The COVID-19 pandemic and the confinement measures implemented in many EU countries have caused major upheavals in people’s lives from multiple points of view. Indeed, the way in which people can relate to each other and carry out the most basic every-days tasks has been limited, significantly altering the regular implementation of education, training and youth policies. According to some studies (“Youth and COVID-19 Response, Recovery and Resilience” – OECD, “Living, Working and COVID-19” – Eurofund, “The European Youth Blueprint To Recovery” – European Youth Forum) focused on the effects of current pandemic in relation to the employment situation and the mental health of young people, these are strongly affected with higher levels of depression, loneliness, tension, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
ACTMEM is based – within this context – on the importance of memory as a way to enhance resilience among young people. Memory, understood both as historical memory and as “memory of the present”, nourishes the social fabric, enlivening the relationships between different generations, helping the crisis to be elaborated, also thanks to comparisons with the past. The project ACTMEM aims at creating an innovative learning experience addressed to young people and based on storytelling techniques, as a means to combat the sense of isolation related to the restrictive measures adopted by National Governments in response to the health crisis, while increasing key competences such as sense of initiative, social and civic participation and intercultural awareness and expression.
Youth need to reflect on the current difficulties of European Society and understand their role as protagonists of an exceptional historical era, who showed a great capacity to react and reinvent themselves and whose stories deserve to be recorded and told as sources of inspiration for the present and future generations. Telling and sharing the “memory of the present”, with reference to the new generations, means in particular:
In particular, the specific objectives of the project ACTMEM are:
- To transform the experience of the pandemic into an opportunity for the development of self-confidence and key competences among young people, such as intercultural awareness and expression, sense of initiative, social and civic participation;
- To promote inclusive, creative and innovative approaches to storytelling among young people, so as to combat social isolation and reinforce their resilience in response to the past health crisis;
- To foster the participation of young people in civil society by spreading good practices related to solidarity actions in times of crisis;
- To promote the EU values among young people and in particular active citizenship and the pillar of being united in diversity.
The project will achieve the above-mentioned objectives by creating a blended training path based on storytelling methodologies. This result will lead to the realisation of a Manual addressed to youth leaders for supporting the involvement of youth by providing methodologies and practical guidance. Furthermore, ACTMEM will realise an Open Narration virtual space for collecting individual and collective stories representing a priceless digital archive of the memory of life in times of pandemic from the perspective of young people. The expertise and complementarity of the partners inspired the overall design of the project by focusing on narration of individual and collective stories about pandemic and related solidarity’s action born under these difficult times, which, in no other example more than this, may boost the achievement of the general goals by:
Providing youth and youth leader with the possibility to engage with peers coming from different countries;
Providing the possibility to carry out a transnational experience through blended mobility will grant the target groups with an enriched and qualifying experience in different cultural environments;
Giving them the chance to know and to understand different experiences improving in this way both the knowledge about different countries and the sense of European citizenship.