No Place for Mafia Structures is a project funded by the program ERASMUS+ that facilitates and creates youth exchanges in Italy and Germany to teach adolescents about anti-mafia practices, specifically about the social reuse of confiscated assets from organised crime.
The project aims to attract 24 young adults between the ages of 18-and 30 years old from Bulgaria, Germany, France, and Italy who want to gain more experience and knowledge about how to fight against organised crime and corruption socially, with a particular focus on the social reuse of confiscated assets.
Almost all of the CHANCE Network’s partners are involved:
- De Mains Libre (France)
- Eine Welt e.V. Leipzig (Germany)
- Libera (Italy)
- Open Space Foundation (Bulgaria)
With this exchange, we want to try to give concrete examples and experiment with how active citizenship and the social reuse of confiscated assets can be an effective tool in the fight against corruption and organised crime. In the European context, these topics are often present only at an academic or theoretical level and prevent young people from developing a clear understanding of these phenomena and their impact on their daily life in their communities. It should also be considered that there have been various media representations that offer fascinating and empathic stereotypes of organised crime organisations. This image can misconstrue perceptions and mask the danger that these organisations present. Consequently, it could generate a real risk for young people belonging to weaker social groups who could mistakenly associate these types of organisations with positive values.
A plan has been created to achieve these goals. There will be two meetings, one in Italy for thirteen days, and one in Germany for a week, during the summer and fall of 2022.
The first part of the exchange takes place in Naro and Belpasso Sicily where we want to collaborate with E! State Liberi, and propose a model similar to the training by Libera. In this stage, the participants will have the opportunity to help manage confiscated assets from organised crime with our cooperatives and meet people who work in law, a field still largely influenced by the mafia culture. Various opportunities for non-formal teaching are also offered, mostly in the form of workshops, study parties, simulation activities, excursions on the history of movements related to anti-mafia practices, and meetings with witnesses of mafia crimes or relatives of innocent victims of the mafia.
The second part of the exchange takes place in Leipzig, Germany, and its main activity is based on theatrical pedagogy with hopes to encourage personal and collective reflection on the experiences from the first set of events in Sicily. Theatrical work promotes individual and collective reflection to address emotions and broaden perspectives, thus favouring new and reworked ideas. The second meeting’s outcome will prepare us for a theatrical reworking of the lived experience. Later, the participants will develop new ways to raise awareness in their countries.
The project’s main goals include:
- Promote examples of good practices, such as the social reuse of confiscated assets from organised crime
- Help the younger generations to understand the structures of transnational organised crime and dismantle any erroneous stereotypes and beliefs
- Promote new ways to fight against organised crime
- Enhance the participants’ intercultural awareness by collaborating with people from other countries who are interested in the same topics
- Urge participants to play an active role in their communities by collectively developing dissemination activities
- Strengthen informal transnational networks by implementing the mutual exchange of good practices