Y-VALUE “Young Volunteers ALlow to enhance disadvantaged people and yoUth sense of initiativE” is a new EVS project developed considering the results of previous similar project and the needs and issues identified on the territory of Sandrigo (Italy); where the Social Cooperative Margherita runs different kinds of services in favour of disadvantaged children and youth, elderly and disabled people. One of this issues is the fact that disadvantaged children, youth and disabled people have not proper opportunities to develop their autonomy and new valuable relations with new people because of cultural factors. Then, the main objective of the project is to reach out marginalized people and youth and promote their social inclusion, autonomy and sense of initiative. This objective will be reached through the creation of VALUEable relations between the young EVS volunteers and the users of the Cooperative’s centres, as the children in need of special protection (including immigrants or descendant from immigrant families), disadvantaged youth and people with disabilities. Moreover, thanks to its activities and the involvement of the volunteers, the project will also promote diversity, tolerance and the intercultural dialogue.
Three young volunteers from Greece, France and Germany will be involved and they will have the possibility to measure themselves, performing activities in support of Margherita’s main beneficiaries for 12 months starting from September 2017. During their stay, their Tutors will guide them through the proposed activities. They will participate and support the management of laboratories, workshops and learning activities, but they will also share simple moments (lunch, free time, ect.) with the users of the Cooperative centres creating relations and interacting. The Tutors will share the unique methodology of the Cooperative based on the principle of “Domiciliarity” (home-care), which means to recognize the importance of the family and the whole context within which each user has been grown up and in which he/she still lives. This implies the involvement of the family in planning and developing each individual project, to allow the best combination between the fragile daily routine of the users and the surrounding society and environment. They will be sharing daily life with the users of the centres and promoting also various activities connected with the territory.
The volunteers, further than allowing the creation of new stimulating and enriching relationship with the users of the various centres will also represent a great enrichment for all the people involved and the services of the Cooperative itself. They will be “change drivers” as they will be asked to be proactive and share ideas, giving their inputs in building up the daily programs and activities. In fact, the projects is meant also to enhance the participation of the youth volunteers in social activities. Moreover, they will have the opportunity to experiment the open environment of the Cooperative, which along time has become a centre of cultural and social promotion for the territory. They will have the opportunity to create events, laboratories and workshops involving the users of the centres and the citizens, experimenting what it means to be part of the society in a careful and active way, getting involved into what concerns the Cooperative itself and the Community life.
The project will have several positive impacts. The volunteers will acquire new skills and competencies and at, the same time, the users of Margherita’s centres, will be touched by different cultures and perspectives and enjoy the possibility to create new relations. Furthermore, our expectation is that the participation of the volunteers will help us to improve the way we work every day, proposing new ways of operating towards Cooperative’s target groups. For sure, the international and European dimension of Margherita’s work, as well as the one of the other partners, will be broadened and enhanced, including all the members of the community on our territory. Different languages, cultures and background will be mixed together and there will be a mutual positive contamination between all the parties involved promoting also common European Values of tolerance, solidarity and diversity stimulating a dialogue between the local community and Europe.
Finally, our biggest hope is that, with the collaboration and the precious help of the volunteers, “Y-VALUE” will allow the birth of new responses to the needs of marginalized people. In particular, we would like to promote the autonomy and the sense of initiative of disabled and disadvantaged people and youth, contributing also to change the current culture, convincing more and more people that they are not only people in need of special care but full citizens.