EuLab: a bridge between rights and opportunities

Youth Department of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia

Media materials:

Organisation:

Youth Department of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia

Country:

Italy

About organisation:

The Youth Department of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia called “Officina Educativa/Youth participation and well being” works for and with youngsters 14-35 years old, through 4 main fields: active participation, healthy lifestyle, successful education and creativity. Since 2020, the Department promotes, together with E35 Foundation, the Eurodesk local Agency in Reggio Emilia. It provides information and orientation service to young people (14-35) about international mobility and European citizenship in close collaboration with schools and youth associations.The Eurodesk operators are also involved in the local youth information point, this give them the opportunity to spread the information about European opportunities during the orientation meetings that they address to thousands of students each year. The Department promotes its projects, initiatives and events (including the Eurodesk ones), through the “Portale Giovani” website.

Contact person:

Alessia Coracci

Title of the project

EuLab: a bridge between rights and opportunities

Start date:

October 3, 2022

End date:

December 31, 2023

Source of funding:

We used two different sources of funding:Our own resources to pay youth workers and trainers involved in the first part of the project, the one related to the training of the two groups of peers;Regional resources to cover the expenses related to the activation workshops’s design process, the meetings with other youngsters, the documentation of the project and the outputs’ production. We got this grant because we applied to a regional call named “Promotion of European citizenship”.

Objectives:

EuLab aimed to bring young people and citizens closer to the issues of EU rights and opportunities and to highlight their close connection: knowing the rights and which opportunities allow them to be exercised, promoting opportunities by knowing the rights that support them.The project involved two peer groups (16-22 y.o.) previously activated and trained, one on human rights, while the other on EU mobility opportunities, combined then to share the knowledge acquired during previous training, developing it further with the 2030 Agenda and the 2024 EU elections. During the project they’ve designed and implemented interactive workshops aimed at other young people focused on 3 main topics: EU mobility opportunities, human rights and EU Parliament elections. The workshops were held in 4 different contexts, involving around 100 youngsters from youth centers, participants in the “S.Lang” sports/educational project and in an Erasmus+ youth exchange. Participants were mostly youngsters with fewer opportunities, asylum seekers and NEETs. The peer to peer method has favored youth participation and protagonism, meeting and mutual contamination and the dissemination of knowledge on the topic of rights and opportunities for EU mobility.The documentation and communication were handled by the peers and by a youth association, leading to the creation of informative social cards on the workshops, the creation of 5 promotion and awareness videos and the design of methodological material.

Why does it correspond to the thematic category:

The EULab project was conceived and then developed with the aim of creating innovative and creative activities to encourage information among young people. The objective was to use peer to peer activities to better sensitize and communicate with youngsters. Specifically, the elements of creativity and innovation were:- workshops: the practical and interactive approach increased the motivation of the peers and kept the participants' attention high, stimulating their interest in European opportunities and making the meeting an effective learning opportunity- Using digital tools: the integration of digital activities within practical playful activities enriched the learning experience and made the activities more interactive. Moreover youths could get involved with their creativity and improve their digital and IT soft skills- Active engagement: the active involvement of young people in practical activities promoted a deeper understanding of EU mobility opportunities for youths- Peer education and cooperative learning allowed peers to consolidate their knowledge and develop interpersonal skills and allowed young participants to learn from each other, receive information in a language they understand and to be more active in the relationship- Circle time: the guided discussions were supported by educators/facilitators who always encouraged young people to share their opinions, experiences and points of view, making the moments of discussion inclusive and collaborative

The impact the initiative had on young people and the local community:

