Italian group leader in action!

In these pages I will show what I did after the youth exchange (action 1.1 of Youth in action European Programme) to disseminate the results of the job done in Romania at the beginning of September 2013.
During our staying in Iaşi, 36 participants coming from Romania, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Poland worked to try to find a solution to the problem of lack of job for youngsters. We tried to find an eco-friendly solution to this problem, because reused materials to create new products to be sold means to keep the costs that an young artist or a young artisan have to face lower, when buying materials and resources when a new activity starts.
The guide done at the end of this exchange is composed of 16 pages and resumes all the contents carried out during the 10 working days. We think that those themes are nowadays very important and felt as real by the European young people (e.g. in my country, Italy, almost 1/3 of those aged between 18 and 30 is unemployed).
I personally showed our work to my close friends and family; many of them are not working or searching for a new job. But most of my effort in dissemination was concentrated in the high school where I worked for 5 weeks (23 Sept 2013 – 30 Oct 2014).
I was substituting the titular teacher of science at the Alessandro Volta Science High School of Castel San Giovanni (province of Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna, Italy). So, as a teacher of science, I was able to show this guide, receiving a minimum of attention degree being in the position of a teacher. It was really important to speak to students of 17-19 years old about our guide because this age matches exactly the target of our dissemination. The guide is not a difficult read and is easy to understand. We preferred to use easy words and simple concepts, in order not to being very technical and catch the attention of youngsters. It is a fact that many times teenagers feel superior about the problems or news about which they should be way more sensible to.
I showed our guide in 4 classes (two 4th classes and two 5th classes, the last year of high school in Italy). In each class I chose to spend one hour talking about EcoBusiness.

Students seemed sufficiently interested by the guide mainly for two reasons:
- The contents of the guide and their possibility to become real into the real world;
- The fact that the guide is the final result of a youth exchange.

None of my students knew the Youth in Action Programme of EU. Consequently, I spent the first part of my time introducing them to the main actions that constitute the programme, especially youth exchanges, seminars, trainings and EVS programme. I also tried to show them what Erasmus + could plan in future for young people as formal and informal instruction.
After this introduction, me and my students tried to understand and familiarize with the themes of youth unemployment at work, starting from the Italian reality. Personally I was, and still am, a real example of not having a permanent job and I have been living with unstable jobs for three years now. I tried to let students think about that and let them image they were to find a solution for this issue after school or university, when they will face with the real world.
After the presentation of the guide I called them and asked them to sit on my chair and speak to me and the fellow classmates about what they understood of the project and about new or similar ideas or proposals that they could maybe show to enrich the discussion of new themes and possible solutions.

Mr. Marco Dalla Noce (class 4 ͣA) was impressed by the quantity of second life that items thrown into the trash could live. Even though only a few examples of recycling were illustrated in the guide, he was almost shocked by the mere fact of finding that out. He also realized that he will think twice before throwing some plastics, cans, paper or whatever in the general trash, thinking a bit more about the environment first and about the possibilities of reusing those.

Mr. Gherardi and Mr. Lanzillotta (class 5 ͣD), 17 and 18 years old, seemed to be real interested too, but they asked me in a more critic and deep way about how to open a business based on reused materials. There was a big conversation in the class about that. I told them that nothing is simple, of course, and that before starting a new business a deep study of the market and of the potential customers must be done.
Practically all points focused during the exchange were discussed, also if adult students of 5th classes were a bit more interested because of their coming end of school. Anyway also in both 4th classes the attention was quite high. For example, Mr. Chiapponi (class 4 ͣD, below in the photo) spoke a lot of his paints creations he used to do for himself and friends with glue, colors and newspaper.

He actively talks to his classmates about his hobby and admitted that he thought sometimes to do something after the school together with study at the Arts Academy to get some money. He started to sell portraits to friends some years ago, but he would like improve his hobby about paper statues. It was for me a good moment to introduce to my students the concept of up-cycling going a bit ahead the recycling one.
At the end, the almost 100 students involved in my dissemination seemed be quite satisfied of the “alternative lesson” they have participated to. Of course it is difficult change the classic ideas of business of about how get money, but I think that some of them maybe will think about get some information more on the up-cycling world and its possibilities for a future job in that way (for an eco-friendly business). At least, of course almost every student now knows about the possibilities that EU gives them for the young mobility and many of them asked me to go deep in the explanation of Erasmus and Youth in Action programmes. I really hope that my opera of dissemination has been useful.

Emiliano Ragno