GVC Italia: an interview with Stefania Piccinelli

GVC represents  after 40 years the more solid reality linked to international cooperation in the territory.  I spoke to with Stefania Piccinelli, Coordinator for education development of GVC, to confront the reality of voluntary cooperation in Emilia-Romagna and in the world.

FM: GVC. A year that denotes an important social reality in the Bologna area. What were your most initiatives demonstrate the actions that they can tell the most of your experience to the younger?

SP: GVC was born in 1971 in Bologna and, as the other associations that form in those years, lives in this initial phase, to generate cash flow. Through the Organization of summer camps to work has the resources with which to finance their own projects. In 1972 the GVC is among the earliest Italian NGOs to obtain recognition of suitability of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to benefit from co-financing to
begin the first two development cooperation projects: the project Jussara in Brazil and the Busoko Project in Congo. These are the first countries with which the GVC pass from theory to practice, shortly before starting with Guinea-Bissau and Sao Tome. Over the years the Group Volunteer Civil perfects, specializing and extends its action in Countries many (now more than 20), addressing, at the beginning, special attention to health projects and gradually expanding its action increasingly qualified cooperation programmes and in multiple sectors of intervention: food-nutritional emergency, from the water sector to education.

GVC believes that development is a dynamic process played in both the North and in the South because it is based in a vital on the creation of fairer relations between peoples, States and global economies.

For this, next to the programs of cooperation in development in third countries, GVC gives maximum importance to the actions of education for development aimed at stimulating awareness and to increase the level of interest of the Italian and European public opinion towards the development and problems of the countries of the South of the world.

The main objective for GVC education is to produce a change in mentality and in individual and collective behaviors in order to contribute to the construction of fairer development models and sustainable. Development education encourages full participation of Italian and European citizen to the fight against poverty and social exclusion in the world in order to get to influence the drafting of economic policies, social and environmental concerns both nationally and internationally, more equitable and sustainable, based on the human rights of all.

GVC means education development in the broad sense, such as education, training, information and awareness campaigns. Actions range from assistance in schools of all grades, the campaigns, from vocational training to the interaction with the media and the cultural and artistic world in General. From the 2007 GVC organizes, in collaboration with COSPE, the ground Film Festival, a competition for documentaries and social
cinema from the South of the world that comes within the framework of the joint actions of development education and promotion of the rights of global citizenship on the Italian territory. The Festival is a film, culture and information on many of the planet’s South, told by filmmakers and independent video makers to give voice to the reality of those countries, peoples and social struggles that are “invisible” in mass media. In recent years the festival has grown steadily. Enrollees are tripled, going from 73 to 102 of the first edition of the second, third 140 to 220 quota in 2010. Viewers are even quintupled, skipping from 1,000 of the first edition to the more than 5,000 last year.  The Fifth Edition of the festival will be held at the Lumiere Cinema in Bologna from 6 to October 9, 2011. Production prizes are planned for the four best works in competition registrations expire on 15 may (For registration and further information on the modalities of participation)

FM: GVC organizes important fields of volunteering abroad to promote training in the context of international cooperation. What are the proposals for youth summer 2011?

SP: for the summer 2011, within the development education project, co-financed by the European Union “public awareness of Hungary, Sweden, Italy, Cambodia and Germany on the issue of trafficking in human beings as an obstacle to the development of peoples” GVC organizes, in collaboration with the cooperative CSAPSA and international partners, a summer camp in Hungary for 10 days will be 60 boys from Italy, Hungary and Sweden.  The goal of this field will be to build together a small informative campaign on the subject of trafficking, including through the realization of a video-spot and other materials. To return to their countries the boys will be involved in awareness campaigns that will be
organized at the local level.

FM: At the headquarters of GVC is hosted an important collection of papers dedicated to social and international cooperation also in original language. What can you tell us about it?

