Civic education, Social inclusion

Building bridges

Promoting social inclusion and engagement after COVID19

Creators

Who is behind this?

Beatriz Uixera

Fundación Amigó

https://fundacionamigo.org/

Spain

Idea

Idea pitch

Our main goal is to ensure equal opportunities and promote social inclusion among socially vulnerable families and children from Torrent (Valencia, Spain), using a Youth Centre as a means to engage volunteer action and social cohesion. We will focus on promoting children's rights and fostering civic participation. Specially after the pandemic, we will also give attention to emotional education, violence prevention and combating the digital divide.

Where will your project idea take place?

Torrent, Valencia.

What is the local challenge?

Two districts in Torrent maintain a precarious socio-cultural and economic situation, as well as a concentrated migrant population. One of them is a “preferred action district” (listed as one of the most vulnerable neighborhood in Spain). In contrast, we can find a different district an urbanization with a high income. Lack of infrastructure and community spaces exacerbates this polarisation between districts. We find a social cohesion challenge, with difficulties to socially include migrants in the locality and also for civic engagement and participation. The situation of inequality has been aggravated by the pandemic. As the schools are closed, many of these children in vulnerable situations do not have sufficient means or skills to carry out online school activities.

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

Our proposal incorporates young people from the locality to participate in the project as volunteers. The Youth Centre will coordinate the volunteers, creating a cohesive community that overcomes the inequalities aggravated by the pandemic. We will carry out volunteering training in the necessary skills for their collaboration, ensuring respect for cultural diversity. In this sense, volunteering will be a tool for active citizenship and social cohesion, as vulnerable families and children will also have the opportunity to engage within the local community.
This project is also focused on avoiding the digital divide, providing digital equipment to vulnerable families. Both volunteers and Youth Centre team will carry out digital skills workshops and activities to ensure ICT literacy.

Who are you doing it for?

Montesión Youth Center works with local children and families with difficulties in their school, social and family development, truancy problems, emotional instability and other situations of vulnerability that lead to social exclusion. Most of them come from a migrant background. We also find that many families are not used to give a voice to their ideas. This project would be particularly beneficial to include them in the local community as it gives them the opportunity to participate in social and local life, together with local volunteers from different backgrounds.
We will also focus on child participation strategies, ensuring their right to education and promoting childhood as an active agent of health, avoiding the vision of children as a vector of contagion during the pandemic.

How do you plan to get there?

Recruitment, training and coordination of local volunteers.
Activities organised by Montesión Youth Center aimed at promoting the participation of families and children through innovative participatory methodologies.
Activities focused on intercultural education and respect for diversity.
Acquisition of digital equipment, activities aimed at fighting the digital divide and ICT literacy.
Coordination with other local actors to overcome the situation caused by the pandemic in vulnerable families in the locality, giving the local families the opportunity to express their own needs.
Activities targeting a gradual transition during and after the pandemic:managing stress and anxiety situations, health promotion, violence prevention...

What are the expected results?

- Improve the social cohesion of the town of Torrent
- Encourage civic participation through volunteering
- Empower families in vulnerable situations and promote their social inclusion
- Fight against the digital divide in vulnerable local families
- Ensure equitable access to educational materials and combat curricular decompensations caused in the previous year.
- Reduce the impact of the pandemic: promote emotional and stress management, health and hygienic measures...

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Given the challenges that Europe faces, especially after the pandemic, it is necessary to reinforce the democratic values ​​of society. Across the development of this project we will promote active citizenship through solidarity and civic participation, with volunteering as a social catalyst. This project will give voice to vulnerable children and families by participating and contributing in their local community. Likewise, it will fight against the digital divide that will allow these families access to information and digital media, in addition to guaranteeing access to telematic school activities. This shall result in the opportunity to spread european values (democracy, human rights) that can be a solid foundation for the community.

What is your story?

Montesión Youth Centre has experienced progressive growth and change, alongside the needs and priorities of the children and families we work with. The initial project aimed at school support and leisure activities for 12 children but the project evolved to its current capacity, 24 children between 6 to 12 years old. We achieved the support of the local administration in 2016 and started working with families as well. We have been implementing innovative methodologies such as cooperative work, volunteering, service learning… with great participation from children and their families. This is the materialization of a project that goes a step further, promotes and channels critical participation in Torrent with local families and stakeholders, in a challenging situation due to the pandemic.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 53352,-

Total budget

Major expenses

36700 € human resources
4000 € video and dissemination material
7200 € computer / digital equipment for families
500 € material expenses related to activities
1000 € per diem and travel costs
3952 € administration and management costs
Total 53,352 €

Team

Buixera

Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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