The project ADRESS aims at stimulating and supporting active European citizenship among young people and promoting youth sport as a tool for preventing drug abuse and discrimination. Long-lasting relations between youth groups, NGOs and businesses from Bulgaria, Italy and Romania have been established to become the basis of future common initiatives.
ADRESS brings together young people from Italy, Romania and Bulgaria to discuss important topics as drugs abuse, racism, equal opportunities for young people from disadvantage groups.
The project includes two major activities – a study visit and workshops which primarily aim is to share and exchange positive experience and good practices. The proposed topics for discussions have ensured stating of different opinions and therefore a cooperation working.
Local authorities and local business representatives have been present on the roundtable which will be carried out in Cirié. All participants discussed future possibilities for cooperation and taking common effective measures for preventing drug abuse and racist discrimination. The possibility for joining the UNITED – the largest European anti-racist network of more than 560 organizations – have been discussed during the round table in Cirie. UNITED has members from all parts of Europe who meet and discuss effective ways of combating racism and discrimination. Joining the network will allow the results of the project to be multiplied around European members.
There was also a preliminary planning of common future initiatives and activities in the field of youth sport and prevention of drug and doping abuse and racism. The activities promote a better understanding of the diversity of our common European culture (making known the cultures of the new member states Bulgaria and Romania) and shared heritage as well as of our common basic values.
The first major activity during the project took place in Cirié, Italy: workshops, a roundtable and a sport tournament with the participation of the young people from Italy, Romania and Bulgaria. There has been a review of European documents and strategies addressing discrimination and drug abuse issues.
As a more experienced partner, the Italian partner Comitato Territoriale UISP Cirie’ Settimo Chivasso has initiated discussions on various topics concerning the important role of young people in building the successful future of united Europe. Participants from Bulgaria and Romania have done presentations to make Bulgaria and Romania known in Italy.
The project encourages the debate and reflection related to European citizenship during both the study visit and the workshops. Prevention of drug abuse and racism is equally important for the partners because they share the common concern about future European development.
Promoting society values such as equality, human dignity, freedom, democracy, rights is essential for every participant in the project. Participants from Bulgaria and Romania have done their experience as citizens of new democracies in Europe in countries that has always been part of European history and culture, although cut off for decades during socialism.
Since the project is initiating a new partnership between the Italian and Bulgarian associations, a study visit of the Italian partner in Bulgaria is envisaged as the second main activity during the implementation of the project.
Participants have shared experience and ideas during the study visit, discussing spheres and future possibilities for cooperation. Emphasis has been put on youth sport as an inclusion tool and how it can be best used for prevention of drug and doping abuse and racism. European Union plays an increasing role in citizens life.
Its institutions, rules, and programs are likely to become a key-component of the personal culture of European citizens. New generations can’t grow up and learn only in their national contexts; they must have adequate means to become aware of their belonging to broader communities, and must be open to participation in a supranational democratic life.
Unfortunately, young people are very often denied the chance to receive information on European issues. It is therefore very important that youth organisations and schools have adequate devices in order to foster the development of a European and supranational culture among young people.
Clubs for Information, Discussion and Initiatives on Europe, started in Cirié, Italy, Plovdiv, Bulgaria and Bucharest, Romania where young people, who are sensitive to such themes, could promote programs and activities which are planned to increase the awareness of rights, chances and duties, connected to European citizenship.
Such clubs – Europa Youth Clubs – will be much more effective, if they will involve both pro-European organizations and territorial actors with civil, social, cultural and economic goals. Partners involved in this project produced a website as communications medium, a CD-Rom and a brochure for disseminating project good practices and results.
The website has been designed in English, Italian and Bulgarian. It introduces project aims, activities and results. There are pictures of the sport tournament and the workshop. It has links to essential EU documents and strategies for preventing drug abuse and discrimination.
The CD includes young people’s opinions about racism and drug use. It shows sport as an inclusive activity and an alternative to drug abuse. The CD is disseminated among 1 000 young people from the regions of Cirie, Italy, Plovdiv, Bulgaria and Bucharest Romania.
The brochure acquainted local citizens about EU values and policy in the field of active citizenship, drug prevention and anti-discrimination issues. It included information about European programs and initiatives for social inclusion and active European citizenship. It has been disseminated among all social groups in the Italian, Bulgarian and Romanian regions in which the project took place.
The video and the website produced by the project show best practices and achievement in the field of social inclusion, fight against racism. Preserving the memory of the Second World War when millions of people were prosecuted based on their origin, today young people from Italy, Romania and Bulgaria want to be sure this will never happen again.