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The Cooperation Week in Schools


For the first time Italian schools have organised a planned programme of information and awareness events for the Development Cooperation. The project was created following the Declaration of Intent agreed in June 2014 by the Ministry of Education (Directorate General for Students) and the General Directorate of the Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI - DGCS). The week is part of the the European Year for Development 2015 proclaimed by the European Union using the slogan "Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future".

The first circular released by the Ministry of Eduction, Universities and Research (MIUR) listed the week of 13-19 April for the events. A second circular stated that schools will have until the middle of October to guarantee adequate preparation, in conjunction with World Food Day (16 October) and in connection with Milan Expo that will celebrate one of its most important events at this time. The circular includes a list of the 50 schools selected by MIUR for the development of activities in collaboration with NGOs and other institutions, using funds from the European Commission and other sources. All the schools are invited to develop projects in collaboration with Cooperation authorities in Italy.

Prior to the start of the more structured part of the week on a national level that will see the support of NGOs in schools identified by MIUR, the General Directorate of the Development Cooperation has initiated a first phase and sent DGCS personnel to a number of Roman schools. They met with teachers and students to explain the role of the Italian Cooperation and the project objectives.

Junior, middle and particularly senior schools have embraced the European Year for Development 2015 exploring themes connected with post-2015 development that will be defined next September at the UN. The week's programme is focused on food and nutritional safety, its meaning for governments and citizens, the impact that individual choices can have on global processes, the empowerment of women and the battle against waste. Highly relevant messages have emerged that will form part of educational programmes to be developed consistently over the course of the academic year, in connection with Expo 2015 and other events. From 13 - 19 April school projects promoted by the Regione Piemonte, Regione Molise and the FOCSIV Network were also realised.

The recent grant programme for information and education projects for development (Info/EAS) is also connected with the school activities and the European Year for Development.