Participation Inclusion and Engagement of Communities in Europe (PIECE)
Go to the project website: PIECE (pieceproject.eu)
About the project
Communities are usually defined as an aggregation of people that share common traits. These can be nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, belief system, geographical location, common interests, work sector etc. Regardless of the reason for the aggregation, we know that communities are important for humans, in fact they play a vital role in the well-being of human beings. As the popular saying goes, no person is an island to which we can also add that no person is a house without doors or windows, meaning that there is usually a way to connect with someone at some level. Given their importance, communities have the power and potential to bring people together and to act as tools of social inclusion for people that are usually marginalised.
In today’s world, the digital innovations and the challenges of globalisation have changed the fabric of society forever. It is becoming rarer and rarer for people to be in touch with their local communities and to create networks that are both local and offline. Often there is a gap, something that is missing. It is common to hear people say things like “we don’t talk with our neighbours anymore” and to lament isolation and loneliness as prevailing traits on today’s global society. There is a need for community spaces and activities that can help people connect and build networks in their local communities. This need is very present in big metropolis but it also very relevant for rural areas.
We believe that education and skill enhancement can help fight these trends and that is why this project aims to address the needs of communities in Europe through the training, education, and empowerment of community workers. The people that will take part in the project and benefit from the project’s intellectual outputs will enhance their skills and employability and in turn enhance the social inclusion, skills, and employability of the people they will train, involve in their activities, and come in contact with thus creating a virtuous circle of empowerment. This project has the potential to impact not only community workers and existing communities but also to help people create community spaces and activities.
The target group of this project is community workers and stakeholders in community engagement and development. In the framework of the project we define this group as individuals or organisations that work for the well-being and development of local communities. These can be charities, NGOs, religious institutions, theatres, local organisations, local government, schools, community centres, educational institutions, cultural associations, Community Interest Companies, networks, social cooperatives etc. . The people that will be involved in the project will be people that work at different levels in these organisations as volunteers, employees, managers, mentors and directors.
The project activities will be:
– The development of 3 Intellectual outputs: needs analysis, material for the target group, and an online platform for the upskilling of the target group.
– 1 International training activity in Greece
– 3 Multiplier events
– 1 local event in each of the participating countries
– Dissemination activities such as project website and social media
The project will rely on a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods for the research of intellectual output 1 and for the evaluation of the project activities. As far as the methodology implemented in IO 2&3 it will be mostly non-formal learning activities to foster the social inclusion of marginalised people and to make the material as accessible as possible.
RESULTS AND IMPACT
3 intellectual outputs: needs analysis, material for the target group, and an online platform for the upskilling of the target group.
Training Activity and empowerment of participants
Local and Multiplier Events
Social Media and Website for the project
Creation of a European partnership and exchange of good practices and ideas
Empowerment of the target group and the communities they work with
Build up a network of organisations working with the target group for:
– sharing good practices on best methods
– promote social inclusion through community engagement and participation
– Building a stronger European identity through community engagement and civic participation