SP: The international documentation centre is located on the premises of the GVC Italy and offers to the public about 2,700 works made available for consultation for the loan. Preserved materials include books, conference proceedings, articles, dissertations, dictionaries, language courses, maps, regulations, development cooperation projects, newspapers and magazines, videotapes and CD-ROM. Texts in English, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German are available, as well as works in African languages and Latin-American. All material is made available
to schools and researchers.  The  centre is open from Monday to Friday, by reservation. (You can browse the on-line catalogue, divided for topics on the site of GVC).

FM: Among the initiatives that you are awareness projects such as exhibitions or projects dedicated to development education. Can make us some examples of recent events?

SP: GVC promotes laboratories development education in schools. He is currently engaged in the conduct of workshops relating to the causes of migrations, interculture and fair trade. In these days,  15 April, GVC proposes, at the Archiginnasio di Bologna, the photographic exhibition “Afghanistan, the face lost”, a journey to the roots of Afghanistan in its extraordinarily rich history and the origins of the contradictions that have determined the last tragic decades. The photographs come from the Collection, collecting in Afghanistan Schinasi before 1978.  GVC also
participates in the 10th Brazilian Festival that takes place in Bologna from 2 April to 28 may, with a selection of video-documentaries from the land of All Film Festival with an exhibition, from 20 April to 2 may at the Sala d’ercole to Palazzo D’accursio, photographs and information panels on the GVC projects active in Brazil. In January of this year GVC has exposed a photographic exhibition entitled “For Haiti”, always at the Sala d’ercole Palazzo D’accursio, to narrate, through 20 shots of photojournalist Vincent Vidal and 5 information panels, the situation on the island in a year by the earthquake and the results achieved by the projects.

FM: What are the partnership of Gvc national and international that have role in your annual programming?

SP: Nationally, GVC is part of the Association of Italian NGOs. The AOI deals to support and encourage the coordination and exchange of experiences between the various Italian organizations of international cooperation and solidarity. Disseminates and supports culture and policies of international cooperation in order to arouse, affirm and support the defence and promotion of fundamental rights of the person and of peoples. GVC also adheres to Link 2007-cooperation network, an initiative aimed at enhancing the role of NGOs in the promotion of policies
on development and cooperation at the institutional level. Link 2007 involves more Italian organizations including AVSI, CESVI, CISP, COOPI, COSV CUAMM-Medici con l’africa, ICU, INTERSOS, MOVIMONDO and LVIA and is member of Fair Trade Italy, the hallmark of fair trade.
The GVC makes also part COONGER (coordination of NGOS of Emilia Romagna) and acting (Italian Agency for emergency response) for example work in Haiti following the earthquake that struck the island in 2010. Internationally GVC is a member of Grupo Sur observer, a
political alliance between European NGOs with common strategic goals and characteristics. The Group Sur faces North-South issues based on the
construction of an alternative solidarity founded on the indivisible rights of persons and peoples in the context of development. Works in the field of cooperation with the South and develops awareness-raising actions in the North, according to a human rights perspective.

FM: What is the relationship with other local social reality, e.g. through associations, smaller but often harbingers of innovative initiatives?

SP: GVC, in particular through its education development and awareness but also developing synergies with projects abroad, has over the years established many important collaborations with social reality but also of culture on the territory. Examples are the creation of dynamic and innovative tools such as video and animations made during laboratories participated in collaboration with youth associations and social cooperatives, interactive games, etc. The daily work of the network also involves important reality in the Bologna area such as the Teatro Testoni children and youth, with whom he collaborated for many years promoting GVC theatre for children in Latin America and Africa.

FM: What advice can you give a young man who wishes to pursue a path in the world of international cooperation?

SP: That international cooperation is a fascinating world but at the same time very complex that requires enthusiasm, values and a great investment staff but is now increasingly need to support specific skills that you can develop during their course of study and training courses. Learning foreign languages, especially English, French, Spanish and Portuguese is essential.

For further information : http://www.gvc-italia.org/

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About Odile Milton

I travel through words whenever possible. Odile Milton is my signature on the web as I wanted an alter ego to indicate only my writings and works, not my personal life. Odile like the dancer in black swan, and Milton from the novel An old-fashioned girl. View all posts by Odile Milton

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