Researching citizens' engagement with the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, Ohio

The partnership with the Kettering Foundation is continuing: these weeks ALDA Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida is in Dayton, Ohio for an international Fellowship, working with the team of the Foundation on how to engage citizens at the local level, with a dedicated research on Ukraine and Moldova.

The Kettering Foundation has been in partnership with ALDA for many years already, and offers expertise and dialogue exchanges that have been well attended by the ALDA staff and members as well as representatives of the Local Democracy Agencies.

And there is more to look forward to for the upcoming future! Democracy, for both ALDA and Kettering, starts from citizens’ engagement in various forms, at the local level and in cooperation with local authorities but also in many other ways of being “active groups”. Though the research on the Foundation is generally American-oriented, it also offers very interesting international exchanges from which to learn and progress. After all, making democracy work as it should is a common effort!

The partnership with the Kettering Foundation is continuing: these weeks ALDA Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida is in Dayton, Ohio for an international Fellowship, working with the team of the Foundation on how to engage citizens at the local level, with a dedicated research on Ukraine and Moldova.

The Kettering Foundation has been in partnership with ALDA for many years already, and offers expertise and dialogue exchanges that have been well attended by the ALDA staff and members as well as representatives of the Local Democracy Agencies.

And there is more to look forward to for the upcoming future! Democracy, for both ALDA and Kettering, starts from citizens’ engagement in various forms, at the local level and in cooperation with local authorities but also in many other ways of being “active groups”. Though the research on the Foundation is generally American-oriented, it also offers very interesting international exchanges from which to learn and progress. After all, making democracy work as it should is a common effort!


3 STEPS towards inclusive education: ALDA at the kick-off meeting of the 3STEPS project!

On February 20th-21st, 2020 the kick-off meeting of the 3STEPS project was held in Innsbruck, Austria. 3STEPS – Fostering Education and Inclusion of disadvantaged refugee and migrant learners is a EU project funded by Erasmus Plus KA3 which involves partners from 6 countries, namely Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, and France.

It intends to scale up two good practices on inclusive learning that were invented at a local level. The first good practice is known as “Basic Education” (in Austrian “Lernnetzwerk für MigrantInnen”), and has been developed and well experienced by the lead partner Verein Multikulturell at a local level, in the Austrian region of Tyrol, since 2016.

The second good practice, “TANDEM NOW”, has been a transnational European project within the Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation programme since 2012. The TANDEM NOW approach involves Ethnic Role Model Mentors and aims at helping youth with a migration background develop social and professional skills as well as the support needed to stay in school. The project combines the motivating effect of ethnic role models with a blended mentoring approach that was especially developed on the basis of migrants’ needs.

The 3STEPS local activities will start in the near future. Stay tuned!

On February 20th-21st, 2020 the kick-off meeting of the 3STEPS project was held in Innsbruck, Austria. 3STEPS – Fostering Education and Inclusion of disadvantaged refugee and migrant learners is a EU project funded by Erasmus Plus KA3 which involves partners from 6 countries, namely Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, and France.

It intends to scale up two good practices on inclusive learning that were invented at a local level. The first good practice is known as “Basic Education” (in Austrian “Lernnetzwerk für MigrantInnen”), and has been developed and well experienced by the lead partner Verein Multikulturell at a local level, in the Austrian region of Tyrol, since 2016.

The second good practice, “TANDEM NOW”, has been a transnational European project within the Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation programme since 2012. The TANDEM NOW approach involves Ethnic Role Model Mentors and aims at helping youth with a migration background develop social and professional skills as well as the support needed to stay in school. The project combines the motivating effect of ethnic role models with a blended mentoring approach that was especially developed on the basis of migrants’ needs.

The 3STEPS local activities will start in the near future. Stay tuned!


