A bit about an Italian organization and its projects for European citizens. I interviewed the President, Paco, and he talked about what his organization aims to do and in what projects it is involved.
That means some open opportunities for you!
Hi Paco, can you introduce yourself and your organization?
Hi Santa, thanks for inviting me for this little talk. My name is Paco, I come from Naples, Italy and I’m a videographer and photographer and I currently live in Berlin.
I work also as multimedia trainer for Erasmus+ projects, with an organization called Loesje Berlin.
My organization is called GNU international – APS, or just GNU. This is a young organization and is based in Naples. The idea behind is to promote and diffuse European culture, Human Rights education and Erasmus+ opportunity in Italy, with a special focus on the centre-south of the country.
What kind of projects are you working on?
In this moment GNU is working as Sending Organization in Erasmus+ projects. Which basically means: GNU, as Italian partner organization in a Training course (for example) has to provide participants for the project. In this way we have the possibility to allow 3 or 4 people at the time to travel to a foreign European country, attend the educational program, develop their English skills, improve their cultural awareness and sociability in complex context, and many other soft skills. The role of GNU is logistical and administrative support for the participants. After a motivational selection, we take care of their preparation on the topics of the projects, we arrange their travel plan, we manage the communication with the hosting organization and so on. Everything with the aim of providing the most effective and impactful experience. Of course, I forgot to mention, but there is absolutely no cost on the participant’s side.
School of freedom… what is that? Tell us something about your last project
School of freedom is both a project of Loesje Berlin and methodology or education. It’s a Training course based on participatory education and skill sharing, and this year there was its third edition. In this kind of project, the participants are active part of the program: they have to provide workshops to each other, sharing their skills and knowledge in a learning by doing process. In this way the participants are put in a completely extra ordinary situation, having to manage their own time schedule, study and prepare the workshop (in English of course), taking care of their logistical needs and, as result, facilitating the workshop itself.
Why did you open an organization? What change do you want to bring in the world?
My colleagues and I started GNU because, during our time spent working for international NGO’s in Germany, Turkey, Latvia, North Macedonia, we noticed that there was a lack in our country, a lack that needed to be filled. Of course there are many organizations all over Italy that operate in our same field but, for sure, not enough. The biggest problem above all is lack of knowledge of the Erasmus+ possibilities that everyone has. Lack of knowledge because there is almost no cooperation with the schools and universities and the young people have no access to such possibilities. Every time it happens is just by luck.
While we think that a deeper and structured information is necessary. I think that Italy as country cannot afford anymore to rely only on a very old educational system that allows only the brave and bold (and the richest) to study abroad, to have an increase awareness of the social and cultural development only if the individual is extremely personally interested. We think that you can study abroad, exchange with people of different nationalities, learn to speak in public and so on, even if you are a shy and introvert person, if you cannot afford to live one year abroad by yourself. And that everyone has to be part of all the social and cultural changes and development happening in Europe. It should not be an exclusive lucky event, but part itself of the process of education of the individual.
What are next projects?
At the moment GNU is preparing, together with other organizations form Latvia and Greece, a Small Scale Partnership project, another possibility of the Erasmus+.
GNU could have the change to offer volunteer activities for almost an entire year. We are very exciting about that, we hope our application get accepted.
Together with that we are developing a project to present directly the Italian schools, with the aim of promoting Erasmus+ and European mobility.
Thanks Paco. If you want to stay tuned about Paco’s organization updates here is the Facebook page of GNU.
If you want to discover how to travel more and read a blog about long-term travel (also Erasmus + opportunities) read Wanderwave (ITA)
Credits: Foto by Helena Lopes from Pexels