The Project ”Children: from victims of violence to actors of non-violence” has officially ended. Guidelines on the working methodology with young people coming from potentially criminal backgrounds have been produced.
The project aims to develop, test and systematize a working methodology with young people coming from potentially criminal backgrounds or even mafia backgrounds, to make it possible for them to get rid of the vicious circle of violence they are growing in. Based on the assumption that kids and young people growing in criminal backgrounds get affected by a sort of psychological violence, affecting their future and shaping their life, the project aims to foster a network of public/private, profit/nonprofit bodies gathering different experiences and competencies in order to build and provide a reliable alternative path, including social and psychological support, facilitating schooling process, establishing contacts with voluntary service associations, facilitating skills and competencies development thus helping in finding job opportunities. From being victims, thus potential perpetrators of violence, young people living in criminal or socio-culturally deprived backgrounds will be accompanied in a path that can make them act as promoter of non-violence and culture of legality. The project is organized in 5 macro-phases. First one includes a kick-off meeting and several coordinating meetings to be run in different European cities. During the same phase an international research will be run in order to analyze socio-cultural aspects of the concerned countries and the current legislative approach to young offenders treatment. Furthermore, during the first phase, an international focus group will gather in order to analyze and compare different legislations systems. In the end of this phase and as result of the research, a group of 41 young people will be identified as direct beneficiary of the action. Second phase includes training activities for youth social workers, in order share experience and knowledge on using international activities and social volunteering as tools to work with and for youth at risk of social marginalization. During the third phase, to be implemented in Sicily, a pilot project will be run, involving both local and international participants. Local international social volunteering and job experiences will become the tool to break cultural stereotypes and overcome fears and prejudices; to make it possible to build and make visible actual alternatives to criminal path and “career”. During this phase, partner organization will be indirectly beneficiaries, having the role of “studying” and job-shadowing methodologies and tools of the Sicilian organizations and network. During the fourth phase, in the second year of the project, similar pilot experiences will be implemented also in countries where partners are based, namely Czech Republic and Spain. Experience and methodology of the previous phase will therefore have a direct impact on other countries and multiply their effect at a wider level. Last part of the project will be addressed to sort, systematize and report the methodological results of the project itself, making them available to a wider public. This will be achieved by means of a public seminar and a publication which will include reports and evaluation of the project together with a sort of “hand-book” or “guidelines” on the use of multi-sectorial local networks in building socio-cultural personalized projects for young people coming from socially deprived background. This final publication will also include some legislative proposal to make all EU countries include in their criminal law, specific tools for social treatment of young offenders and to implement similar networking system in their national contexts. The actual and long-lasting result of the project will therefore be the possibility to test and make replicable in different national contexts a working method to protect and treat young people affected by cultural and psychological violence due to their familiar socio-cultural background.