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Giovani per l'Interculturalità
Start date: Sep 7, 2015, End date: Jul 6, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project focuses on art and culture and social inclusion issues. Ufficio Progetto Giovani, situated in the down town of Padova (Italy), works in the field of youth policy and provides services for young people being in tight contact with the Social Services and two territorial animation Youth Points. This will allow the 2 volunteers from Spain and Ukraine, hosted for 10 months in the project, to be deeply involved in the selected themes collaborating with the operators who are active in the areas of interest (Spazio Europa, Info-youth, Animation and Social Services). The themes will be pursued by giving the possibility to volunteers to learn how the Municipality operates in the youth policy field, in particular noting the measures taken to facilitate the employment of young and disadvantaged people, the efforts made to provide formative and creative opportunities to youth, as well as recreational and educational activities to elderlies and children. The volunteers will mature this experience being in contact with different social realities but also with the many institutions working in Padua and in Veneto for the assistance, support, integration and social inclusion of immigrants, disabled people, youth and families in difficulty, as well as with the various associations and non-profit organisations in the area. Olena and Borja will work above all supporting the Social Services operators (after-school projects, company to old people) and the Animation Area ones (computer support to old people and migrants, intercultural events, etc.). Besides, they will come in contact with local and international youth during the tandem learning activities: these meetings enable volunteers to improve their language skills while enhancing their competence in their mother tongue and, at the same time, creating a network of interesting young people. Due to these initiatives youth will deepen their social skills together with their cultural awareness and expression. During their service, the volunteers will be also asked to develop their own individual project which will be evaluated and discussed with the responsible and the people referent for the Office working areas. Their personal proposal has to be congruent with the Project Activity and to correspond to the volunteers' interests and abilities; the idea should also involve the local population. This personal space therefore allow volunteers to enhance their creative and entrepreneurial competence. As an example: a volunteer organises a cultural tour of the city, involving Italian people but also youngsters coming from her same country, showing the city and its treasures describing them from his own point of view: as a foreigner who, month after month, uncovers Padova and its beauty hidden in the smallest corners, delightful spots and streets and became a citizen in love with the context he has been living in. We envisage that the interaction between the local population and the volunteers will enable both parties to grow their understanding of other cultures, their respect toward other ways of thinking and their openness toward the possibility to collaborate with different people, learning one from each other. On a long term perspective we consider our project a great opportunity for youth to learn about their passions but also to understand their role in society, experiencing first hand active participation and taking it as a model for their future personal and professional life. Moreover, as it usually happens, youth who come in contact with EU opportunities learn that there are more projects they could develop, for themselves or as a multiplying effect for other young people. As an example a current volunteer is thinking, with his informal group of colleagues, to apply for a youth exchange in his own Country, after his return from EVS. In the same way, Olena and Borja, deepening their awareness on their competencies and skills, will be able to share them with their peers and the other people they will work and live with and who, at the same time, will be inspired to follow their steps and profit from EU opportunities. The adopted methodology will refer to non-formal education and the learning by doing process, based on the active involvement of volunteers in each proposed activity in order to provide them with a way to compare the policies undertaken in the same field in their countries of origin.
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