European programming for Italian entrepreneurs in the artisan business

On February 18th, 2020 Head of Resources & Development Unit Marco Boaria visited the TORRESAN Travertino – Torresan Gino & C. SNC, a company well-known for its quality Italian travertine that is located in Crespano del Grappa, to deliver a training course on European programming to about fifteen local entrepreneurs, owners of small and medium sized artisan businesses.
This initiative, which took place in a rather evocative context, i.e. between travertine works made by the host company itself, was aimed at responding to the increasing requests for information regarding the possibility for companies to participate in various calls for proposals financed by the European Commission.
After an initial collective playful moment, in which the participants answered a quiz on the European Union to test their knowledge on the institution, its functioning and its peculiarities, Marco explained the main European funding programmes, focusing on those of greatest interest to the participants, such as Creative EuropeErasmus +Horizon 2020. The meeting then concluded with an update on the new European programming 2021-2027.
Many thanks to the Torresan Company for the hospitality, interest and enthusiasm shown during the training!

On February 18th, 2020 Head of Resources & Development Unit Marco Boaria visited the TORRESAN Travertino – Torresan Gino & C. SNC, a company well-known for its quality Italian travertine that is located in Crespano del Grappa, to deliver a training course on European programming to about fifteen local entrepreneurs, owners of small and medium sized artisan businesses.
This initiative, which took place in a rather evocative context, i.e. between travertine works made by the host company itself, was aimed at responding to the increasing requests for information regarding the possibility for companies to participate in various calls for proposals financed by the European Commission.
After an initial collective playful moment, in which the participants answered a quiz on the European Union to test their knowledge on the institution, its functioning and its peculiarities, Marco explained the main European funding programmes, focusing on those of greatest interest to the participants, such as Creative EuropeErasmus +Horizon 2020. The meeting then concluded with an update on the new European programming 2021-2027.
Many thanks to the Torresan Company for the hospitality, interest and enthusiasm shown during the training!


Art for children's social inclusion in Novo Mesto, Slovenia

On February 20th, 2020, the Association for Developing of Voluntary Work Novo Mesto organized a local workshop within the framework of the IMPACT project in Novo Mesto, Slovenia.

The workshop gathered a group of children: through games and body movement, the young public was encouraged to express its creativity as well as musical and dancing skills. The children then prepared a performance using gymnastic ribbons. The initial idea was to use art as a tool for social inclusion to create a simple composite art performance.

This activity was organised within the IMPACT project funded by the ERASMUS+ program.

On February 20th, 2020, the Association for Developing of Voluntary Work Novo Mesto organized a local workshop within the framework of the IMPACT project in Novo Mesto, Slovenia.

The workshop gathered a group of children: through games and body movement, the young public was encouraged to express its creativity as well as musical and dancing skills. The children then prepared a performance using gymnastic ribbons. The initial idea was to use art as a tool for social inclusion to create a simple composite art performance.

This activity was organised within the IMPACT project funded by the ERASMUS+ program.


Building cooperative communities

On February 23rd, 2020, the Union of Communities Montiferru organised a local activity in order to present the RECOV project in Santu Lussurgiu, Sardinia. An information desk was organized during one of the most important events in the area – Sa Carrela ‘e Nanti – with the aim of reaching a greater number of stakeholders. The information and awareness-raising process on community cooperatives continued in Santu Lussurgiu by involving local administrators, communities, young people and economic operators.

The event saw the participation of several interested actors who will be the spokesperson for the initiative and who will be involved in future information activities which will be conducted in the coming months in collaboration with LEGACOOP, the association for the protection and representation of cooperatives.
To protect the environment, the participants were asked to digitally fill in and submit the evaluation questionnaire.
This activity was organised within the RECOV project funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme.

On February 23rd, 2020, the Union of Communities Montiferru organised a local activity in order to present the RECOV project in Santu Lussurgiu, Sardinia. An information desk was organized during one of the most important events in the area – Sa Carrela ‘e Nanti – with the aim of reaching a greater number of stakeholders. The information and awareness-raising process on community cooperatives continued in Santu Lussurgiu by involving local administrators, communities, young people and economic operators.

The event saw the participation of several interested actors who will be the spokesperson for the initiative and who will be involved in future information activities which will be conducted in the coming months in collaboration with LEGACOOP, the association for the protection and representation of cooperatives.
To protect the environment, the participants were asked to digitally fill in and submit the evaluation questionnaire.
This activity was organised within the RECOV project funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme.


