Here it is a brief description of the European Solidarity Corps project:
“MYLES – MY Life-projEct iS our future”
that will start soon.
With MYLES, we want to foster the possibility of youngsters to be actors of their future experimenting, and growing, autonomy, transferring this experience to peers and disadvantaged people and increasing the participation and engagement in solidarity activities directed to support elderly people, disabled and disadvantaged youths.
Thanks partners’ experience and previous activities realized with youngsters, we identified following main needs that we want to address:
- Low youngsters’ participation in solidarity activities related to support elderly people, disabled and disadvantaged youths (and in community life in general).
- Need of youngsters to experiment autonomy, develop their society role, and increase motivation.
- Need of frail people to be supported in experimenting/developing/maintaining autonomy.
- Skills and resources gaps of youths connected to autonomy and spirit of initiative.
These needs are related to the main challenge of social inclusion. In particular, they are linked with EU youth strategy challenges: connecting, engaging and empowering young people and the topics of community development, citizenship and democratic participation.
We chose the project acronym to recall the concept of going far. A famous African saying tells “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. This highlights that reaching autonomy is not the final step. We are all connected and if we want to go far, we must walk together with our communities and ALL its members. As more as we are inclusive, as more we can develop. Then this project wants to promote the autonomy of individuals, but to translate it in the willingness to take action and to engage in solidarity activities for community development.
Our general objective is then to enhance participation and engagement of youngsters in accessible and high quality solidarity activities in support of elderly people, disabled and disadvantaged youths.
Linked to this, the main short-term objectives are:
- To provide an opportunity for young people to engage in solidarity activities and interact with disadvantaged people.
- To promote the connection of local youths with: solidarity activities; social, cultural, political and democratic life; mobility activities; EU.
- To empower volunteers, local youths and Margherita’s target groups, supporting their development and growth to autonomy.
- To equip participants with skills to become active citizens, agents of solidarity and positive change, inspired by EU values and identity.
- To improve volunteers’ skills and competences linked with social work, youth work, active participation, promotion of common EU values, intercultural and relational skills.
Main long-term objectives:
- To improve the quality of youth programs and policies at the local level.
- To increase participation of local youngsters (at local and EU level).
- To increase intercultural skills and promote common EU values within local communities connecting them to EU.
Presented objectives are in line with ESC mission and principles. As main result, we expect to:
- Involve 3 volunteers from Armenia, Hungary and Greece.
- Increase autonomy and participation levels of participating volunteers as well as Margherita’s target groups.
- Promote active youth participation, social inclusion and intercultural exchange at community level (reaching also the communities abroad of the volunteers involved).
The main impact of the project will be an increased understanding and responsiveness to social, linguistic and cultural diversity for the involved communities accompanied by the enhancement of the feeling of belongingness to a multi-cultural EU community united common values. Regarding participants, main impacts will be increased motivation to engage in solidarity and community development activities, improved personal autonomy and self-esteem, increased job related skills and employability level. At the same time, participating organizations will enforce trust-based cooperation, exchanging their work methodologies/good practices, stimulating improvements in volunteering projects management and the creation of new projects. Margherita’s target groups will experiment higher sense of social inclusion, autonomy and active EU citizenship.
People involved at the local level and their communities will experience similar impacts, and an enhancement in the cultural and social life. At the regional level, we expect a greater visibility and awareness about the issue of social inclusion for disadvantaged and the participation of young people in solidarity activities, which will also touch the national and international levels influencing more stakeholders thanks to the mediation of volunteers in their communities and the resonance in the international partners’ networks.