Why the Civic Service of Italy participates in a new European project ?
For the Department of Youth and National Civic Service of Italy, the project IVO4ALL represents an extraordinary opportunity to implement the lessons learnt through a previous European project called AMICUS.
A survey conducted in 2009 by the National Civic Service in the framework of the project AMICUS actually showed that young people participating in the international civic service:
- come from families with higher income and higher level of education than young people who choose to serve in Italy;
- have high academic qualifications;
- have had previous experience of volunteering abroad, and
- have a good knowledge of a foreign language.
Moreover, the research highlighted a strong correlation between some key variables such as family income and education levels that are often linked to the knowledge of a foreign language and a previous experience abroad.
From AMICUS in Italy to IVO4ALL in Europe
Therefore, through the project IVO4ALL the Department intends to test measures that will break down barriers and thus improve access to international volunteering for those young people who are excluded, i.e. those who have a low level of education, who come from families with low income, and are unable to communicate in a foreign language.
How do we differentiate the participation in the civil service for the group of 50 volunteers who will take part to the IVO4 ALL field trial?
First, the length of service will be reduced from 12 to 6 months and the foreign destinations will be limited to the European Union member States. Before departure, the volunteers of the field trial will participate for four weeks in an intensive English course and during the service abroad will be supported by a bilingual tutor. In addition, the criteria for the selection of the volunteers and the type of tasks to be performed will be adjusted to the profile of young people with fewer opportunities. Finally, the project will be advertised through alternative channels in order to reach young people living in particularly disadvantaged areas.
In short, IVO4ALL should lead to the creation of a truly European citizenship opened to all.
Author: Marialuisa Silvestrini