Erasmus +Sub-programme: Support for Policy ReformAction: Social inclusion through education, training and youth
Social inclusion through Education, Training and Youth
ERIFO is the Italian partner of the project JuCiVol. The Junior Citizens through Volunteering (JuCiVol) project is meant to strengthen the culture of democratic values, fundamental rights and raise awareness on an active Citizenship by enhancing volunteering and participation in youth organisations. A special emphasis will be given to those youngsters who are in a disadvantaged social position as a consequence of their migrant background and/or as a consequence of their residential disadvantage (such as living in segregated urban areas). These factors, such as having been a migrant and living in underprivileged neighbourhoods affects not only academic success and the overall learning process but, more fundamentally, it affects the way these youngsters identify the democratic values of European society.
Voluntary involvement in the civil society, especially in the form of not for profit organizations such as associations, constitutes a powerful means to promote active citizenship among young citizens, especially among those who might suffer from discriminatory practices. The project subscribes to the Strategy for the Effective Implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights [Com (2010)57314] by fighting against discrimination in civil society, promoting a better interfaith and intercultural understanding and improving tolerance across the European Union. The main challenge of the project is to promote young citizens inclusion as target groups and as beneficiaries of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The focus on participation and volunteering of the JuCiVol subscribes to the Commission’s interest in promoting participation and volunteering in associations, platforms and organizations of the civil society as key activities in strengthening the culture of fundamental rights in the EU. In this sense, the European Commission has made a reference to this associative right and to the benefits that it entails to disseminate and promote them in article 12 of the Charter of Fundamental rights of the Union(2000/C 364/01) as well as in the European Year of Citizenship in 2013.
Taking into account the recommendations outlined by the Commission in the European Agenda for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals [Com (2011)455 final], the main goal of the JuCiVol is to contribute to broaden the culture of fundamental rights by making social integration and cohesion a shared responsibility of young citizens, especially those which have been migrants or living in disadvantaged areas.
We will be able to carry out these goals thanks to an educative support provided by professionals working with these young people, combining both a theoretical and practical approach through Volunteering as an informal and formal learning that enhances both social inclusion and improves one’s professional future.
Through the JuCiVol project we intend to complement the efforts of the EU in the area of fundamental rights engaging with the first general objective of the present call: “Preventing violent radicalisation and promoting democratic values, fundamental rights, intercultural understanding and active citizenship”.
The JuCiVol project will address three specific objectives:
Improving the acquisition of social and civic competences and fostering knowledge, understanding and ownership of democratic values and fundamental rights;
Supporting teachers and educators in handling conflicts and dealing with diversity;
Encouraging youth participation in social and civic life and developing outreach practices that are appealing to young people.
The JuCiVol is targeted at young European Union citizens who are of migrant background and/or live in depressed neighbourhoods. We will rely on the support of professionals- mainly teachers and educators- working with them in civil society organizations, neighbourhood and school councils in order to know what are the issues that are the most affecting these youngsters and, more fundamentally, in order to reach them. Teachers and educators focus on the positive outcomes of volunteering and participation in associations of the civil society with a specific focus on awareness-raising and information about European citizenship, the right attached to it and the identification of obstacles to their effective exercise.
The JuCiVol combines both the theoretical and practical approach thanks to the complementarity profiles of the partners in the consortium gathering research institutes, labour oriented organisations, training bodies and higher education institutions in 5 countries:
where the traditions of volunteering are not the same, but share a high unemployment rate among the younger population;
where the migration issue is crucial;
with a high proportion of youngsters living in sensitive areas where the number of Early School leavers is high;
with a population of youngsters who face both barriers for social inclusion and professional integration.
In this sense, JuCiVol will propose:
To analyse the implications of defining the associative right as a fundamental right for Union citizens with a focus on youngsters with a migrant background and/or living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in order to improve their access to political, economic, cultural and educational rights;
To identify the main obstacles to the exercise of the associative right and volunteering among the above mentioned youngsters and the ways and means to overcome them;
To enhance the role of volunteering and participation in strengthening active citizenship;
To promote close cooperation between different levels of governance through the configuration of networks of stakeholders that include a broad level of agents (local, municipal, national and the European institutions and NGOs) ;
To design a pedagogical strategy to be used by professionals working with these youngsters that enables them to identify, assess and internalize the key competence “social and civic competence”;
To design a mentoring for professionals working with this profile of youngsters in associations or educative bodies (primary and secondary school, University).
The competence approach, inspired by the key competences of European Commission in 2006 - especially key competence 6 and 7- civic and social competences and sense of initiative and entrepreneurship will be a main inspiration to promote Volunteering and Active Citizenship among youngsters to struggle against any violent radicalization and promote democratic values thanks to the empowerment process.