Tag Archives: KA2

Job Shadowing in Italy for Peacebuilding

For twelve days in April, Vicolocorto welcomed four young people, taking part in a project called Youth as Peacebuilders – Youth policy for peace. This program, financed by the European Union, has for objective to promote the involvement of young people as key actors of peacebuilding processes. To understand the reality of youth work at a local level, these four volunteers from Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia were in Italy as job shadowers, studying the way Vicolocorto works, and following their daily activities.

 

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Ani is 23, she is from Vanadzor, in Armenia. She is working as a volunteer in a local organization while following the second year of her Master Degree in English Language and Literature, as well as Classic Philology.

Ilya is 19, he is from Odessa, in Ukraine. He studied International Relations and is working in the field of NGOs, mostly as a volunteer.

Kateryna is 22, she is from Kharkiv, in Ukraine. She works in Opora, an organization that provides election and parliamentary observations to local communities.

Giorgi is 22, he is from Borjomi, in Georgia. He works in three different organizations, related to sports and youth work.

We had the opportunity to ask them a few questions in the middle of their staying, about their experience so far :

How has been your experience with Vicolocorto so far?

Ani : The most focal point I would like to point out until now is the visit of Totem Youth Centre. Seeing the relationship between them and Vicolocorto, as well as seeing how the staff works in the center was something really important and interesting for me.

Ilya : I like Pesaro, the town is small and comfortable, close to the sea. As for the activities, for me the most interesting was to visit the center for kids and young people. Also, I really liked meeting the EVS volunteers who work in Pesaro, since they are all from different countries and cultures.

Kateryna : Visiting Totem, this center that works with youngsters and people with disabilities was nice although it was difficult, but I really enjoyed it. Tomorrow we are going again to realise some practical workshops with them, and I think it will be interesting. About Vicolocorto, I think they do a great job here, explaining to youngsters how they can use their time to be active for their community, which is really useful because in big cities, people do not get this kind of information.

Giorgi : I really like Pesaro, it is small and can be similar in some ways to georgian cities. I like the beach and the fact that everyone rides a bicycle. My favourite activity so far is what we are doing right now, because I am a journalist and I really like interviews, blogs and videos. About Vicolocorto, I think they help changing people’s lives, which is really important.

What is the connection that you can make between peacebuilding and the activities of Vicolocorto?

Ani : I’m really happy that I am precisely here with Vicolocorto, because their work is focused on youth work. They really place youngsters in the center of their activities with EVS and Erasmus+ projects, which to me is the main focus of the project, “Youth as Peacebuilders”.

Ilya : In this moment, I can not really make a specific connection between Pesaro and peacebuilding, but for me, visiting a country is the best way to discover its culture, and understand how things work, which is a good starting point for peacebuilding.

Kateryna : I realized that in Italy people are more open to share ideas and thoughts, as well as helping people. It is useful to save and keep some contacts for the future. In Ukraine, the structures are more “closed”, we need to open borders and minds, to build networks, which is why I am here.

Giorgi : Peacebuilding is really important for me, for my life, my job, my country and my city. Each country has their own perception of peacebuilding, so I learned what it represents for italians. I also got ideas that I can use in the future, from the way Vicolocorto works and organizes workshops.

What were your expectations coming here, and what do you think so far?

Ani : It is not over yet, so I can not speak of the whole process. However, the visit already met some of my expectations, in the way that I was expecting something really welcoming, really nice, visiting some establishment and seeing their work. But also, I thought it would be more difficult, with a fuller and more stressful program. In reality, this week so far has been really calm, and I appreciate it because we have time to digest everything we see and learn, to really analyze everything.

Ilya : My vision of this country is similar to my expectations, I also think that Italians are quite similar to Ukrainians in some ways. The agenda is more comfortable and simple than I expected, we have weekends, we can visit other cities, etc. To me, this job shadowing is the perfect balance between relaxing, working and learning.

Kateryna : The places we visit and the activities so far are different from what I expected, because I thought it would be more focused on political matters. However, I learned that Totem is an organization supported by the municipality, which is an example of how municipalities and government in general can help build a better community.

Giorgi : Before travelling, I searched for information about italy, Pesaro and Vicolocorto. Therefore, I did not really have any surprises because I already knew what I would be doing during these ten days.



Léa & Nayra



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A week of good practices in Pesaro

From February 18th to 25th , Vicolocorto hosted eight members of four different European organisations working with youth. This visit was part of a project called “Cultural diversity as a learning tool in youth work” which started one year ago and will last until 2019. The project’s aim is to visit the five partner countries (Spain, Italy, Latvia, Slovenia and the UK) and to get to know the associations’ best practices regarding cultural diversity and youth work. The best practices found by all participants will be collected in a “Good Practices guide” that later will be published in different languages.

The first visit was in November, in Slovenia, and the next will take place in May, in Latvia.

In order to find the good practices, during their stay in Pesaro, the participants visited the Employment Centre of Pesaro, Totem Youth Centre, Wanda di Ferdinando Foundation and, of course, Vicolocorto. They were also invited to join some of the weekly implemented actvities; the “Talk Together” language conversations, for example, in the library (organised by Vicolocorto in cooperation with the Youth Information Centre); and a cooking workshop in Totem where they learned how to make piadina together with children from the centre.

 

We asked four of the participants about their experience in Pesaro and about the good practices that they will take home from Vicolocorto. Here’s what they told us:

Viktorija Kos (Zavod Voluntariat – Slovenia): I can see that Vicolocorto is like an umbrella for many different organizations such as the Red Cross, InformaGiovani (in partnership with the library), Totem… bringing together all these organizations from different areas is a big advantage.

Carlos García (Asociación Cultural Integra – Spain): Pesaro is a really beautiful and quiet city. Unfortunately, it was raining all week but we are used to it in Coruna. As for the activities, the “Talk Together” activity was perfect. It’s an informal way to learn a new language and maybe also a good way to break some of the stereotypes we have about people from other countries.

 

Penelope Clifton (Community Action Dacorum – UK): First of all, I like the character of the city of Pesaro, it seems very cohesive and inclusive, nobody’s in a rush. Also, it was great to see how people engage; the “Talk Together” initiative was impressive. I think we could use that, particularly for migrants and refugees. Then, Totem was fantastic, Mery is truly inspirational and the place is very inclusive, bringing together people of all ages and abilities. And the idea of providing equal opportunities regardless of skill level, for example in ceramics workshop, it impressed me, too.

Ieva Upesleja (Positiva Doma – Latvia): Vicolocorto manages to send and host a lot of volunteers which is really impressive, because you never know how much you can influence someone’s life and what will be the outcome of such an experience. The way they manage to encourage schools to work with them and organise activities is also really interesting. Yesterday, we went to Totem and we loved how they manage to create a family environment where everyone is welcome regardless of their background.

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For us, volunteers of Vicolocorto, having visitors around for a week was interesting and fun. We got to share our daily routine and activities with new people, and learn about the reality of other associations in Europe.

To learn more about the project “Cultural diversity as a learning tool in youth work” and to find information about the “Good practices guide“, you can follow our Facebook page , the project’s Facebook page or visit our website.

Karolina, Filipa, Nayra & Léa

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