Improving the internal governance of NGOs: let’s practice!

On February 17th and 18th, 2020, ALDA was in Brussels to deliver the Learning Exchange Workshop, an initiative co-funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

The workshop was aimed at guiding a local NGO in restructuring its internal governance. At the same time, it was an opportunity for our trainer Anna Ditta to practice the methods contained in the Tool for citizens cooperation programme developed by the MitOst foundation and also co-funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

“Tools for citizens” aims at supporting civil society actors through developing and providing easy and accessible tools, and is based on a specific need analysis with civil society actors and with different backgrounds.

The workshop was attended by 8 staff members of the hosting organization, who expressed satisfaction for the outcomes of the two-day work, commenting that the training was “straight to the point” and that methods were “effective and useful, also for the new members of the staff”.

On February 17th and 18th, 2020, ALDA was in Brussels to deliver the Learning Exchange Workshop, an initiative co-funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

The workshop was aimed at guiding a local NGO in restructuring its internal governance. At the same time, it was an opportunity for our trainer Anna Ditta to practice the methods contained in the Tool for citizens cooperation programme developed by the MitOst foundation and also co-funded by Robert Bosch Stiftung.

“Tools for citizens” aims at supporting civil society actors through developing and providing easy and accessible tools, and is based on a specific need analysis with civil society actors and with different backgrounds.

The workshop was attended by 8 staff members of the hosting organization, who expressed satisfaction for the outcomes of the two-day work, commenting that the training was “straight to the point” and that methods were “effective and useful, also for the new members of the staff”.


A warm welcome to our six Civil Service volunteers in Brussels, Skopje and Strasbourg!

Meet Alessandro, Arianna, Elisa, Francesca, Giorgia and Virginia, the six young bright Civil Service volunteers who just started their year-long work experience with ALDA this week!

After a month-long pre-departure training held in Cremona by the Municipality of Cremona itself, who presented the project with ALDA, and an intensive training day in the Vicenza ALDA office, in the weekend of February 16th-17th the six took off to their respective new roles and destinations: now they are moving their first steps in teams of two in the ALDA offices of Brussels, Skopje and Strasbourg!

While three volunteers are going to support the work of the Programmes & Development Unit, the other three will engage with the Project Management Unit, side by side with their expert ALDA colleagues.

We know that each of them has a lot to add to the table and want to wish them a great year ahead: welcome to the team!

Meet Alessandro, Arianna, Elisa, Francesca, Giorgia and Virginia, the six young bright Civil Service volunteers who just started their year-long work experience with ALDA this week!

After a month-long pre-departure training held in Cremona by the Municipality of Cremona itself, who presented the project with ALDA, and an intensive training day in the Vicenza ALDA office, in the weekend of February 16th-17th the six took off to their respective new roles and destinations: now they are moving their first steps in teams of two in the ALDA offices of Brussels, Skopje and Strasbourg!

While three volunteers are going to support the work of the Programmes & Development Unit, the other three will engage with the Project Management Unit, side by side with their expert ALDA colleagues.

We know that each of them has a lot to add to the table and want to wish them a great year ahead: welcome to the team!


Every monument has its story: a training for vloggers with Monumental 9

Did you know that every monument has its own story? A selected group of Balkan youth just found out by participating in the Monumental 9 project training that took place in Prijedor, Bosnia-Herzegovina from February 13th to 16th, 2020.

The WWII monuments in the Balkan area, so called “Spomenik, are well known for their unreal, impressive sci-fi design and have long attracted curious, art-loving and adventurous visitors. With the significant support of the Regional Cooperation Council‘s Tourism programme, they are becoming the ambassadors of Balkan’s cultural tourism.

Together with its 7 partners from the Balkan Network for Local DemocracyLDA Montenegro developed the Monumental 9 project in order to help create preconditions for new tourism products to increase youth employment and income generating activities. 16 young persons will hence be involved in this project and research 9 monuments of WWII through innovative approaches, vlogging and greeting techniques, rising their own capacities to create new touristic offers and products.