By participating in the EuLab project, young people have been able to better know and understand the Agenda 2030, the 2024 European elections and the EU mobility opportunities addressed to young people and linked to human rights. Most importantly, they’ve been able to carry out soft skills important for their personal and professional success, such as:- Active citizenship: EuLab has promoted civic participation and a sense of social responsibility, encouraging young people to be active and engaged citizens in their community and society as a whole;- Empowerment and leadership: it has encouraged the development of leadership and advocacy skills, allowing young people to be changemakers in their own lives and in the society;- European citizenship: it allowed the youths to better understand and actively participate in the democratic EU’s life, as well as interact with other youths from other countries sharing their common European sense of belonging.Within the local community, the project allowed the participants to share thoughts, opinions and ideas among various groups of youths regarding the human rights linked to European mobility opportunities and it disseminated not only information about mobility opportunities, but also general information about the European Union, elections, and the Agenda 2030. This allowed a greater number of young people, even the ones usually considered as outsiders, to know how mobility opportunities work and consequently how to participate.

How it ensured the visibility and promotion of Eurodesk:

The project started from the training of the two peer groups. One of them took part in a Eurodesk Italy project, called “European Young Multiplier”, that aims to train students, 16-19 years old, about EU mobility opportunity, giving them the chance to activate information corners inside their schools to orientate their peers and multiply the Eurodesk information service. By participating in this project, the students had the opportunity to know the Eurodesk network, its mission and objectives and all the opportunities that it offers at European level. Furthermore, the students became “part” of the Eurodesk network by becoming multipliers of the information. When the two peer groups met each other the EYM peers shared their knowledges on EU opportunities, through the Eurodesk project cards and visiting the main informative websites (Eurodesk, Eu youth portal) In addition, all the meetings among the 30 peers were organized in the Eurodesk Local Agency and the operators explained the role of the Agency and promoted all the opportunities. At the same time the united group of 30 peers, while designing the workshop, prepared one activity, through Kahoot tool, about EU mobility opportunities, to be shared during the activation workshops, which included the information about Eurodesk local Agency. The visibility of Eurodesk was also ensured by the communication tools: the promotional cards designed by peers contain Eurodesk logo and all the posts on Instagram had the Eurodesk tag

How it respected the green principles:

A sustainable approach was ensured during the project's duration, both in relation to content and behavior. In particular:All the meetings organized were reachable by public transportation or by foot/bike;During the meetings recycled material has been used; Agenda 2030 and SDGs were part of the training modules for the facilitator peers and part of the informative contents spread by the activation workshops addressed to other youngsters;Most of the activations have been realized in open air contexts;During the second activation workshop the group of peer met participants of a Erasmus+ Youth Exchange named "Social Entrepreneurship in rural areas", During this meeting, after the peer activation, the youth exchange’s facilitators organized some activities related to their project, in a park, aimed to connect the group with the nature and sensitize about interspecies; No promotional or informative materials have been printed, anything was realized and shared in a digital form;Project’s outputs (infographics, methodology cards, promotional and awareness videos) have been uploaded on the Portalegiovani website, to be freely downloaded.

EuLab aimed to bring young people and citizens closer to the issues of EU rights and opportunities and to highlight their close connection: knowing the rights and which opportunities allow them to be exercised, promoting opportunities by knowing the rights that support them.
The project involved two peer groups (16-22 y.o.) previously activated and trained, one on human rights, while the other on EU mobility opportunities, combined then to share the knowledge acquired during previous training, developing it further with the 2030 Agenda and the 2024 EU elections. During the project they’ve designed and implemented interactive workshops aimed at other young people focused on 3 main topics: EU mobility opportunities, human rights and EU Parliament elections. The workshops were held in 4 different contexts, involving around 100 youngsters from youth centers, participants in the “S.Lang” sports/educational project and in an Erasmus+ youth exchange. Participants were mostly youngsters with fewer opportunities, asylum seekers and NEETs. The peer to peer method has favored youth participation and protagonism, meeting and mutual contamination and the dissemination of knowledge on the topic of rights and opportunities for EU mobility.
The documentation and communication were handled by the peers and by a youth association, leading to the creation of informative social cards on the workshops, the creation of 5 promotion and awareness videos and the design of methodological material.