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EVERYONE’S OASIS. From being apart to being a part | Civic Europe
Arts and cultural activities, Community development

EVERYONE’S OASIS. From being apart to being a part winner

Challenging social desertification, culture and people as water in the desert.


Who is behind this?

Francesco Gasparini

Cultura e culture Associazione APS


Who is joining forces?

Istituto di scienze sociali Nicolò Rezzara



Idea pitch

Desert oases are a peaceful meeting place and a crossroads of cultures. The project aims to promote inclusiveness by fostering mutual exchange between different ethnic groups, with culture as a main tool, while encouraging active citizenship through the dialogue between local institutions and citizens.
All participants have the chance to take part in training and engaging activities, both formal and informal. We look forward to a lively and inclusive oasis, spreading all over the city.

Where will your project idea take place?

San Pio X is one of the most socially challenging neighborhoods in Vicenza, North-East Italy

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

In San Pio X people tend to live their lives as closed groups because of cultural and linguistic barriers and the lack of meeting spaces and activities encouraging mutual acquaintance. This leads to mistrust and suspicion even towards the Institutions and does not allow citizens to understand and acquire the basics to be active part in the community. Often the migrants are highly educated but employed in low skilled jobs, as the qualifications they achieved in their country are not recognised in Italy. This is why the project tackles foreign integration in the neighborhood, reestablishing the role of culture as a vehicle to overcome social divisions, promoting dialogue and connections between all the stakeholders involved. Considering the pandemic the challenges are even more difficult.

Who are you doing it for?

The project is open to anyone who lives in San Pio X, even if the main target are foreign citizens who have settled in Italy in the long term, specifically the ones with a higher level of education who are employed as home workers.
Addressing the carers is a choice prompted by the project partners’ extensive experience in education and social integration of adults.
At a later date the project will address those people who are just passing through the Country, providing opportunities for meeting and exchange, even in the short term. The project should continue with the establishment of a permanent Academy, open to everyone in the neighbourhood, and of a Local Council, held periodically, which will ensure a continuity in the relationship between citizens and local authorities.

How do you plan to get there?

The activities are organized in four interconnected paths
-Field research in the project area: foreign citizens' presence; life in the neighborhood; survey about integration difficulty and social needs
-Inward activities: research groups about participants' home Countries; workshops about public speaking and groups management techniques
-Outward activities: public meeting hosted and managed by each research group, addressed to the residents and school pupils in the area, about all the different Countries and traditions of the project participants; focus groups about issues which often lead to social conflicts, as an opportunity to make people’s voice heard and to encourage participation in the community life (managed by professionals and bound to continue after the end of the project)
-Support activities: help desk held by participants in support of their fellow countrymen, especially those who are only in transit; Italian and English conversation groups to reduce language barriers; help desk promoting dialogue between citizens, listening to people's difficulties and sufferings and to welcome their different points of views (held by professionals, both one to one or group meetings); launch of a periodical Local Council which gathers one representative from each institution or authority involved, as well as the local residents, to discuss what emerged from the focus groups

What are the expected results?

- Increased participants’ knowledge of everyone’s cultural background
- improved integration of the San Pio X’s residents in the social and cultural environment they live in
- to provide participants with new knowledge and skills
- to achieve an inclusive space allowing a bidirectional communication, useful to monitor social needs and to look for solutions
- to increase the feeling of belonging and the willingness to actively participate in the community life
- to create a pilot project that can be reproduced in other cities
- to establish a permanent space promoting cohesion and education, offering a different range of courses and activities every year
- to establish a periodic Council in order to keep the relationship between citizens and local authorities strong and steady

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

The project activities are designed to raise self-awareness and foster mutual knowledge, increasing the willingness to engage with the local community. Rather than through specific civic education courses, people will learn about the democratic decision-making system in the field through each activity. This allows everyone to enhance their personal skills. Migrants’ contribution in their local community is empowered and recognised as valuable by the community itself.
The project necessarily involves Local Authorities and Institutions the citizens need to become better acquainted with, and that in turn are obliged to take into account requirements and needs which have come to their knowledge. The Local Council provide an open and welcoming space to do so.

Why is this idea important to you?

Our project team includes a community psychologist, a cultural mediator, a legal consultant on immigration law, a social worker and family mediator, professors with experience in communication, anthropology and civil society project management. The team members as well as the project partners have extensive expertise on working in the Vicenza province. The San Pio X’s social needs have emerged during previous activities and need to be answered now without further delay. With the support of the Municipality and the availability of the CISL to be involved in some of the activities, there is a further input to implement the project in the nearest future.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

- Communication campaign € 2.000,00
- Office personnel € 4.000,00
- Workshops and community activities € 21.000,00
- Equipment and materials € 2.000,00
- Travel expenses reimbursement € 3.000,00
- Location rent, cleaning and sanitation € 2.000,00
- Insurance € 1.000,00
- Volunteer activities in support of the project € 0.00

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Any feedback is welcome! We are keen to know if our project fit the call, how do you judge the quality of the activities, the project consistency and whether the aims, activities, motivations of the project are clear.

Project Journey

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Cultura e culture

Margherita Santoro

Claudio Bari


Idea created on April 19, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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