This Thursday, April 29th, began the Cycle of International Meetings «Where are we going? The signs of young people to the world”, organized by Scholas Occurrentes Foundation with the support of the Ministry of Education of Italy -MIUR, and the participation of 160 young people, 90 Italians and 70 from the rest of the world, gathered online to reflect on possible directions Humanity may take after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Entitled “Who is there?”, this first meeting of three of which the cycle is composed, brought together young people between 15 and 20 years old from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Haiti, Italy, Japan, Panama, Paraguay, Spain, Ukraine and, for the very first time at Scholas’ international meetings, young people from Iraq, several of whom were received by Pope Francis on his historic visit to that country in March.
The invitation was, above all, to celebrate the encounter, begin to listen to each other, recognize each other, all through the languages of art, play and thought, part of Scholas’s methodology, in order to share their vision about what happened and give signs about the world they dream of.
«Happiness is only real when it is shared with the other, and the meeting is the end, that’s why I appreciate these meetings,» said Angelo, from Italy. While Chiara affirmed: «The other forms us, she or he does not complete us because we are born complete, but they give us nuances that will characterize us throughout life».
As the Scholas Coordinator for Italy, Alessandra Graziosi explains: «In the framework of the agreement between Scholas and the Ministry of Education, we continue the ambitious educational project started in Italy in March 2020 and today internationalized: promoting the emotional well-being and psychology of children, young people from different countries, social, cultural and religious contexts and stimulate intercultural and international dialogue».
For the emotional health of young Italians and the rest of the world
At the request of educational institutions of the most diverse countries, with whom Scholas had already been developing programs in favor of the culture of the encounter, during the pandemic it was possible to detect the degree of health effects: young people from different parts of the world for the first time shared the same feeling: fear, anguish, and a lack of spaces for listening and accompaniment.
Scholas put its proposal and methodology to the test in new virtual environments (with dozens of cyber encounters with young people, parents, teachers and other social actors), and confirmed its intuition through an integrative vision of education as a tool for well-being and health, the importance of expressing emotions, the beauty of sharing and the power of encounter.
In Italy and with the support of the Ministry of Education of this country, innovative virtual experiences could be carried out: the cycles of meetings «Piazzetta Digitale» during the most critical moment of the pandemic, and then the cycles of «Emozioni Digitali» , as a continuation of the previous ones.
Now in 2021 Scholas wants to give young people the opportunity to maintain the spirit of these encounters, not only for young Italians, but for young people from all over the world, to take a step further and stimulate an intercultural and international dialogue, a process in which teachers have also been involved, to create a more inclusive and open-debate school, where they can better understand the wishes and dreams of young people and help them to achieve them.
A virtual and face-to-face path
This cycle of international meetings will continue next Thursday, May 6, with the meeting «Who are we?» and on Thursday, May 14, with «Where are we going?», Both at 4:00 p.m., Rome time, and in those who are expected, as on this occasion, a massive participation.
This path proposed by Scholas and MIUR will include a face-to-face educational experience with young people from various schools in Codogno and Reggio Calabria, in Italy.