The first day, held at the Community Foundation of Mirafiori, focused on the theme of active involvement of young people in their communities and the role of Community Foundations in facilitating and enabling their active participation. Each organization shared the methods, tools, approaches, successes and failures of their own programs and activities aimed at promoting (directly or transversally) youth engagement and active participation.
The second day was held at the Community Foundation of Porta Palazzo. The theme of the day was the involvement of young people within Community Foundations. In this venue too, Foundations brought their experiences for collective learning, but there were also experiences outside the foundation field regarding the inclusion of young people in decision-making processes.
The exchange of experiences on the two dimensions allowed identifying best practices and finding innovative strategies to promote the participation of young people, their civic involvement and in decision-making processes, starting from a premise: every community has a duty to start from its young people, in a perspective that sees them as beneficiaries and co-designers at the same time. This means abandoning the idea of young people as “little people to protect” and giving them the tools and spaces to be true decision makers. Involving young people means building bonds of trust and transparency with the entire community, strengthening their sense of belonging in the communities, helping them become aware of their value and their ability to influence the world, it means ensuring long-term sustainability to Third-sector organizations.
In the two-day event in Turin, the European Community Foundations have shown awareness of the importance of the issue, committed on various fronts and ready to strengthen and expand the activities, programs, and internal strategies aimed at involving young people, within and outside organizations. This also applies to the Community Foundation of Agrigento and Trapani, which has always been particularly attentive to the issue and applies it on both dimensions, internal – with the presence of young people in the staff and in the directing body – and external through ad hoc projects focused on youth empowerment with challenge-based methods, programs for emergence and incubation of socially responsible youth businesses, and long-term and wide-ranging initiatives, such as the establishment of a Youth Bank and the development of an Educating Community that includes and promotes the active participation of minors in educational processes.