The training course DIFFUSE was held in a village called San Giorgio Albanesewhich is situated in Calabria, Italy. The participants came from Italy, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, France, Spain, Portugal and North Macedonia.
The core educational purpose of the course was to introduce digital tools in aid of social inclusion. After being engaged in activities that familiarized them with the theory of social inclusion and digital tools, the participants were enabled to put theory into practice and make use of digital media in order to tackle social issues of the local community. Two of the tools used throughout the project were Photovoice and Participatory Video.
Photovoice is a technique which uses photography as a means of social expression and raising awareness. At the pre-stage, the participants worked in groups and discussed in order to make a decision on which was the most important problem of
the community to depict. At the while stage, group members took photos of the problem addressed in the surroundings of the local community. At the post-stage, the most indicative photo was chosen, given a proper title and posted in the mass media applications.
Another dynamic technique used for social purposes was the Participatory video which enabled participants to explore the local community, communicate with locals, address their issues and create a video with protagonists local people who were given voice to narrate their stories to a wider audience.
Participants were also lucky enough to delve into the Arbëreshë culture. San Giorgio Albanese is inhabited by Arbëreshë people who are an Albanian ethnolinguistic group. Arbëreshë fled to Italy in the 15 th century and still preserve their rich cultural
It is said that history repeats itself. Historic recurrence applies in San Giorgio Albanese which now hosts refugees who have found shelter in the abandoned homes of this detached village. During the project, the participants were given allowed to
visit refugees’ houses and listen to their stories and their aspirations for the future. They also visited the facilities of SPRAR. SPRAR is an organization which works to establish refugees’ inclusion in the community.
Every night, an intercultural event was held at the main square of the village. Local people and participants gathered to present their country, culture and food and dance traditional songs.
Italy is famous for its mouth-watering food. Every day participants were served delicious pizza and pasta at Da Nino’s Italian restaurant and tasted delicious ice- cream at Café Roma.
All in all, this training course has been a once in a lifetime experience which enabled participants to practice their digital and social skills and explore different cultures.