YOUTH POWER develops an intervention strategy for the activation of young people on global problems at the local level, stimulating knowledge of cultural and environmental resources, experience and action on the territories of their everyday life, which are the first to show evident signs of change and transformations faced worldwide.
YOUTH POWER wants to involve, animate and support young people in the Lanzo, Ceronda and Casternone valleys, on the theme of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and Mountain areas as laboratories of sustainability, through two tools:
– an online and offline escape game
– an experiential camp
The project is located on the territory of the GAL Valli di Lanzo Ceronda and Casternone, a mountainous area that extends from the lower to the upper valley and enjoys a favorable contiguous position with the Turin urban area.
The resident population, even if the demographic situation has found a greater balance with respect to the dramatic depopulation of recent years, is about 7,000 people and is characterized by a strong aging caused by the lack of generational turnover and by a reduction of young people and children.
In addition to this, as in most of the Piedmontese mountain areas, the population is dispersed and isolated and the local subjects involved in developing projects find it difficult to create opportunities suitable for young people, which counteract the abandonment of territories and which can attract new entrepreneurship. At the same time, on a national scale, there is a new interest in these territories, caused by the high quality of life, the environmental, social and community characteristics found in the villages and mountain villages.
Faced with the health crisis of recent months, which has increased the social fragility of young people and has focused attention on the needs of the peripheral areas, interest in mountain and rural areas has increased, becoming the subject of development debates for future strategies. YOUTH POWER fits into this context and aims to respond to the social needs that have emerged in recent years: on the one hand, nurturing interest in mountain areas, addressing the new generations above all; on the other hand, creating opportunities for young people living in the area, stimulating projects and opportunities that give children motivation to stay and invest their future in the valleys.
The tools and methodology used by the project will indirectly activate the professionalism and skills of local realities that work on the social frailties of young people with a view to youth development and empowerment.
Specifically, the project provides the organization of an escape game on SDGs and sustainable development, which is realized through an online platform, which will be the digital place where content will be shared and challenges and contests will be launched.
The escape game, organized as a playful-educational activity, will allow young people to be involved in deepening and verifying their knowledge on the issues and consolidating them through practical experiences of various kinds. In fact, the online platform will reach a large number of people whereby new challenges will be launched, taking place in the real world by involving the participants in cognitive experiences regarding local production activities and territorial resources that characterize the Lanzo Valleys. Participants will also be asked to share their experiences through their online channels, making the platform a collector of information and content that can express the point of view, the gaze of young people on the territory.
The challenges will be co-designed and programmed by the working group in synergy with a “youth board” made up of young people from the proloco, using and promoting the projects in progress.
The escape game will be functional to the second phase of the project, which provides the organization in the spring 2021 of an experiential camp aimed at children between 15 and 18. The residential camp will be organized in the Municipality of Usseglio, in collaboration with local tourist and production activities, in order to encourage the reactivation of the local development process from below, raising awareness among the participants and enabling them to become aware of the weaknesses and peculiarities of the territory where they live.
The combination of the two tools guarantees the project to establish and increase a community of young people who live in the area, networking subjects informed on the Sustainable Development Goals and sensitive to the issues of sustainability and climate change, helping them to develop skills and planning.
The conscious and motivated activation of young people is an important goal to spread sustainable behavior in local communities and facilitate their involvement in the future of the territories.
The project is part of the program YES – Youth Empowerment for Sustainability, developed by Fondazione Santagata.