Ruvo of Puglia (Italy). On 22 February 2021, at the Sacred Heart Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Ruvo of Puglia (Bari) – Southern Province of Our Lady of Good Counsel (IMR) – the presentation of ‘Connected’, an experimental project of contrast and prevention of bullying and cyberbullying, through a responsible, conscious, and creative use of social networks.
The national project is carried out by Salesians for Social Media, non-profit organization of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Italy and, as partner organizations, Youth and Social Tourism (TGS) and Cinecircoli Giovanili Sociocultrurali (CGS) (Youth Social-cultural Cinema Circles), in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies.
For the realization of ‘Con (n) esse’ (with them), conceived in a logic of alliance between generations and territories, 19 offices present in 18 Italian regions were involved, in order to reach about 4,000 recipients including teachers, animators/educators of youth centers, parents, and minors between the ages of 11 and 16.
The objectives of the project are: to prevent the development of bullying behaviors among adolescents in educational contexts; increase the ability of teachers and educators to manage aggressive relational situations between adolescents; improve the quality of relations between formal and non-formal educational services and families; increase in adolescents the ability to be protagonists of experiences of prevention and citizenship, increasing their digital and communication skills.
At the same time, the formation of parents and educators is taken care of who have the opportunity to study these phenomena and to experience how the responsible, conscious, and creative use of social networks can have positive implications in the educational relationship.
At the presentation of Con (n) esse, which will soon be launched at the Youth Center Oratory (OCG) in Ruvo di Puglia, the Director of the FMA Community, Sr. Imma Milizia, underlined how this bullying prevention project constitutes an opportunity for growth, both for the 30 boys and girls of the OCG and the Vocational Training Center chosen as participants, and for their peers in the city. She concluded by wishing a good involvement of the Educating Community in the activities, for the benefit of society.
The head of the project, Sister Liberata Schiavello, then recalled the main objectives and the added value of common formation in a project in which everyone is an active part, with the sole objective of prevention in an inter-generational alliance.
In her presentation, Dr. Maria Pagano, psychologist, spoke of bullying as a phenomenon not to be underestimated, also from a legislative point of view. Relating some stories that happened, she highlighted how often they are episodes that are difficult to overcome, which mark life, which is why prevention is important.
At the end, the social animators and the project volunteers illustrated the workshop they will design and build with the children, to leave a tangible sign of this journey that will see them working together and Connected as active protagonists in prevention, to build good relationships in both the real and virtual world.