To weave peace through culture. Educational visits are back

From the month of May, several schools enthusiastically resumed their educational visits and intercultural projects, which have now stood still in terms of mobility actions for over two years. The exchanges actually took place in recent months only “at a distance” due to the health protocols, but in the classrooms, the virtual spaces nonetheless offered valuable opportunities to meet.
Now, various institutes are finally returning to receive the welcome visit of delegations of students and teachers from other EU countries, and many of our young people are traveling or have already arrived at their destination in foreign cities. Intra-Community exchanges, cooperation, twinning and mobility between education and training systems are the privileged actions of the Erasmus +, Comenius, e-Twinning, etc. projects. These are programs that can be attributed to the so-called lifelong learning program (Llp), a system that was originally created in the 1930s to improve workers’ performance and professional specialization. Back then, in the seventies, after the UNESCO publication of a document entitled “Learning to Be”, in which the concept of lifelong learning was elaborated, understood as education that accompanies the individual throughout life, in different places and in different ways, the Llp idea has evolved to involve the areas of education and learning. In addition, since 2000, the Lisbon Conference’s planning has focused on promoting employability and social inclusion and has been included among the objectives of the European agenda.
It is important to reflect on the opportunities that LLP promotes: The scenario in which our young people move is often defined as a learning society, a place where learning is the basic condition for living and keeping up with change. , now more and more fast. While in the past the skills and abilities that traditional educational pathways gave us were sufficient for the whole (or almost) of our professional and social lives, today it is necessary to continuously update. Therefore, it is essential that our children “learn to learn” and are ready to face any kind of change.
Among the purposes of the exchanges, in addition to the cultural and educational aspects, there are also goals for citizenship and civil coexistence such as education in communication and understanding between people, training in critical thinking and overcoming particular visions, creating ways to achieve common values ​​in different cultures , deepening the idea of ​​a collective, cooperative and community “knowledge” that promotes the development of different personalities within a humanistic, supportive and respectful framework of different identities.
It would be extraordinary to be able to weave through these exchanges and experiences an authentic culture of peace and hospitality. Today, more urgent than ever in a landscape marked by a war that shows no signs of abating and, on the contrary, risks dramatically involving an ever-increasing number of people. The opportunity is provided not only by mobility and cultural exchange programs, but in recent weeks also and above all by the arrival in many schools throughout the country of Ukrainian children and young people fleeing their battered country. In addition to the reception protocols and the emotional manifestations of the early days, the presence of these witnesses to the conflict in our classrooms could be an opportunity for growth and maturation for the entire school population from multiple perspectives.
As a civil society, we have worked to give the Ukrainian people concrete help, we have used ourselves in solidarity gatherings, yellow and blue flags and welcome festivals have flourished in schools, but beyond all this we try above all to understand what message our young people guests they carry us and we make sure it is not lost.

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