What is it

“Germinar um banco de sementes” is a project created by the margens simples nonprofit association, which aims to create a seed bank rooted in the school environment and engage the community.

It aims to educate for active citizenship in the construction of a society more knowledgeable about its natural heritage and the use of dematerialization mechanisms [collaborative economy and sustainable consumption] that contribute to conserving the existing genetic heritage.

The project began in October 2019, in partnership with the Padre Padre Bartolomeu de Gusmão Schools and the A.L. Belo Correia Seed Bank from the National Museum of Natural History and Science, and is funded by the Lisbon City Council’s Bip/Zip - Bairros e Zonas de Intervenção Prioritária de Lisboa programme. In 2021, funded by the same programme in the dimension of “Best Practices”, it expanded the areas of intervention and has, as a new partner, the Manuel da Maia Schools.

In October 2023, the "Sprouting a Seed Bank" project reached a significant milestone by securing European funding through the Erasmus+ programme. Now, as well as leaving seeds in the Portuguese community, it is also germinating in Romania.

The "Sprouting a Seed Bank" project is expected to have a profound impact:

  • The participation of eight classes, split equally between Portugal and Romania, with tangible impacts on their daily routines and family contexts.
  • The creation of new vegetable gardens in the participating schools, contributing to sustainable practices and environmental education.
  • The creation of a manual that other organisations can adopt and replicate, extending the project's influence.
  • The creation of two seed repositories, enabling the free sharing of seeds and the dissemination of good seed preservation and sharing practices.
  • A commitment to accessibility, ensuring intellectual, physical and social inclusion as a cornerstone of the project's success.

The Margens Simples Association and the Asociatia Culturala In Ars Veritas in Romania are dedicated to promoting a more conscious and sustainable future for Portugal, Romania and other countries. Funding from the Erasmus+ programme paves the way for this vision to be realised, exemplifying the potential of grassroots initiatives to generate positive change.