From 14th to 17th of May I participated as a representative of the Greek partner United Societies of Balkan with other 13 youth workers in the second Study Visit of the KA2 Strategic Partnership project "Digitalise it" which took place in Oviedo. The visit was organized by the Spanish association Asociación Youropia and the Italian association Affabulazione with the aim of sharing good practices, digital tools, and creative approaches in the field of storytelling to be used to work with young people with fewer opportunities. During the visit, we had also the opportunity to meet the two local organizations Kalide and Hierba Buena, which presented to us the projects they are running at the local and international level and each of them prepared a workshop to share their digital tools for storytelling.
For me, the experience was an opportunity to reflect on how to use digital tools in a creative way to stimulate young people, especially with fewer opportunities, to tell about their stories and backgrounds. Discussing with other youth workers with more experiences and knowledge than me, was helpful to understand some practical non-formal methods to create a safe environment where the youngster can feel comfortable in talking with peers and compare their different experiences.
In the workshop with Asociación Youropia, they introduced to us to some creative methods to stimulate young people to use their imagination to create stories for facilitation youngsters in talking about themselves, while Affabulasione prepared a workshop to reflect on the difficulties in telling a story without using stereotypes. Both sessions were very inspired to me and gave me more ideas about how to run activities with youngsters.
The activities struck me most were the meetings with the two local associations. The first association we meet was Kaleide, a youth organization that works to fight against LGBT stereotypes and which are using the storytelling to raise general public awareness about how common language and actions could damage the LGBT person. During the meeting, they showed us a video-campaign against LGBT discrimination produced by two local young people, and they taught us to use Instagram, a very popular social networks among young people, as a creative tool to stimulate youngsters to tell about themselves. The second organization Hierba Buena, instead, is a local organization which works to promote and defend the rights of people with mental disabilities. During the workshop, we learned about the limited services provided by the of the Spanish assistance system and how the organization uses digital tools to empower people with mental disabilities and break stereotypes against them. This part of the Study Visit was very interesting for me because we had the occasion to better understand in which way digital tools could be exploited for promoting the social inclusion of specific target groups which are more difficult to reach out.
In the end, I can say that this experience was useful to me to understand better what storytelling is and its potential to help young people and discriminated groups to express themselves and to increase their social inclusion. From the Study Visit I acquired:
- new ideas for implementing activities for young people;
- the importance of making video-campaign to promote civil rights and break stereotypes;
- the potential of digital tools such as social networks and post-cast to encourage young people in expressing themselves.
This article has been written by Daniela Faccioli about the project Digitalise it! which is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and the support of Région Grand Est (France). The European Commission and Région Grand Est support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission and Région Grand Est cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.