Peace weave through culture. Education visits are back

Since May, many schools have enthusiastically launched their educational visits and intercultural projects, which now stand for over two years in mobility actions. Indeed, in recent months, exchanges have only progressed “at a distance” through health protocols, but in classrooms, virtual spaces still have valuable opportunities to meet.
Now, finally, some institutions are back to welcome the delegations of students and teachers from other countries of the European Union and many of our young people leave, or have already arrived at their destination in foreign cities. Exchanges within the community, collaboration, partnerships and mobility between education and training systems are the privileged actions of Erasmus +, Comenius, e-Twinning, etc. These are programs that are attributable to the so-called Lifelong Learning Program (Llp), a system that was originally created in the 1930s to improve the performance and professional specialization of workers. Then, in the 1970s, following the publication by UNESCO of a document entitled “Learning to Be”, which deepened the concept of lifelong learning, understood as education that accompanies the individual’s entire life, in various places and in different ways. Llp idea has evolved to involve the areas of education and learning. In addition, since 2000, the Lisbon Conference has focused on promoting employment opportunities and social inclusion and is included in the objectives of the European Agenda.
It is important to reflect on the opportunities that Llp promotes: the scenario in which our young people move is often defined as a learning society, a place where learning is the fundamental condition for living and coping with change. , now ever faster. Whereas in the past the skills and abilities that traditional pedagogical pathways provided us with were sufficient for the whole path (or almost) of our professional and social life, today it is necessary to continuously update. Therefore, it is essential that our children “learn to learn” and are ready to face any kind of change.
Among the purposes of the exchanges, in addition to the cultural and educational aspects, there are also goals of nationality and civil society such as education and communication and understanding between people, training in critical thinking and overcoming particularistic visions, creating ways to to get together. Values ​​in different cultures, expanding the idea of ​​a collective, cooperative and community “knowledge”, favoring the development of different personalities in a humanistic, supportive and respectful framework of different identities.
It would be extraordinary, through these exchanges and experiences, to cultivate an authentic culture of peace and hospitality. Today more urgent than ever in a landscape that is dying of a war that shows no signs of abortion and that, on the contrary, drastically risks the participation of an ever-increasing number of people. The opportunity is offered not only through mobility and cultural exchange programs, but in recent weeks also and above all through the arrival of Ukrainian children and adolescents coming from their battered country and many schools across the country. In addition to the reception protocols and emotional manifestations of the early days, the presence of these witnesses of the conflict in our classrooms must provide an opportunity for growth and maturation for the entire school population from multiple perspectives.
We have worked as a civil society to offer concrete help to the Ukrainian people, we have spent time in solidarity gatherings, yellow and blue flags and greetings have flown in schools, but beyond that we are above all trying to understand what kind of news our young Guests carry us and we make sure it is not lost.

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