Young people in action between cooperative enterprises and local communities

The project comes from the detection of needs expressed by territorial subjects that don Lorenzo Guetti Foundation and UPT- school of professions for the service sector in Tione - could perceive thanks to their multi-year presence in the Giudicarie territory. The Foundation, through constant comparison with subjects who work in and are compared with the young world in Giudicarie (in particular educational institutes and groups of parents) has noticed a progressive process of individualisation, isolation and separation from the youth both at a level within generations and among generations.

Those who belong to the Millennials and the Gen Z are growing up in socio-cultural environments where the belonging to a community and investing socially and relationally in their own contexts are not so important. The young people end up developing a sense of bewilderment and estrangement from their own community, showing difficulties in reading and understanding the dynamics that characterise the social, economic and cultural life of their home communities.

Starting from the analyses of the context and of the needs we decided to realise the project “Young people in action between cooperative enterprises and local communities” in which young people are offered the opportunity to understand what cooperation is and how they can be leaders in their own valley. The project was financed by the Platform of Contemporary Resistances inside the #BandoGenerazioni2019 (generations’ announcement 2019) and it took place between October and December 2019.

An original element of the project was the assignment of the dual role of beneficiary and operational entity in the project to the students and to the cooperatives. Second purpose was to encourage cooperative enterprises to modify the traditional modalities of relating with the communities by testing creative processes, together with the youngest, that aim to co-project solutions to strengthen their roots in the community and to challenge new types of relationship and involvement of young people in their social environments. In other terms what we tried to do was to boost the creation of an inter-generational pact among students of the UPT Trentino Popular University and the cooperatives that belong to the inter-cooperative alliance of the Giudicarie Esteriori.