Local activities in Italy

Carla and Ervin carried out their volunteering project in Italy within Garibaldi agricultural social cooperative and the local youth center MYO SPAZIO.

The integrated agricultural social cooperative “Giuseppe Garibaldi” encourages the overturning of the paradigm “more skilled have more access to work; less skilled need more assistance”. The cooperative’s supporters are mainly the most important associations of families with autistic members. Among its members there are a group of children with disabilities, their parents or legal guardians, and social workers from the school.

In the Garibaldi Cooperative, Carla and Erving (volunteers from Mexico) were able to work and collaborate with autistic people, agriculture experts and technics, and psychologists and educators. And, within this model of social agriculture they contributed to the objectives of creating a productive and sustainable agricultural business system integrating people with disabilities and develop their autonomy.

In regard of the youth center Myo Spazio, the local organisation CEMEA support the participation of youngsters with socio-economic disadvantage backgrounds, who dropout school and/or have occasional jobs. Often they are immigrants of second generation with cultural identity problems. In particular, in the Myo Spazio youth center, due to the proximity to the Garibaldi cooperative, special attention is paid to fostering social inclusion of young people with autism.

In Myo Spazio youth center, Carla and Ervin had the chance to help the permanent staff of the centre during the activities with the teenagers and autistic youngsters (homework, board games, workshops, sport, arts lab…). They also took care of the urban garden and of the external courtyard, working together with teenagers from 11 to 18 years old. Moreover, they would accompany and took care of the autistic youngsters throughout the activities that the centre organises. The volunteers carried out many workshops during their stay in Rome, even a multicultural “Mexican aperitivo“.

The volunteers contributed to the projects of the host organizations and their partners, achieving two main objectives: First, to improve the social skills and self-esteem of the young people they work with. And, second, to develop their skills, their spirit of initiative and entrepreneurial skills. This will enable them to become agents of change in their own reality, once they have returned, through social entrepreneurship initiatives.