Using government to make lives better

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A Spanish town promotes happiness
By María V. R.
The municipality of Oia in Galicia has created the first government council in Spain that is dedicated to promoting the happiness of its citizens. Its objective is to give emotional satisfaction to the population and support residents in their personal fulfillment. The mayor of Oia, Cristina Correa, explains that their programs will include cultural and leisure activities for people of all ages, from the youngest to the elderly. Cristina believes that happiness is an historical right that was recognized almost three centuries ago in the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. This is one of her key issues, and it helped her to win election with an absolute majority.

To measure the effects of this happiness project, an initial report will be created that notes the personal situation of each inhabitant and what their needs are. Feedback to the Department of Happiness will come from a public suggestion box, and a “Committee of the Wise”, that is comprised of people who are able to see the positive side of life. Some of the initiatives that are carried out include yoga classes, meditations, group gatherings for the elderly and support for troubled teenagers. New proposals by the residents are always coming in as the project evolves.


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