Today in Rome, with a live link to San Paolo in Brazil, the results of the project entitled "Italy-Brazil: Educating New Global Citizens" were illustrated. The initiative, which was set up by Oxfam Italia and the Telecom Italia Foundation, involved about 500 Italian and Brazilian secondary school students discussing the environment, technologies, the fight against poverty and the defence of human rights in the northern and southern hemispheres. The following people spoke at today's event: the General Manager of Oxfam Italia Roberto Barbieri, the Chairwoman of the Human Foundation Giovanna Melandri, the General Manager of the Telecom Italia Foundation Marcella Logli and Gustavo Da Cunha Westmann, Secretary and Business and Tourism Promotion Officer of the Brazilian Embassy in Italy.
The project's objective is to put students from two countries in contact offering them the opportunity to become active citizens who can detect problems and suggest solutions through the sharing of opportunities, values and useful skills for the building of a more fair and just society and for the training of responsible citizens committed to social justice and sustainability of the planet.
The initiative used the educational social network (http://edu.oxfam.it) to "virtually" connect 10 classes in three secondary schools in the surroundings of San Paolo with 9 classes in 8 Italian schools throughout the provinces of Lucca, Arezzo, Cagliari and Messina. The children and their teachers who participated in the project created a learning community through which, thanks to the use of a multilingual platform, they developed educational tools and exchanged ideas on active citizenship, safeguarding environmental resources and access to new technologies.
As with all projects supported by the Telecom Italia Foundation, this one had a significant technological value, as it allowed for the development of interaction between new technologies and schools. Thanks to the OxfamEdu social network platform, the exchange of ideas, opinions and multimedia materials between the Italian and Brazilian schools was made possible and facilitated by the inclusion of modules, in Italian, English and Portuguese, to stimulate dialogue between different cultures and languages. The platform allowed teachers to learn about the potential of new technologies applied to education and training and to see technological language as a tool for interacting with students and a means to apply educational materials.
The activities of the OxfamEdu educational social network continued this year, improving and expanding its functions and allowing the involvement of hundreds of other students, even in other parts of the world, in the sharing and building of experiences as active citizens. Some of them spoke today, along with a group of Italian and Brazilian students who were part of the 2015 OxfamEdu community, sharing their experiences of participating in the online exchanges. The kids emphasised how this type of technology makes possible dialogue and knowledge sharing between far-off countries and cultures to discover that they actually have common problems that, when faced together, offer possible and sustainable local responses to global priorities. The students were able to express their active citizenship and engage in intercultural dialogue. Through the new educational social network, the participants used such innovative methods as Future Workshops and Design Thinking to create a large virtual learning community.
The quantifying of the project's social impact was determined by the non-profit organisation Human Foundation Giving and Innovating in Rome using an assessment process called SROI (Social Return On Investment), which is an internationally recognised tool that measures the social value generated by people's activities. The assessment showed that the "Italy-Brazil: Educating New Global Citizens" project had created a positive net social value for students and teachers in Italy and Brazil, as well as for Oxfam Italia and the Telecom Italia Foundation. Over the three-year course of the project, the SROI was 2.43 euros for every euro invested.
Rome, 3 june 2015