Democracy and participation, Civic education

Activating YOUth

Promoting active citizenship among youths in Reggio Emilia Apennines’ area

Creators

Who is behind this?

Francesca Tamburini

E35 Fondazione per la progettazione internazionale

https://e-35.it/it/home/

Italy

Who is joining forces?

Province of Reggio Emilia

https://www.provincia.re.it/

Italy


Unione Montana dei Comuni dell’Appennino Reggiano

https://www.unioneappennino.re.it/

Italy


Istituto di Istruzione Superiore Cattaneo Dall'aglio (Secondary School)

https://www.cattaneodallaglio.edu.it/

Italy


4th partner organization: Istituto di Istruzione Superiore Nelson Mandela (Secondary School) https://iiscastelnovonemonti.edu.it/

Idea

Idea pitch

Emilia-Romagna was one of the EU regions most hit by the Covid-19 crisis, whose socio-economic consequences are expected to be particularly painful in the most remote areas. The project seeks to prevent the rise of further social division, populistic and anti-democratic feelings by involving 50 local youth in so-called “EU citizenship labs” to explore the benefits of belonging to the EU and become agent for change in their local communities, thanks also to the production of multimedia materials.

Where will your project idea take place?

Appennino Reggiano, mountain area of the province of Reggio Emilia in Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy)

What is the local challenge?

The target area includes 7 municipalities (34.000 people) located in the mountain area of Reggio Emilia and characterized by significant social challenges: depopulation, declining community and inter-generational bonds and more recently growing radicalization of political opinions affecting in particular the youth, as evidenced by the last political elections at regional and EU level.
Emilia-Romagna region was one of the most hit by the Covid-19 crisis and the socio-economic consequences are expected to be particularly painful in the most remote areas. By drawing example from the consequences of the 2008 crisis, the project seeks to prevent the rise of further social division, populistic and anti-democratic feelings and a general sense of abandonment and disillusionment among local youth

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

The project aims to involve 50 local youth in so-called EU citizenship labs, namely co-working spaces aimed at strengthening dialogue between youth from different socio-economic backgrounds on the founding values of the EU and on the benefits of being a young European in terms of enjoyment of democratic rights. Through the use of non-formal education tools and the engagement of local actors, the labs will foster the exchange of perspectives and points of view among the participants on 5 chosen topics about the benefits of EU citizenship. The exchange process will result in the production of multimedia products (video, infographics, reportage) with the support of communication experts, which will help the participants to raise awareness about the topics of the project in local communities.

Who are you doing it for?

E35 Foundation has already promoted training activities about EU issues addressed to almost all high schools of the Province. These activities showed a wide gap between urban and provincial territory on how young people perceive the EU, understand its values and feel close to the EU context: in the most remote areas, negative views seem to prevail. Thanks to this previous collaboration, it will be possible to involve youth from different contexts (city, periphery, rural, mountain areas) to obtain a wide representation of points of views on the chosen topics. Thanks to the multimedia products, it will be possible to provide an overview of the labs discussions and to engage a wider audience through the realization of a proper communication campaign on social media, local radio and TV.

How do you plan to get there?

Nov-Dec: Selection of 50 youths in collaboration with project partnes. 5 youths who have participated in previous education activities will be engaged with the role of “mentor”.
Dec: organization of 2 workshops with all participants to choose and explore the 5 topics of the labs. 5 working groups with 10 participants will be create on the topics, each coordinated by a mentor.
Jan-June: organization of 2 labs per month on each topic. The first phase will focus on the development of the chosen topic in collaboration with local associations; the second phase will focus on the production of multimedia outputs.
Jun-Aug: preparation of the communication campaign in collaboration with the experts on social media and local TV.
Sept-Nov: dissemination campaign in schools and communities

What are the expected results?

• Support local institution in the development of civic education activities in remote communities by creating an open and cross-territorial context where to facilitate a constructive debate about the different conceptions of EU citizenship and values
• Produce communication outputs to represent youth’s voices on the chosen topics and use them for other local awareness-raising initiatives
• Prevent the rise of populism and anti-democratic feelings in remote communities due to Covid-19 crisis through the organization of peer-to-peer activities and the dissemination of labs’ results
• Prevent the further depopulation of isolated areas by empowering local youths as active members of their communities willing to contribute to the active pursuit of “public good” in times of crisis

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Italy is one of the founding members of the EU and, sadly, it is also becoming one of the most eurosceptic ones. The many crises it went through over the last 10 years – economic, migration and now the Covid-19 crisis – increased the general discontent about the support that the country has received from the EU level.
The political debate has been able to manipulate the fears and doubts of the population due to the lack of a constructive debate about the benefits of the Italian membership to the EU, especially among the youngest ones. In the wake of the most severe crisis of the century, it is of utter importance to make the young generation feel listened and empowered as a real agent of change and help them to develop the tools to participate as active citizens to the political debate.

What is your story?

The mission of E35 Foundation is to create a bridge between Reggio Emilia territory and the EU as a way to support local development policies and the promotion of its socio-economic system. The main motivation behind the project lies in the history and values of the territory of Reggio Emilia, which has always had a natural inclination for European and international relations. In the wake of the post-Covid crisis, Reggio Emilia’s institutions still insist that international cooperation and social cohesion are the only feasible ways to alleviate the social and economic burden of the crisis: Reggio Emilia has a long history of volunteering and civic participation, which enabled its population to overcome many challenges in the past and might still be the key to tackle future challenges.

€ 45000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 50000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

• External educators/trainers (2 people): 15.000 EUR
• Training materials: 1.000 EUR
• Travel costs: 5.000 EUR
• External communication expert(s): 8.000 EUR
• Costs for communication campaign: 5.000 EUR
• Personnel costs (1 project manager): 10.000 EUR
• Personnel costs (1 administrative officer): 4.000 EUR
• Administrative costs: 2.000 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to know which other actions have been proposed or implemented in mountain areas to promote active citizenship as a response to the socio-economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis.

Team

francesca.tamburini

martino.soragni

Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on May 26, 2020

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