The photo starts the story. It’s a moment that captures a bit of perfection in this world. There’s a place, and the place is connected to some people, amazing individuals, who came together to pursue ideas and turn a few problems into solutions. There’s honour in the work being done here, someone is helping someone else, following a vision, and giving a voice to someone else, youth being equipped for change.
All that is now captured in this photograph, but you don’t know it, you might just sense a bit of a dream lurking from within it.
Let me tell you about a place, youth, and voices
Italy, like undiscovered Tuscany, but still different. Offida gifts our senses with sights that awaken gratitude. Instantly a dream is born, to come back here, and keep coming back. If we make a promise, life taught us there are good chances we lie about coming back, but still, we could, there are plenty of reasons to. I could not decide what soothes the senses more: the green of the hills, the yellow of the old stone houses, the voices of neighbours greeting each other, visiting the morning market, the smells, and taste of Italy.
Perhaps the key is in our hosts and what we were about to work on together. I-strategies is a group of storytellers. Gianluca and Alessio are welcoming us as true storytellers, their premises are a story of their own, and the day they have prepared is full of joyful work and meaningful breaks. It was more than work, it was experience. The building has a history, the room has been used for skating, long ago when skating was not a thing, heritage is oozing from everything we see and touch. At breaks, we learn that our hosts have a little story for each meal, each wine, and each place and person we meet. What a wonderful skill and a wonderful partner to have on this venture, a storytelling project which is about to teach young people who do not know how to use their voices to make a change.
YOUTH 4 CHANGE is our mutual mission. We came together from Germany, Denmark, Ireland, France and Lithuania to Italy, to collide our skills and turn them into an educational superpower for the youth of Europe. You see just because young people are all over digital spaces, trapped in their phones does not mean they are using the digital spaces in an empowering way.
Youth in Europe is grasping for air, confused and full of life, they would have things to say. But how do they raise their voices so that we listen? How do they stop just scrolling and start telling stories for social change?
We are researching and finding out just how, and this is why we would together constantly, for 2 years as the YOUTH 4 CHANGE partnership, to create a new learning pathway. This pathway, storytelling for social change will empower young people. Not just that, youth educators, all those NGOs, course providers, and schools will be able to take YOUTH 4 CHANGE resources and inspire a new generation of digital storytellers, social change makers, and champions: EuroYouth.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. The author is solely responsible for this publication (communication) and the Commission accepts no responsibility for any use may be made of the information contained therein. In compliance of the new GDPR framework, please note that the Partnership will only process your personal data in the sole interest and purpose of the project and without any prejudice to your rights.
Sanja Ivandic is one of the Authors of the Outside Multicultural Magazine. Sanja wrote for several magazines and enjoys every form of writing, be it poems, case studies or prose. Her special skills lie in inclusive marketing and helping people progress in their careers, especially those in vulnerable circumstances. She is a co-founder of Outside Media & Knowledge, where she ideates and implements projects addressing inclusion, digitalisation, gender equality and more.
Sanja’s words on multiculturalism: “Multiculturalism for me is a synonym for humanity. Being diverse and similar at the same time is who we are and we must never forget it. Remembering this evokes respect, love, and peace, so we must keep reminding ourselves about the word multicultural”.
You can reach Sanja here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sanjaivandic/