Human rights, Youth participation and empowerment

Fostering Reflection on the Institutions in SChool

Promoting knowledge and awareness of the work of public institutions in Naples through a simulation of the Naples Municipality Council in order to develop real civic cohesion among young people.


Who is behind this?

Riccardo Messina

United Network Europa



Idea pitch

FRISC is the simulation of a session of the Naples Municipality Council created by the United Network Europa Association (UN), aimed at High Schools Neapolitan students. The main goal to be achieved, through our innovative teaching methods, is both to make the young generations aware of the role of the public institutions and to develop a common civic sense around such institutions, functional to the construction of a future active citizenship in a difficult and peculiar city as Napoli is.

Where will your project idea take place?

Naples, South Italy

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The societal challenge we intend to address is therefore to widespread knowledge and the right perception among young people of public institutions. In particular, the idea that they must not be distant and disinterested in the well-being of the community, that it is possible to act through such institutions to actively improve the reality around them without looking for support and future in the criminal organizations. In a broader sense, the long-term objective of the project is to heal the rift that has been created between the State and the young people of Naples, bringing them closer to the institutions and – through a didactic approach based both on theory and practice – developing a civic awareness rooted in the territory and in the institutions responsible for protecting it.

Who are you doing it for?

The key target of this project will be young people between the ages of 14 and 18, since it is the moment of growth where the trust in institutions can play a decisive role in the future growth of responsible citizens and of a healthy community. The project will involve 120 students of high schools from Naples city and Province. UN has already a network of about 100 high schools in Campania Region. Every school from the city and the Province can apply and a selection will be made on the basis of municipal representation, while students will be selected – in agreement with the schools – on the basis of criteria that guarantee maximum inclusiveness: gender equality, protection of minorities, diversity of background, differences in educational and age levels.

How do you plan to get there?

Sponsorship in schools through ad hoc presentations and the social media campaign
Selection of schools
Selection of participating students
Calendar of lessons and simulations. The 120 students involved will be divided into 3 groups of 40 students each. There will be 3 cycles of lessons (2 lessons each for a total of 6 lessons) and 3 cycles of simulations (9 simulation days).
History of the town of Naples and its main problems
Structure and functioning of the municipalities
Topic: School dropout in Naples
Public Speaking
Simulation’s Rules of Procedures
Analysis of the issues dealt with.This part of the training path will be carried out on the Google Classroom platform together with the staff using original study materials created by UN for this simulation (Slides and Background Guides)
3. SIMULATION IN ATTENDANCE directed by the UN Staff
DAY 1 (4H) City Council debate on the topic, in which students will present their views on the state of the problem, its main causes and possible solutions
DAY 2 (4H) debate and drafting of a municipal resolution with the proposed solutions
DAY 3 (5H) debate on the text of the Resolution, amendments and final vote. This will be followed by a Ceremony with the awarding of deserving students in the presence of public institutions

What are the expected results?

The main expected result, through the teaching methods proposed by UN, is to root the centrality of the public institution, the awareness of what really means civil cohesion and active citizenship in the consciousness of the younger generation. Knowing the structure, the functioning, and the role of the public institution in the people’s everyday life seems to be a good antidote to indifference and mistrust and, hence, to the growth of social disease and criminality. The students will act on their solutions during the project, working on the topic’s issues. This will also have a future consequence: they will understand how important is the role of the institutions in the community life. Indeed, having a Resolution approved by majority will be the proof of that awareness.

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

Through a one-to-many frontal lessons approach, based on a pattern where the student learns from the teacher, the students will acquire a range of real, well-founded notions, broadening their horizons of knowledge and developing the ability to make lucid analyses and critical reasoning on the institutions and issues covered in the lessons. Through the learning by doing method – the innovative didactic approach which UN always uses – the students will understand how the Institutions really work. Over the years, this methodology has proved to be highly functional: practically dealing with real political issues related to the community life is indeed a necessary step to the introjection of those values which constitute the basis of this project.

Why is this idea important to you?

The UN Team is composed by three key-figures who supervise the work of the Association thanks to their expertise: Riccardo Messina, Scientific Director and President of UN, dr. Martina Regis, Didactic Coordinator and dr. Francesco Gastaldi, Executive Officer. UN knows the Neapolitan reality, having carried out more than 20 conferences in Campania, with over 4000 students and the involvement of the institutions. UN is deeply ramified in the territory, having cooperation agreements with over 100 schools. It also counts on a local Staff group, composed by young graduates or near-graduates sharing the love for the territory and the desire to build up an active and responsible citizenship. For the project, this staff group will be integrated by staffers from the rest of Italy.

€ 14490,-

Total budget

€ 14490,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Technical Directorate: 1.200€
Didactic coordination: 800€
Promotion costs and public relations: 1.400€
Administration Management costs: 800€
Costs for the production of the didactic materials: 1.020€
Didactic and Execution costs: 9.270€


United Network

Idea created on April 22, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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