Over the last several decades, few countries in the world have been untouched by internal or external migration. While crises make the headlines, experts say 70 percent of migrants move for economic reasons to pursue better lives for themselves and their families.
The result is concentrated poverty, economic desperation and often chaos in many of the world’s cities. This migration also has impacts on our environment: cities consume 80% of global energy, generate 70% of waste and emit 60% of greenhouse gases. Meanwhile, whether in Switzerland or elsewhere in Europe, Latin America or other continents, rural flight to the cities has left many towns and villages all but vacant and struggling to survive. Loss of young people and businesses has put many rural communities into a spiral of decline. Yet amid those shortages are opportunities for growth and development that could revitalize those areas.
Thanks to the support of private donors and public entities, last year we took a big step in advancing our mission. Together, we demonstrated how supporting sustainable migration to rural villages can foster thriving communities and, ultimately, a better world.
With our partners, we completed ES VICIS’ pilot project in Argentina, which has benefited 1,600 individuals since 2016, and prepared to bring our efforts to scale. In 2020, as overcrowded cities showed their fragility, with the pandemic deepening existing challenges, we experienced a year of unprecedented growth. On average, 300 families and seven rural villages contacted us each week asking to join our Welcome to my Village program. Growing up fast has brought us many challenges and opportunities. Our small team provided support for more than 5,000 families in recent months and more than 50 villages in Argentina participated in our webinars and applied to be trained in how to repopulate and reinvigorate their communities.
Behind each of these numbers are the stories of many children and adults. Many have transformed their lives. Still more are on the way to transformation. Thank you for considering working with us to achieve our goal — to unlock the potential of rural areas to become thriving communities rich with economic opportunity and social camaraderie.
We have a plan to scale model in 20 villages. Your support is required to develop technology that manages data efficiency and create more impact.
Any contribution is most welcomed!