Alessandro Ruslans Fusco
EVOLVE - IT'S YOUR TURN
We aim to involve young high school students in a participation-building process starting from education and knowledge sharing to co-design along with the school and the local community the future of their surrounding environment. Impact4School addresses issues of local democracy, social inclusion, and territorial development creatively. A user-friendly platform is created to build a bottom-up process linking students of Naples’ suburbs to national and international communities.
North-East of the province of Naples by focusing on Pomigliano d’Arco and surrounding cities
Fighting the causes means fighting indirectly the effects. We aim to tackle these causes not directly but to fight the effects, particularly in the school context, acting against the school dropping and lack of community belonging (pep assemblies and representative elections). We target schools because changing students' perspectives about the future and their involvement directly impacts those causes we identified. In Italy, there are 54 municipalities where early school dropping exceeds 15% and families in potential economic distress reach 10% or more. Of these, 48 are located in the provinces of Naples or Caserta. Young people are the next players of their own surrounding environment. We must enroll them actively in democratic processes building their growth path constructively.
We will work with five schools in the City of Pomigliano d'Arco (NA) that raise the students from the surrounding cities taking school dropping in this area into account. The key target will be the student representatives of the classes, the school councils, and the Provincial Council, representing both the direct target of our activities and the bonding between the whole students' community and us. We are talking about around 270 young students in a community of about 5000 students. Inner the school, not only teachers will be involved, but also parents and schools’ principals. Our intentions are about linking the local realities through a web platform for sharing&exchanging knowledge, spreading best practices, and co-designing activities to improve civic participation among students.
The project is based on five steps starting from the knowledge of the local young people to the pursuit of targets decided together in the school community. Since the project is based also on the creation of a digital platform, planning and structuring it in the most efficient way is the first aim. We take the first steps towards digital innovation equipping our young students with a well-designed and avant-garde platform, according to the main goals of the project. In addition, in nine months we would be able to recognize the direct effects of the project through educating for democracy and participation thanks to the development of a micro-community in a digital environment. Therefore the young users will have two formative seminars with the academics and educators each month for the whole school year. Then, comments and feedback about what is done in class will be shared on the platform involving also professors and other school bodies. Periodic results from surveys will be regularly analyzed through statistical analysis to record the progress and achievements of the project. According to our action plan, all the stakeholders, other associations, sponsors are involved since the beginning through open meetings. Further details on steps are available in the cover picture of the project.
As a result of impact4school among the students, there will be new community builders that act as changemakers inside and outside the community itself. We expect that students will act with self-awareness and get inspired and inspire others. We work through knowledge and mutuality to build a high quality of democratic dialogue in social realities. The digital platform initially created for the schools in Pomigliano D’Arco will remain active even when the implementation period of the project will be over there. This is the key tool to extend our range of action making our impact long-lasting and replicable to all student communities. We have experienced that in order to have an impact in this area, the only way is through sharing knowledge and raising civic consciousness.
Our solution is about shaping the school community as a place where students, as future citizens, can develop their civic awareness. Furthermore, we aim to stimulate their interest in the surrounding environment to recognize local communities’ issues from a global perspective. As a result of this, they would be able to articulate critical thought. Our innovative key is a digital platform developed to bring interaction within the student's community among the others for the exchange of ideas, experiences, and social or technical knowledge. It will consist of an interactive hub for the young community from a self-evolving perspective. As a strawberry plant grows and replicates generating new plants, we expect that Impact4school will grow engaging other students in raising civic awareness.
We are university students with a socio-economic background who have been showing our commitment to social and civic engagement since the beginning of high school in the Students’ Provincial Council of Naples. As teenagers, we lived closely with the problems of our territory: school dropout, lack of dialogue among students and institutions, and the civic passivity of our generation. Attending university, we have understood the need to impact our territory for the students, citizens of a not-so-distant future. Our idea proposal is the result of the path carried out together. The target is people experiencing the same problems that we faced years ago. Precisely, this deep knowledge of the target and the territory would make our project effective and feasible.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Development of a user-friendly platform 5000 €
Promotion and communication campaign 1000 €
Editing and printing handbook and gadgets for students 900 €
Refunds and allowance for academics & expert on the subject for 9 months 6.700 €
Theatre (Teatro Gloria, Pomigliano d'Arco) 1500 €
Statistical survey and analysis of data 3000€
We would like to hear about other entities with similar initiatives. Feedbacks about our idea would be very appreciated as well. We are interested in raising civic awareness among young people in small local communities – best practices, plans of action and wrong approaches.