Tag Archives: 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!



A Month of Resilience

From October to November 2017, we took part, as Vicolocorto, in Resilienza Lab, a series of events organized by Fondazione Wanda di Ferdinando in collaboration with Settenove, Vicolocorto, Centro per le famiglie di Pesaro and Non c’è Problema as well as Provincia di Pesaro e Urbino. The project was divided into three parts: Resilience and Work, Resilience and Health, and How to be Resilient Today.

Each of these parts started with an introduction by the president of the Foundation Federica Maria Panicali and was conducted by Dr Michela Fortugno, the head of the psychology department at Azienda Ospedaliera Riuniti Marche Nord.


On the first meeting dedicated to Resilience and Work our association, Vicolocorto, gave a short presentation about the international mobility opportunities that EVS offers to young people. This was the  topic in which we had some personal experience that helped us relate to the subject, therefore the only one when we actually spoke. We were invited to share our experience with the European Voluntary Service, the reasons that made us leave our cities and apply for the project, and in what way being resilient helps us to deal with our day-to-day problems. We found it very interesting to realize once more that no matter where you are from, the struggles and challenges you face at a certain point in your life can be very similar to the ones of so many other people. The evening was concluded with a screening of a documentary about Italians working on farms in Australia as a solution to the problem of not finding a job in Italy.

On the second meeting Resilience and Health was discussed and Centro per La Famiglia presented their work. The presentation was followed by a screening of a documentary about Alessandro Cavallini, a 14 year old boy who was diagnosed with a grave tumor as a small child. During the final meeting IoNonCrollo Association delivered their testimony and Fondazione Wanda di Ferdinando presented the rules and deadlines for applying for their annual grant.

Photo courtesy of Fondazione di Ferdinando

The Fondazione chose resilience as the main topic, because this ability is central in many areas of our lives. Whether we’re facing a disease, a natural disaster, situation of unemployment, or any other kind of problem, resilience can help us adapt to life tasks in the face of social disadvantage or other highly adverse conditions. And, good news, as an ability, it can be learned and developed by everyone. During this month we learned not only about the concept itself, but we also got to know examples of resilience in many areas of life, as well as tips and techniques to start practicing resilience. We applaud the initiative of Fondazione di Ferdinando to organize and deliver such interesting tools to the community, trying to go beyond charity and contributing to people’s education and motivation.


Karolina & Filipa

EVS Project Making – when Europe comes to Pesaro!

As some of you may already know, the Erasmus+ programme promotes international training courses in partnership with international NGOs, where participants from different countries are invited to go abroad and gather together for 8 – 10 days. During this period the participants learn about a certain topic and improve their skills and competences through a non-formal education approach. Last week, thanks to the support of the Italian National Agency ANG that financed the project,  the training course “EVS Project Making” took place in Pesaro, the topic discussed where how to plan and write a quality EVS project, and the promoting association was our own – Vicolocorto! We spoke to a couple of participants about their experience and general impressions of this week.

Gloria is Romanian and currently working for YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) as the vice-president at a regional level. When she first heard that her association had two vacancies for this training she instantly wanted to go since Italy has always been her dream country. Nevertheless, once she actually had the time to read through the training description she was even more excited. That is because one day she’d like to have her own NGO so the knowledge acquired at the training could be extremely useful for her. As if it wasn’t enough of a good experience already, by the end of the week Gloria was offered the opportunity to participate in a 10 month EVS project with the Red Cross in Pesaro, starting this December! Hurray!

Florentina is from Romania and she works for Wild Carpathia association. The organization hosts and coordinates EVS volunteers and Florentina is their tutor and mentor. Since she joined the association only this year, it is her first training related to project making. Nevertheless, for Florentina this was a useful experience, she particularly enjoyed the guideline teamwork, as well as sharing experiences with other participants. She also appreciated the final task, which was to create a plan for an EVS project, because she could finally work on her idea for a project focused on relationships between generations in Romania.

Joaquin is from Extremadura, a region located in the west of Spain. He is currently working as a project manager in an NGO, and soon he will start to work as an assistant manager in Portugal. He has decided to come to this training in order to learn how to write EVS/European Solidarity Corps projects and to develop some tools and ideas for future projects in his own organization. Of all the things he has learned here, Joaquin values understanding the context you are living in the most. In his case, the region is not very famous and they don’t have a lot of people working with Erasmus+ programme, so he would like to improve the situation and offer local people more opportunities.

Erell represents Association Gwennili, a sending and hosting association located in Brittany (the West part of France). Currently she is in charge of the coordination of the common activities of the volunteers. In 2013 she participated in an EVS project in Georgia. After she came back to France, she got an offer from her sending organization to participate in a civil service, which meant working part-time in the organization. One of the most important things Erell learned during this training is how to change plans in order to keep up with the ideas you have in mind. In other words: how to be flexible. As there are some changes and unsure aspects within the EVS, the participants, coming from different countries, had to talk about the way they deal with such transformations and share their points of view.

The participants of this training are of different age, come from different countries and cultures, and have different jobs and life experiences. However, all of them were interested in the same thing: acquiring the know-how. For this reason,  Erasmus+ trainings are not only a big opportunity to learn in a non-formal way, but, more importantly, to enjoy an international experience.


Demi, Filipa, Isabel & Karolina