As Vicolocorto, we have just hosted the project “Youth Advisory Board for Peace” In Pesaro from Sep 6th to Sep 13th of 2022. The project was funded by Erasmus+ programme from the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) and involved 24 youth workers and young representatives of organizations and NGO’s from Armenia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, and Ukraine.
The organisations involved are working to be key actors in peacebuilding and change processes. How? By increasing capacities of youth-led civil society organizations and youth groups in developing and applying sustainable initiatives: so doing, they ensure youth participation at local level through policy development and peace advocacy.
After 3 years, the project is arriving to an end. The objective of the project was to get the best practices of active citizenship and peace education through the collaboration with the different partners, the active organization of meetings, training courses and job shadowing.
Vicolocorto has organized the Study Visit where the participants had the chance to learn best practices and new working methodologies, connected with the direct involvement of youth. They had, in fact, the opportunity to observe and meet Vicolocorto and its partners at local level.
The program and content of the Study Visit touches topics such as art, environment, youth work, culture, urban development, and sport. It was an opportunity to have an extended vision of how Vicolocorto collaborates with the different local realities, how they involve young people into the local community and how they work as a bridge between these two realities.
On our first day of program, we met with Christian Della Chiara, the artistic director of the Gad – Festival Nazionale di Arte Drammatica, general director of the Rof – Rossini Opera Festival and organizational director della “Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema” with the aim of understanding the importance of involving local and international young people in Pesaro cultural initiatives and festivals. In particular we discovered the “oh my GAD!” project, implemented in 2020 with our ESC european volunteers and we had an overwiev on the next project to be implemented on 2023 called “SMM: Self-Made Man”.
We also had the chance to visit San Bartolo Regional Park, a reality with which we have been collaborating for several years on environmental issues. We have organized together youth exchanges for teenagers like “Eu, Fit and Green” and “Green Ideas for Youth Projects”.
We met Laurent Sonet, zoologist of the Nature and Environmental Service, who explained to us about Environmental Education activities for children and young people: he helped us to understand the importance of having a deeper knowledge of the local fauna and flora, which is fundamental for interacting and cohabiting in a healthy and respectful way.
On the second day of the program, we went to the Job Center (Centre for Employment, Orienteering and Training of Pesaro) where we met Sabina Carrozzo, regional advisor of the Eures programme, and Carolina Tenti, our colleague at Vicolocorto. Sabina and Carolina showed us the opportunities offered by European programmes like European Solidarity Corps programme (volunteering programme for young of the EU) and My First Eures Job which are addressed to young people. The meeting was important to under stand how impactful volunteering and working abroad can be and how it can positively help youngsters to get new inputs, develop new skills and open their minds. The experience abroad is also fundamental to enter into the Job Market with the necessary skills and competences.
Another reality we were happy to get in touch with was Biblioteca San Giovanni, a library in Pesaro that is a space of knowledge and wisdom opened to people of all ages. Loredana introduced us to the activities organized by this cultural center such as conferences, workshops, book and CD’s loans and the possibility to participate in reading groups, among other activities.
Vicolocorto had collaborated actively for years with the library by organizing a weekly event called “Talk Together” where local youngsters could come and practice a foregin languages with mother tongue volunteers through activities, games and round-table discussions. Additionally, before COVID time, we were implementing the project “Ti presento il mio paese” in which we prepared historical and cultural presentations of the countries of origin of our European volunteers: this project helped us to gain knowledge and brought us closer to the European spirit.
On the third day of the program, we met Lorenzo Guccini from Zoe’s Association who explained about the Aradia urban regeneration project, through which they are working on the creation of the House of Associations at Miralfiore Park. We are happy to be at their side as Vicolocorto in this ambitious project that will soon become reality!
This morning we visited the Pesaro Baseball Club, where Paolo ‘Vanno’ Vannini, coach of the younger teams, showed us how the combination of sport and inclusion is the basis of their philosophy of life. He explained the added value given by the European volunteers who have served with them over the past few years. We also got a chance to get on the pitch and try a few shots together.
We understood how European volunteers can also be involved in sport activities and what their impact can be by presenting the experience of our volunteers in both Baseball and Table Tennis in Senigallia! In addition to that, we have also been an inspiration for Baseball teams from other cities who now host volunteers after our experience, thanks to our colleague Emiliano from Padua.
This week was an excellent opportunity to share good practices and experiences among all the participants from different countries: they will surely be a good starting point for future work.