The objective is for the participants to create interesting and attractive inputs for the Monumental 9 online platform, which will describe micro localities, peculiarities and non-mainstream stories related to the selected 9 monuments across 5 Balkan economies: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia and Serbia.

This will be done by means of bare practice, visiting the monuments in three separated groups for research tours. The participants will cover areas between monuments and feed the curiosity of future travelers that will be able to benefit from the platform and its information on natural landscapes, recreation spaces, gourmet delicacies, cultural sites, local crafts culture, local way of living and more.

Let’s wish them luck on this exciting beginning!

 

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion of the Kosovo declaration of independence.

Did you know that every monument has its own story? A selected group of Balkan youth just found out by participating in the Monumental 9 project training that took place in Prijedor, Bosnia-Herzegovina from February 13th to 16th, 2020.

The WWII monuments in the Balkan area, so called “Spomenik, are well known for their unreal, impressive sci-fi design and have long attracted curious, art-loving and adventurous visitors. With the significant support of the Regional Cooperation Council‘s Tourism programme, they are becoming the ambassadors of Balkan’s cultural tourism.

Together with its 7 partners from the Balkan Network for Local DemocracyLDA Montenegro developed the Monumental 9 project in order to help create preconditions for new tourism products to increase youth employment and income generating activities. 16 young persons will hence be involved in this project and research 9 monuments of WWII through innovative approaches, vlogging and greeting techniques, rising their own capacities to create new touristic offers and products.

The objective is for the participants to create interesting and attractive inputs for the Monumental 9 online platform, which will describe micro localities, peculiarities and non-mainstream stories related to the selected 9 monuments across 5 Balkan economies: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia and Serbia.

This will be done by means of bare practice, visiting the monuments in three separated groups for research tours. The participants will cover areas between monuments and feed the curiosity of future travelers that will be able to benefit from the platform and its information on natural landscapes, recreation spaces, gourmet delicacies, cultural sites, local crafts culture, local way of living and more.

Let’s wish them luck on this exciting beginning!

 

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion of the Kosovo declaration of independence.


Training youth trainers in Struga, North Macedonia

In partnership with Maison Pour Tous Léo Lagrange, the Coalition of SEGA youth organizations of Prilep, North Macedonia organized a training for youth trainers which was held from February 9th to 12th, 2020 in Struga, North Macedonia.

The training, which brought together around fifteen participants from Macedonian civil society and created a space for sharing experiences, was planned to be based on innovative and interactive methods. Thus, the decision of the association Maison pour tous Léo Lagrange of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, Normandy to send two experienced trainers to supervise it, Bérénice and Arno, respectively specialists in formal and informal education.

This moment of learning and exchange aimed at setting up and animating Youth Exchange meetings intended to welcome young people from abroad and have them share their experiences to promote interculturality.

The methods, exercises and other tools offered during the training allowed the participants to learn the role of facilitator: at the crossroads of mediation and informal pedagogy, this function constitutes a key role in the supervision of Youth Exchange sessions.

This activity was implemented within the framework of decentralized cooperation between Norman and Macedonian actors.

In partnership with Maison Pour Tous Léo Lagrange, the Coalition of SEGA youth organizations of Prilep, North Macedonia organized a training for youth trainers which was held from February 9th to 12th, 2020 in Struga, North Macedonia.

The training, which brought together around fifteen participants from Macedonian civil society and created a space for sharing experiences, was planned to be based on innovative and interactive methods. Thus, the decision of the association Maison pour tous Léo Lagrange of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, Normandy to send two experienced trainers to supervise it, Bérénice and Arno, respectively specialists in formal and informal education.

This moment of learning and exchange aimed at setting up and animating Youth Exchange meetings intended to welcome young people from abroad and have them share their experiences to promote interculturality.

The methods, exercises and other tools offered during the training allowed the participants to learn the role of facilitator: at the crossroads of mediation and informal pedagogy, this function constitutes a key role in the supervision of Youth Exchange sessions.

This activity was implemented within the framework of decentralized cooperation between Norman and Macedonian actors.