T.R.A.P. project continues its activities. T.R.A.P. – Tutt* Rivendichiamo Altre Prospettive, was selected by Con i Bambini as part of “Fondo per il contrasto della povertà educativa minorile” (an Italian Fund to combat educational poverty in minors). The T.R.A.P. project provides educational activities to support young girls and boys who are involved with the juvenile justice system, their families, and the professionals from the U.S.S.M. (Social Services Office for Minors) and social services. These activities aim to develop an integrated approach that allows the minors involved to discover and desire perspectives focused on the “common good.”
In this context, the Community Foundation of Agrigento and Trapani, in collaboration with Istituto Walden, has established a “Youth Bank” in Menfi (AG). The “Youth Bank” involves a group of adolescents identified by the Juvenile Court and already supported by the U.S.S.M., who are residents in Istituto Walden’s housing community in Menfi.
The experimental activity carried out by the Community Foundation consisted of a series of 9 workshops, where the participants gradually became responsible for a small “Youth Bank.” The “Youth Bank,” following the international model developed by other Community Foundations, aims to support the empowerment process of minors by involving them in a system for funding projects carried out by other young people (in this case, young people from other T.R.A.P. territorial centers in Sicily).
After completing the training program, which aimed to teach them how to identify community needs, the girls and boys have developed and are managing a call for proposals aimed at their peers from other T.R.A.P. territorial centers in Sicily. The call aims to award 9 micro-grants for the implementation of micro-projects with a social impact. The minors themselves will evaluate the ideas to be supported and implemented.
In the first weeks, after being introduced to the activity and its objectives, they discussed the topics of active citizenship and the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda (also known as SDGs). They did this by opening themselves to new knowledge and developing critical thinking and divergent thinking. Among all the SDGs, they questioned which one was the most important and relevant to their life experiences. From there, the program focused on Goal 11 of the 2030 Agenda, which is to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable” – unanimously chosen by the participants.
The girls and boys learned how to build a project, represent and communicate it, and foc us it towards a goal of change that envisions our cities as “inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.” They learned about funding calls and their mechanisms to develop the “Youth Bank” call.
Thus, the committee of the “Youth Bank” was established in Menfi, a group of young people who will be responsible for the “funding” of projects carried out by other young people. In fact, all 6 Territorial Centers activated in the T.R.A.P. project will see their young participants transform their desires into actual project ideas with which to apply for the call.
The proactivity, commitment, and dedication to the cause of the Youth Bank by the participants is the most valuable result, not only because it shows their genuine understanding of active citizenship, but also their desire to advocate for new perspectives and create more beautiful cities for themselves and others, for the community, and the common good.
The call, which started on July 11th, will remain open until early October. Now, it is up to the boys and girls from all the Sicilian territorial centers to imagine and advocate for new perspectives. This activity will allow the young people from all the territorial centers to play a leading role in improving their own community, recognizing themselves as responsible for generating real changes.
With the “Youth Bank,” we want to bring back the magic of creativity, instill the desire to make seemingly impossible things possible, and teach them how important it is to plan for themselves and the people around them.