Environment and sustainability, Youth participation and empowerment

Open minds in action for Teenagers’ Town Council

Engaging multicultural teenagers in order to strengthen active citizenship, and organizing dissemination events on sustainability for the local community


Who is behind this?

Cristina Guerra

ambienteparco impresa sociale srl ETS - AP



Who is joining forces?

ambienteparco impresa sociale srl ETS




Idea pitch

Starting from a Community Based Participatory Research, we are going to engage multicultural teenagers at different levels: proposing easy games activities to attract them, workshops on public issues as think tanks, or to play an active role in the future Teenagers Town Council.
Our role is to facilitate their empowering on sustainability actions and future vision, in order to be the key players of change, starting by organizing community events at AmbienteParco.

Where will your project idea take place?

Brescia, Lombardy, Northern Italy

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

From the social point of view, the local culture of hard working and the multicultural immigration are responsible for big fragilities: educational poverty, school drop-out and increase in minor crimes and bullying, but also the difficulty to choose their high school, an even more serious issues for girls.
The challenge for AmbienteParco is to facilitate teenagers to rise the awareness of their needs and their vision, identifying themselves in a community merging and sharing awareness, responsibilities and actions to change.
In this period, when school has weakened its effectiveness in dealing with social disparities, enhancing non-formal educational activities is fundamental in order to help marginalized teenagers to strengthen their awareness and their social and civic skills.

Who are you doing it for?

The project activities are focused on a gender-inclusive approach engaging both girls and boys, 9-14 yo, (now only 15% of girls are engaged in our activities, we wish to arrive to 30%).
The key figures are:
30 Teenagers, from non Italian mother tongue families. They mainly live in suburban neighborhoods of Brescia, and they are able to engage their family (120 people - parents, brothers and sisters) and their classes (750 students) and their teachers (almost 100).
3 Students, interns from Brescia universities or High Schools, from immigrants’ families, that we can engage as role models, in order to highlight their own experience.
46 volunteers of the Community Point, daily example of civic diligence and commitment.

How do you plan to get there?

1st step focuses on identifying & engaging teenagers group.
1.1 Developing a CBPR with teenagers.
1.2 Networking with local association and informal groups.
1.3 Promoting Teenagers Town Council with a video “Start again with TTC”.
1.4 Implementing a social media communication campaign about the project.
2nd phase is the core of the project. Specific object is empowering teenagers in social and political participation.
2.1 Workshops on civic participation.
2.2 Workshops on sustainability topics
2.3 Workshops on public financial economics.
2.4 Creation of a community point for sharing Board games and promoting intergenerational competitions
2.5 Set up of a 3Dprinters workshop to increase the basic equipment already running (preciousplastic.com), and to co-repare and produce little pieces of Board games for citizens (and else), & to merge IT with mechanics
3rd step of the project includes teenagers playing a role in:
3.1 Organizing an electoral campaign for the TTC.
3.2 Being “journalist”, creating a Zine on sustainability or political issues in order to inform other young people or seniors of the neighborhood.
3.3 Being active civic volunteers, taking part in the organization of events on sustainability, and in institutional actions (ex: water National Days, renewable energies and mobility Weeks, communication campaign against pollution or soil consumption

What are the expected results?

We believe that knowledge brings to awareness, critical sense and active citizenship, especially in young people. Considering the key target involved, expected results of the project are:
30 teenagers involved in our activities and workshops (at least 30% girls, 10% from no Italian mother tongue families), amongst them 80% are engaged in the TTC campaign, 70% voting for the TTC, 10% candidate for the TTC, at least 1 elected in the TTC)
Promotion of the video “Start again with TTC” in 30% of the local schools, that is 4.200 students;
1400 students voting for the TTC, Amongst them, at least 20 candidates for TTC, at least 10 elected.
At least 50% of the candidates' programes is about the sustainability.
The winners' programe aims on sustainability.

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

Daily, a group of teenagers is already attending our partecipatory workshops, & is able to involve someothers suggested by themselves or by the Town Social Office, the teachers or the families.
At the beginning their needs & dreams are heard & they are supported to act for the change, highlighting the importance of the awareness and the opportunities from organized community (such as a Town Council)
The organization of easy "hands on" workshops or gamefication events, is going to let us engage teenagers in sustainability and to highlight the power of planning & training
The “hands on” sharing activities let them socialize their attitudes & skills, improving their capacity building such as debating abilities, own motivation, mediation, and public speaking skills and to work for a goal.

Why is this idea important to you?

We are a group of educators, scientific disseminators & policy makers with different expertise, who have started up a cultural point on sustainability in a region where the industrialized history has always let neglect the environmental issues.
We have been working together for 10 years, re-generating an abandoned public space into a Science Centre, with scientific brain, social heart and target actions.
We share a common vision on sustainability challenges, going trough environmental issue & social commitment.
This idea has been brought to life, through years of daily no formal education with a group of not occasional visitors, aged 11-14, sharing with them, with their teachers & families the importance to give their needs & dreams a chance to be recognized & exploited when possible.

€ 40000,-

Total budget

€ 34000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs (communication and promotion of the project - planning and implementation of activities and workshops): 25.000
Video recording and post production: 1.500 (1.3 - 1.4)
3d printers lab: 2500 (2.5)
Sharing Board games (games and material for cataloguing and sharing): 2000 (2.4)
Consultants: 5000 for events (3.3) and 3.1 and 3.2 activities
Materials for workshops: 2.000
Art designer: 2000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Our idea promotes active citizenship among non-Italian mother tongue teenagers in a middle urban area. Do you have any advice on how to involve them in activities? How could we make political and economical issues interesting to them? Do you think teenagers are interested in volunteering?





Idea created on April 12, 2021
Last edit on April 15, 2021

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