic situation in which the specific vocational skills can be learned. Therefore, a collaboration is needed with entrepreneurs in the area of the social farms. Some social farms already have this collabouration.

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