The main objective of ACTIVEYOUTH is to strengthen the engagement of young people in accessible and high quality solidarity activities and to promote the creation of more active and inclusive communities. This starting from the concept of the “right to the city” (Henri L.) and promoting the idea that, cities/communities should be a place of participation, collaboration and inclusion.
The main needs that gave origin to the project have been identified at local level, but in connection with the EU dimension, thanks to project partners experience and are:
* low rates of youngsters’ participation in volunteering activities, especially in solidarity activities related to support disabled and disadvantaged people; rates are lower for under-educated youths;
* low levels of social inclusion in local communities, with experiences of discrimination and higher level of social activation achievable;
* decreasing active participation in community life (especially for youngsters that tend to go to bigger cities);
To address these needs we planned to pursue the following objectives, and to:
* Increase young people active participation, transferring the idea of active and inclusive cities/communities;
* Impress in young participants the relevance of solidarity as a value and of their role and value for the improvement of EU cities/communities;
* Enhance young people’s competences, skills and motivation to contrast stereotypes and discriminations against disadvantaged people;
* Improve volunteers’ skills and competences for their personal and professional development;
* Promote youngsters participation, EU citizenship and fundamental values;
* Improve intercultural skills and competences for volunteers, partner organizations, their target groups and staff;
* Increase communities’ social cohesion and inclusion providing equal opportunities for volunteering;
* Promote connection with other social activities and between young people and EU.
Through these objective we planned to contribute to ESC goals, and to respond to the social challenge of creating more active and inclusive cities. Particular effort is going to be made to promote solidarity, the common EU values, and the participation of young people with fewer opportunities. Finally, it is important to underline that the project will contribute to the goals 1, 3, 6 and 8 of the EU Youth Strategy.
To reach its objectives the project foresees the participation of 5 volunteers from different EU and neighbouring EU countries in two different activities. The volunteers will participate in the activities realized in Italy by the Social Cooperative Margherita in Sandrigo, which will host 3 volunteers and the Social Cooperative L’Orsa maggiore in Malo, which will host 2 volunteers.
Thanks to ACTIVEYOUTH we will realize two individual volunteering activities involving 5 volunteers from Armenia, Albania, Spain and Germany. Each activity will be realized in a specific context: activity one, in the community of Sandrigo and the services of Margherita Social Cooperative, activity two in Malo community and L’Orsa Maggiore organization. Both activities share the fact of being realized in peripheral/rural communities and of supporting disadvantaged and disabled people and youth.
Three volunteers will be involved in activity 1 and two in activity 2. Each activity is going to involve two groups of tasks that can be seen as two steps. The first one will be to involve volunteers in different tasks aimed at creating connections and relationships with disadvantaged/disabled people of HOs’ services, experimenting solidarity. The second one will be to reach out youngsters and connect them to solidarity activities, promoting participation, diversity and fostering the creation of more inclusive and active communities.
More specifically the project foresees the involvement of volunteers in:
* Activities in the context of the centres and services for people with disabilities/disadvantaged. At Margherita these are the centres for people with disabilities CALEIDO, Agenzia Territoriale, and the project “Dopo di Noi”. At L’Orsa Maggiore they are the Group Apartments and the creative and relational workshops for disabled and disadvantaged people and youth. Flow 1 and 2 of both activities (4 volunteers) will be involved in these kind of activities. The concrete doings inside these context include:
– Proposing and managing new workshops, and/or outdoor activities while supporting these already in place.
– Accompanying users in carrying out individual tasks to favour autonomy: daily shopping, office/work tasks, promotion or participation to events, etc.
– Coaching users in the acquisition and maintenance of skills (communication, computer, etc.).
– Creating new possibilities to experiment/promote solidarity at local level.
* Activities realized in the context of the centres for disadvantaged minors and for after-school support at Margherita. Only one volunteer will be involved (Activity 1 – Flow 3), concrete doings include:
– Support in studying and planning a study-method.
– Collaborating in workshops management: culture, civic participation, music, cooking, outdoor.
– Participating in team-meetings, planning social integration activities.
– Participating in projects/experiences on the territory, in partnership with municipalities, schools and/or other educational agencies (labs, events, etc.).
* Activities to connect local youngsters/youth participation in solidarity activities. At Margherita they include: local youth educational projects (summer camps, youth exchanges, cultural/linguistic exchange events, and promotion of mobility/volunteering opportunities) and BEE-FUN: events and activities for people with and without disabilities. At L’Orsa Maggiore they include the realization of activities with local schools. Finally both organizations are involved in the activities of the project Mind Inclusion 2.0, to increase social inclusion through ICT and local youth projects.
Main doings connected to this context be: supporting in design and organization of events/workshops, preparation of contents, keeping contacts with local youths, sharing personal experiences, generation of media contents, etc.
To grant a meaningful experience each volunteer will have a “main context” of activity, but at the same time, he/she will participate in some activities of others to increase variety of learnings and solidarity among peers. Volunteers will be supported by their tutors and mentors in learning and applying current social and youth work methodologies, as well as their creativity. Each volunteer will serve for maximum 38h/week during 12 months.
Volunteers will all pertain to the 18-30 age group and be selected in a fair, transparent and objective way, regardless of ethnic group, gender, religion, sexual orientation, political opinion, etc. and according to ESC principles. Participants will be youngsters motivated to take part in the project and to enter in relationships with people in need, committed toward volunteerism and solidarity, willing to develop their skills and to promote participation and EU values. No previous qualifications, educational level, experiences or language knowledge is required. The project will include one volunteer with fewer opportunities facing social obstacles and/or educational difficulties. This means that he/she might be a young person suffering social exclusion and discrimination because of different factors (ethnicity, religion, etc.); and/or facing/having faced difficulties during the educational process for various reasons. They will be selected through a deeper and articulated procedure and be supported in specific ways through defined methodologies.