Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All
Contribution to the Annual Report 2014 of the MMI Network

Youth today: DO IT!

Youth today: DO IT!

“Actua” (“Do it!”) is a joint project of four associations in the Navarra province, Medicus Mundi Navarra, Ilundain Foundation, Escuela de Tiempo Libre Urtxintxa, and IPES Elkartea, who are united to promote active citizenship, engagement and social involvement of young people, enabling them to participate in the society and to transform their environment, with a focus on human rights, sustainable development and prevention of social exclusion.

The project includes youth counseling sessions for social action in youth centers and institutes, strengthening of solidarity groups, development of a process of action research carried out by young people from different associations, training young people at risk of exclusion for self-employment by managing organic gardens, training of teachers and voluntary instructors that work with young people in leisure activities, and, at the end of the project, a meeting with associations working with young people to share experiences made. In the action research part of the project at least 100 young  people from 10 non-formal education partnerships will make an analysis of local problems and put them in relation with the global situation. They will propose solutions to the political authorities.

The political, economic and social context strongly influences the vulnerability of the population, especially of young people. Social exclusion makes it difficult to fulfill an autonomous citizenship.

Therefore the main goal of the project is the promotion of skills and active participation in citizen action among young people. We must ask about the possibilities that exist in today's world for young people to exercise their rights and citizenship. Young people are agents of change for the future society. From a human rights approach exercising rights means that the young people involved in the project consider themselves as subjects of rights, protagonists and active agents in social transformation. It is important to develop among them skills that will enable them to deal with common goods and to implement proposals for citizen action. The focus of global citizenship is linked to the concepts of inclusion, social justice and human rights. Besides the basic qualities of active citizenship (inclusion, participation, achieving results) it incorporates a holistic vision and an interaction between the local and the global.

Ethical garden: "Fair food for 100 families"

Beatriz Calvo Tena, a biologist and technician in forest management, has been working for two years in the Ilundain Foundation and since September last year involved in the Actua project managing the construction of an ethical garden. She explains its background and objectives:

“Our ethical garden is an educational project that integrates respect for the environment and improving society through horticulture. The garden is a great place to promote care for nature and for the other people as it requires collaborative work. Moreover, the garden is also a space for social inclusion and promotion of self-employment in our valley.

Ethical gardening is more than just organic gardening: In addition to the undeniable ecological component, it provides an educational space where collaborative work and equality are promoted, not only gender related but also regarding disability and social exclusion. It intends to be a space for access to culture, job training and integration of young people at risk of exclusion.

Our ethical garden has been maintained for many years by the Ilundain Foundation, but now we want to bring it to a higher level, offering more training opportunities to young people and ensuring continuous production of vegetables with a view of creating a consumers group involving people of the valley. In this regard, the Actua project has allowed us, among other things, to build a new greenhouse, refurbishing the other two we already had and expanding the drainage system.

The idea is to expand the number of participants from the Aranguren Valley and the surrounding areas. The garden shall allow consuming healthy, environmentally friendly and affordable food for up to 100 households.

We opted for innovative and experimental work in Navarra with the idea of bringining the different associations involved together so that the can share experiences in view of a collective learning process.

 

Overall the Actua project aims at transferring new approaches about global citizenship to social multipliers: teachers, voluntary instructors, and groups of young people. 545 people, most of them aged between 14 and 17 will directly benefit from this project. In the midterm, it is expected to reach out to more than 10.000 people.

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More information: www.actua.social

 

Contribution by Medicus Mundi Navarra (member of Medicus Mundi Spain) the Annual Report 2014 of the MMI Network

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