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479. Oasi – Porto Tolle (Rovigo) – Italy: accessible nature-based tourism in the Po delta

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Coop Name: OASI N° of Employees: 14
City: PORTO TOLLE (ROVIGO) N° of Members: 11
Country: Italy Year of formation: 2012
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About this coop:

Oasi is a social cooperative (type B - work integration) founded in 2012 by cooperators with a nature tourism background and by a group of people with physical and motor disabilities. The mission is to make the Po Delta accessable to all and raise awareness of its unique beauty and facsinating history.

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Promote and render accessible to everyone the Po Deltaa relatively unknown, but unique area, with beautiful nature and a fascinating history. This is the objective of Oasi, a social cooperative founded in July 2012 in Porto Tolle (Rovigo) by cooperators with decades of experience in the nature-based tourism sector and by people who personally experience disabil ity. This mission, embraced with enthusiasm by both groups, is to develop a social tourism removing all architectural barriers and favoring work integration of disadvantaged people.

In March 2013 the project “Un parco per tutti” (“A park for everyone”) was born, thanks to financial support from the Province of Rovigo – which delegated the management of some of the park activities to Oasi. The project is realized in partnership with Aqua srl (association of nature tourism guides of the Po Delta) and the social cooperative Titoli Minori of Chioggia, in partnership with the Veneto Regional Park of the Po Delta, the Fondazione Ca’ Vedramin and Veneto Agricoltura (regional company for the agricultural sector).

In the first year, thousands of visitors, including many schoolchildren, visited the Park guided by workers with physical or other disabilities, previously trained to become tour guides.

Now in 2014, the cooperative still employees 14 workers in the project “A park for everyone”, three of which have a physical or motor disability. One of these workers is responsible for the maintenance of the greenery; another is responsible for the management of the Oasi restaurant Ca’ Mello (Porto Tolle) and is employed in the information staff; a third one is employed in the cleaning service of the Visitors Centre.

Another person with a disability is working in other sectors of the cooperative (school transportation and food service).

Considering the great results achieved so far, today the cooperative is working on enlarging its activities, with the hope to employ, in 2015, another worker in the communication and promotion area. The cooperative is continuing to look for additional partnerships and collaborations.

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