Influsion, Inclusion, Fusion…? 3 stories in 1 from 2017!

 It all started in Toscana (Loppiano) in the beggining of April of last year. 25 people from Germany, Italy, Poland and Croatia met for the first time in the beautiful countryside together with a larger group, having the last meeting of their common KA2 project MADIE –
During this days we saw stories and ideas being born… and others being concluded. We got inspired by the success of our neighboors, we discussed our visions and goals (and tried some Polish tea).
The great, marvellous idea didn’t come for us (YET!). However, new links, connections, knowledge started to connect us.
Oh, wait! Let me tell you more about what got us here on the first place! Influsion – is a project that aims to involve youth workers and other professionals in discussing economic and social sustainability that aims for the inclusion of marginalized groups through entrepreneurship. Ufff, see? Not an easy task!
On the upcoming months, more people came together. Other started to follow other projects.

The Italian group has expanded, including cultural mediators, newcomers, social workers, therapists, students and workers from different realities, all linked by the context of migration and the theme of sustainability, both economic and environmental. .

In July we travelled from the SPRAR (Protection System for Refugees and Asylum Seekers managed by the social cooperative Stranaidea in partnership with the social cooperative Dalla Stessa Parte) of Ciriè – Torino (Italy) to Ciezsyn (Poland), to participate in the tea festival bringing our experiences, to share them with other people and draw inspiration from the comparison with them.
But not just our ideas and projects were travelling with us. We don’t produce tea, but we thought honey could be a good combination, so we also brought some organic honey produced in the mountains around Ciriè throught the project “BeeHappy”, involving vulnerable people such as newcomers and individuals with mental desease.
We also brought some special sweet grissini, made with organic ingredients into the penitentiary Le Vallette of Torino, through the project “La farina nel sacco” (“The flour in the bag”): every guest of the festival could taste…and love…this refined delicacy!
All our products could also be sold at the market place of the festival, which was an occasion to test our entrepreneurial skills, cooperating with our international project partners.
Close to our market bench, we performed a forum theater on the subject of ethnic discrimination, where many people could take part actively and reflect about stereotypes of our contemporary society, together discussing for finding possible solutions.
We have also been involved in participating in the living library, where some members of our group wanted to tell a chapter of their lives, linked to incidents of discrimination (gender, origin, stutus).
It seems incredible but we also had time to chill, taste great food, dance and have fun together!
We came back home very inspired and we started to organize a living library also in Ciriè, which involved the newcomers, the students and the inhabitants of the valleys around the city. The territory, in fact, has recently started to welcome refugees and asylum seekers and it seems important to implement strategies to encourage the sharing of stories between the inhabitants, old and new, in the area.
We also began to imagine the creation of a twin event with the Cieszyn tea festival and other European festivals focused on sustainability.
Finally, a few months later, we met in Bad Urach, Germany, with the other participants: after the experience in Poland, we all wanted to continue our fruitful collaboration, enriching each of our associations. So we collected ideas, shared advice, started projects …
In Italy we hope to be able to invite you soon for a new influsioned experience.
…we’re working on it…
You can see more information on the Infusion blog here:
Rita & Stefano