Cultural Diversity as a Learning Tool in Youth Work, Vicolocorto

The journey towards Cultural Diversity starts from Ljubljana!

From the 13th to the 19th of November 2017, the first joint staff mobility training of the KA2 project “Cultural Diversity as a learning tool in Youth Work” took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia. All the five partners of the project had the possibility either to meet again or, in some cases, for the first time to work intensively on the concept of cultural diversity and on learning tools. This was the first of five different study visits during which the members of the five partner organizations could go to relevant NGOs and Youth Centres in the hosting country and collect their best practices as regards the use of cultural diversity as a learning tool in youth work. At the end of the project, all the information collected during these visits will contribute to the creation of a Good Practice Guide.

During these mobilities, each partner organization has the opportunity to send a member of the NGO and a guest. In the case of Vicolocorto, we decided to cooperate with the Employment Centre of Pesaro and our guest was Angela Bulzinetti, one of the persons in charge of the Department of Education, Vocational Training and Career Guidance. We made this choice as an association because cultural diversity is a real challenge in Italy at the moment and the Employment Centre is one of the institutions that deals with various and diverse people: they all come here to look for a job or for training; therefore, it is important that such an important place has a saying in the topic and that it can benefit from the good practices experienced in other countries.

The Slovenian NGO Zavod Voluntariat organised for us the perfect week combining visits to different NGOs and interesting workshops. The main priority was to establish what we wanted to learn from this first joint staff mobility and to lay the foundation of the Good Practice Guide: How can we define “Cultural Diversity”? What is a learning tool? How do we recognize a good practice? These were just some of the questions we tried to answer at the beginning of the visit. The workshops, the good cooperation among the participants and their experience in the field helped a lot in finding the answers but if we started the week with unstable definitions, everything that we lived during the week really helped us through the process and cleared up our doubts.

Thanks to Zavod Voluntariat and their EVS volunteers we had the opportunity to visit 4 NGOs, the Autonomous Cultural Centre “Metelkova”, the Youth Council of Slovenia and three social enterprises. From Zavod Bob, for example, we learned how to be street youth worker and how to communicate with young people to solve problems; thanks to Zavod Voluntariat we gathered a lot of information about global education and about active support of young people; from Mladi Zmaji we learned how sport can be a learning tool about cultural diversity and inclusion; from Humanitas we learned how to use theatre with migrants; from Metelkova we learned the importance of art and sharing; thanks to the Youth Council of Slovenia we learned what structured dialogue is and that finally Slovenia has a vocational qualification for Youth Workers.

Every person that we met contributed in its own way to our definition of cultural diversity, helped us to broaden our minds and have a clearer understanding of what we want to include in our Good Practice Guide. Following the rules set at the kick off meeting, we only choose two NGOs to include in the Good Practice Guide, but for sure we brought home with us far more than we expected.

Now we are ready for the next step!

On February 2018 we will have the pleasure to host in Pesaro the second event, giving the opportunity to 10 youth workers from UK, Latvia, Slovenia and Spain to visit our region and share our best practices in terms of Cultural Diversity in youth work in Italy!

Virginia

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