To train promising young people living in fragile territorial contexts, offering them the opportunity to cultivate their talents through a path of personal and cultural growth that allows them to become “more aware, more proactive, more skillful“.
In short, this is the ambitious goal that has been set Unipolis Foundation with “Nice story. Your”, A three-year project aimed at 50 students – of which at least 50% are girls – who in 2022 will start their third year of high school in Calabria or Campania. The announcement, that will be open until July 20aims to select girls and boys who, thanks to the support of local and national partners (including second welfare programs), want to participate in a generative path of incremental skill acquisition on some specific issues during the three years: empowerment, positioning I capacity building.
In practice, each young person will have one financial contribution of € 1,500 per year to form and enjoy the culture, you will follow a path of tutoring individual yen collective moments of skill developmentalso through creativity and sport, they will participate in activities of community commitment. To this end, face-to-face camps, online workshops, activities with the territories and motivational support are offered to enhance the potential of the participants and build an expanded community.
To better understand the genesis, developments and perspectives of the project we have dealt with Marisa Parmigianidirector of the Unipolis Foundation.
He tells us how the idea of “Beautiful story. Your”?
“Bella storia” arises from a double need. On the one hand, after finishing the culturability project, we wanted to give value and relaunch what we discovered: Culture can be a tool to meet the needs of communities through bottom-up social innovation initiatives from I per the territories. On the other hand, we realized that after the pandemic the youngest, especially adolescents, find themselves in situations of unprecedented cultural and educational poverty that current public policies are unable to address. Or at least they are not able to deal positively in their breadth and complexity.
The idea was, therefore, to share the legacy of culture -where, in addition, young people had already been protagonists thanks to activation projects carried out with the territorial cultural centers-, meeting the girls and boys who today they are in difficult situations. which, as I said, is mostly cultural, but which can obviously have economic and social implications.
Careful though. We have chosen to turn not to those who are already in a difficult situation, such as the Neets, but to them. young people who have so much untapped potential that additional help can change the end. Not the most critical situations, then, but situations with “more hope”.
Why did you decide to focus on young people in Calabria and Campania?
Our idea is to help girls and boys who have the desire, energy and enthusiasm but live in situations where the the right to learn, to form and to cultivate one’s own aspirations is less protected.
Therefore, we have considered a few key indicators such as early school leaving, the results of the Invalsi tests, the reading rate, the percentage of school buildings with swimming pools and other sports facilities, the presence of museums with paths dedicated to the youngest. We have not limited ourselves to the issue of the right to education, but we have gone there see the level of educational opportunities at all levels, taking into account the offer in terms of socialization, culture and sport. And that’s how we saw it Calabria and Campania present situations where there is more urgency to intervene.
However, in recent years there have been many projects aimed at young people, especially in the South. With mixed fortunes. What’s different about “Beautiful story”? What are your innovative aspects?
First there is the complexity, both the tools we make available and the skills we want to work on together with the participants. We will not focus on one specific point, but we will work on it capabilities of various kinds that we will develop along a path that will last three years.
And then there’s the issue of transversality: the path is aimed primarily at the person taking it, but it is not limited to increasing its potential. The goal is yes to grow the person, but also the community in which it is placed, joining theempowerment staff with the community commitment. Then we will work with young people activated territoriescreating the conditions to avoid the creation of “abandonment syndromes” when the project is completed.
We want children to feel capable mature in their habitat and they can make the best use of what they will learn to pursue their own personal growth; but also that of its own territory.
He hinted that the road will be developed over 3 years. A long period, especially for those who are 15 years old. How do you plan to keep the girls and boys involved in the project involved?
We hope that the desire to participate will be nurtured. Thanks to economic resources which we will guarantee year after year, a training “gyms” in which we will involve them already accompaniment opportunities that we will give them hope that the girls and boys have more than one reason to stay connected to the project.
I also think the player will play a key role curiosity. The offer of “Bella storia” will change over time, allowing participants to work on it. capabilities always new. We offer diversity in continuity, a fact that I think guarantees a high standard appeal to the project.
We will also focus a lot mentor, who will be with the participants throughout the course. They are very important supporting figures, who seek to fill a gap that many of the adolescents we turn to are experiencing. All young people need it adults able to capture, cultivate and make their talent flourish, but those who live in situations of fragility have this need more. Some of them, despite the difficulties of the contexts in which they live, are lucky to know valid teachers who assume this leadership role but also because of the precariousness of the teachers -often called to change school from a course to the other–. , they run the risk of going through their lives. That’s why we want to with an adult to followa mentor precisely, who knows how to support them, empower them and, therefore, keep them linked to the project.
The project makes use of supports both locally, for the most operational part, and at the national level, for the most strategic part of reflection. How did you select these “travel companions”?
We didn’t do it beforehand; we imagined that the partners would find them progressively, starting from the dimensions on which we have chosen to work more.
So, once we defined the main elements of the path, we did it exploration identifying potential organizations through three driver selection. First, they were enough visionaries get involved in an innovative project like “Beautiful story”. Second, that they were already solid realities in their field of activity, that is, with experience in the specific area in which we intended to involve them. Third, they had the ability to question themselves and the willingness to work with the other realities involved in the project, from a perspective therefore not as suppliers but as true allies.
In the design phases we have involved several organizations with these characteristics. We have learned a lot from them and, thanks to the contribution they have made, we have also chosen to change some of the development trajectories of “Bella storia”.
Let’s imagine that we are in June 2025. The journey of “Beautiful story” is over. The school is out. The young people involved are ready to face maturity. How do you expect them? What do you expect them to learn along the way? What would you like them to have “more” than their peers?
I imagine them braver, more willing to question, with renewed confidence in themselves, others and their community. I hope they are bigger. Ready to face adulthood with more awareness.
But I wouldn’t start making a comparison with those who didn’t participate in the project; I wouldn’t go on to understand what they have “more” than others. I’d rather ask them to imagine what they would be like if they didn’t join the project, as they would “More” than the hypothetical “themselves” who had not participated in “Beautiful story”.
And that’s something we’re really going to do. To understand the scope of the project we are imagining a system that allows us to measure its impact. And surely a year after the end of the project, in June 2026, we will meet with the participants to understand how beautiful its story is, I hope also thanks to us.