CoCoRa: Prevention starts with active citizenship

CoCoRa: Prevention starts with active citizenship

The CoCoRa Prevention Programme has been tested in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany and Italy in the last months. Based on a close collaboration with local communities, the programme focused on topics such as active citizenship, intercultural learning, competences, opportunities and empowerment. While these topics were common to all programmes organized by CoCoRa partners, each country version had slightly different priorities, depending on the local context and specific needs of the young participants. Such a flexible approach was necessary, as local communities in partner countries differ as well as the characteristics of young people attending the meetings, e.g. in terms of their age (in some countries participants were between 15 and 20, in others over 20 years old), educational and cultural background.

In Italy, CESIE decided to put an emphasis on the topic of intercultural exchange, inviting both local young people with and without migrant background. The group of 19 young participants went on a common journey to discover their identity and diverse cultures, including different religious backgrounds, but also to learn more about their own strengths and about opportunities in Palermo to apply interests and talents. The programme included visits to a mosque and a church, and visits to social projects that promote intercultural encounters and exchange in Palermo.

A similar course of activities was organized in Austria by the partner organisation “Verein Multikulturell”: there, participating young people were involved in discussions on religion and diversity and other non-formal educational activities, including a common visit to a museum. The French partner organisation ADICE from Roubaix organised an intensive course of two full days where young people learned more about active citizenship and community engagement, about intercultural learning, and reflected about European values and their competences and life goals. In Denmark mht Consult collaborates with a Muslim community center, and all participants between 18 and 27 years are affiliated to this center. Some of them had been approached by religious extremists in the past, so that they were especially keen in discussing how radicalization is currently manifested in Danish society, which are the root causes of it and how one could best react to it.

Besides the evaluation of the Prevention Programme, CoCoRa partners discussed also the next phase of the project, the Ambassador Programme, at their recent partner meeting on 24th/25th January 2017 in Innsbruck. This phase will see young people as protagonists: they will be trained in different competences and skills, so that they are able to be “Ambassadors” for their own interests and needs. Topics of this programme will be:

  • Social projects and opportunities, including mobility opportunities in Europe;
  • Skills and making use of skills and talents;
  • Active citizenship, anti-discrimination and identity.

Young people will first undertake own research projects to collect life stories and information about prevention and inclusion initiatives in their town. Then, they will prepare creative presentations of their research results (e.g. through performances, Youtube videos). Finally, they will plan and implement Ambassador Workshops that will be attended by local politicians, youth workers, social workers and other members of local communities.

The Ambassador Programmes will be organized between March and June 2017. Keep tuned about CoCoRa project – visit the project’s website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter! To know more about the implementation in Italy, you can also get in touch by e-mail with: Dorothea Urban, dorothea.urban@cesie.org