SolidAlCiti - Solidarity Alliance for Citizen Engagement across Europe
Objectives of the project
The main aim of the “SolidAlCiti” project is to make a step further in recognising and promoting cross-border voluntary work, valorising the experience of volunteering organizations as well as the potential of volunteer work at the transnational level, especially among young people and migrants, starting with those affiliated to the applicant and its partners, in providing civil protection and/or humanitarian assistance in emergency situations (such as the 1998 Sarno landslide case in Italy, the forest fires in Spain in 2012 and in Sweden two years later, and the 2014 enormous floods in Western Serbia and BiH) through cooperation among local and foreign citizens. A practical reasoning about specific expertise arisen from initiatives within CSOs in providing civil protection and/or humanitarian assistance in emergency situations as well as in finding common solutions concerning residual risk in the aftermath of the events will be strengthened through direct contributions from migrants who have experienced a disaster and/or were directly involved in emergency management.
It is widely recognized today that voluntary-based organizations have a vital role in dealing extensively with the health and social care in the interest of all citizens. They can thus represent the voice of the communities they serve, including underrepresented groups and all those who are at risk of social exclusion.
Voluntary organizations are often the quickest force to intervene in response to an unmet condition where or when public or private sector interventions can’t fully address the needs of a population. They use to work with the most disadvantaged communities addressing both geographic localities and communities of interest across EU.
The partners will share their best practices on innovative forms to strengthen lies in their respective volunteer networks, especially when including third-countries nationals and representing the interest of vulnerable people regardless of their origin.
A first meeting between the partners and the related training activities will take place in the city of Cava dè Tirreni (Salerno) and its surroundings, where the headquarters of the Lead Partner are located. The coordination and implementation of the project will take place in Salerno, where the 212 member organizations affiliated to the applicant are located. Then, there will be three national participation events entitled “SolidAlCiti across the EU”, including the sub-activities “debate on the future of Europe” and “Participatory Workshop”, which involves international participants, will take place at Cluj-Napoca (the largest city in the historic province of Transylvania, located in the northwestern part of Romania, which is ending its experience as the European Youth Capital in 2015), in Athens (the capital of Greece that has undoubtedly contributed to the different history of Europe with the symbolic meaning of its heritage and was also the first European city of culture in 1985, while today is redefining its model of development with a very lively young scene of bottom-up urban initiatives), in Sarajevo (capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina, crossroads of different cultures and religions, cities in strong cultural expansion). A final event will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 20 June 2019, coinciding with the “World Refugee Day”, able to gather participants from all over Europe. Remote implementation activities are also planned online and through webinair.
The “SolidAlCiti” project aims to help strengthen the unity, identity and European consciousness built on the basis of being truly community based and supported by the community. The implementation of new transnational voluntary initiatives through the collaboration of 16 partner organizations from 16 different participating countries to promote awareness and understanding of the integration and citizenship public will improve the conditions for civic and democratic participation at Union level and re-engage citizens with the EU project.
Special attention will be given to drafting for balanced integration and participation of citizens and civil society groups in all Member States during the project, in particular through the inclusion as official partners of the key “A10” countries ( Estonia, Slovakia) and four of the EU candidate countries (Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia), in the planning of activities, taking into account the multilingual and multicultural character of the European Union, taking into account cultural sensitivity and awareness of diversity of the socio-cultural characteristics of the local communities involved. The project organizers are also committed to ensuring growth in participation in a wider heterogeneous public in different countries, including new states; in the dissemination of the project results across the borders, the important contribution of “Media Reform Centro Niš” and “Mladiinfo Internazionale” networks of communication with millions of readers to achieve the objectives of the project and the agreed objectives is particularly important.
The “SolidAlCiti” project focuses on the construction of processes for the search for new local and transnational development models based on the essential role that volunteers play in building a community, especially in the civil protection sector in remote and rural areas and in less developed regions (such as Campania, some parts of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Slovakia, the Western Balkan countries), offering participatory workshops with non-academics trained for the use of non-formal education and learning methods and issues of active citizenship, in order to foster European citizenship from below and improve the conditions for civic and democratic participation at Union level. The idea of the project itself is, in fact, built around volunteering as an expression of active citizenship made up of three main elements: information, expression and action. Active citizenship implies, in fact, for people to get involved in their local communities and democracy at all levels, from municipalities to cities for activities at national level up to membership and advocacy at European level through membership in networks Structured solidarity themes (as is the CEV). This interactive and participatory framework – associated with a number of social communication tools made available within the project – will result in progress towards the awareness and practice of citizenship and underline the cultural diversity of both participation and the scope of arguments.