From the 4th to the 9th October 2020, two members of the staff, Ali and Sarah, were in Italy to take part to the third training of the Open Café project, hosted by Young Effect with participants coming from Italy, Sweden and Poland. An international environment which allowed the team to have fruitful discussion and to share about culture, identity, migration and communities, among other topics.
Standing between inspiring visits and stunning landscapes, here was the program of the week:
Day 1 was dedicated to introduction of the participants through ice-breaking activities and several discussions about culture. Also, we could question our stereotypes thanks to The Albatros Tribe and the Onion of Identities activities. During the first activity, some of the participants were actors and had to follow the leaders’ rules silently, while other were watching the scene as spectators. It was a good opportunity to discuss how we perceived the scene and how our social reality can influence our judgement. For the Onion of Identities, the group was divided in teams of 4 people who had to present one continent and what makes its structure culturally: from what is easily noticeable to what needs to be penetrated deeper in order to understand a culture and its roots.
During the second day, the group could meet an NGO worker from the association L’Ancora and could discuss the situation of migrants in Italy and what is done on a daily basis but also the different challenges that can be faced.
On the third day, participants could discuss different terms such as Integration, Discrimination and Assimilation and played them in theatre scenes in front of the others who had to guess the term; later on each group presented immigration in its country and shared current local and national issues happening on a daily basis.
On day 4, the focus was on the idea of community and the structure of a society. Participants could discuss it through different activities and present their idea of a sustainable society. These discussions were followed by a visit of the unique village of Bussana Vecchia, a former ghost town in Italy which was abandoned due to an earthquake in 1887. It was then renovated and repopulated by an international community of artists in the early 1960s, who still live there for most of them.
On day 5, the group could visit Boeri, an inspiring local company producing organic olive oil in Taggia, a family business which has almost 100 years of experience in this field and has the will to join tradition and innovation. More information here. Participants also had the opportunity to meet the Deputy Mayor of Taggia who presented the local social activities, from the creation of job opportunities for people with a disadvantaged background, to the integration of foreign communities through sports, among others, but also the challenges to face on a daily basis.
“All good things must come to an end…”
Many thanks to the host organization Young Effect and all the team, who did a great job and allowed us to live such a delightful experience in one of our best office ever!