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  • Writer's pictureGIOVANNI FIERRO

Why do we need stories 4 empowerment?

Stories for empowerment

Project: 2023-1-IT02-KA220-ADU-000159380

The stories 4 empowerment project was created to develop an alternative educational method based on the development of stories and narratives that can develop the formation of critical thinking and can promote the social inclusion of adults. But why was the need for this project felt?

The illiteracy rate in most European Union countries is very close to 0, yet the fact that the majority of the population can read and write does not mean that they have the same capacity for reflection and critical thinking. According to a 2022 statistic in Italy, the rate of people between the ages of 25-64 to not have a high school diploma amounted to about 20.5% , while in Spain early dropout from education amounted to about 16.7% in men and 9.7% in women in 2021. These statistics undoubtedly represent a problem; in fact, we know that it is precisely high school that is supposed to teach the development of critical and reflective thinking, and that it is supposed to provide the tools for personal growth to develop in the individual. The problem is that very often people who have not finished their studies find it difficult to get back into the game for a variety of factors, from fear of failure, to shame, or thinking they don't have the skills. Here an alternative educational method such as the one developed by this project could be perceived as more accessible by all of these people, this new methodology in fact could foster the personal growth of those involved with a consequent increase in self-confidence, which could in the eventual future convince them to resume their studies.

Another important factor is then certainly that of social inclusion. Taking Italy again as an example, we see that as of January 1, 2023, the number of foreign citizens legally residing in the country amounted to about 8.6% of the total population. According to a 2021 statistic, however, only 13% of foreigners held jobs requiring higher skills, 28% especially working in low-skill sectors especially agriculture. The problem is that in today's world, which is governed by a capitalist system, work necessarily becomes one of the main factors of social inclusion, and this could be seen as a limitation by those who do not have the means to achieve their socioeconomic goals. In this case the project could serve as an alternative means to work to help these people integrate into society, the storytelling methodology in fact could facilitate a mutual exchange of values that would facilitate integration into society. In addition, in this case as in the previous one, those involved could increase their self-confidence, for example by overcoming the language limitation, learning a more fluent Italian that could facilitate the building of solid and lasting relationships.

Finally, we can say that the project fits perfectly with the constitutional values of European countries. The Spanish Constitution expressly mentions in Article 49 " The public authorities shall promote policies that guarantee the full personal autonomy and social inclusion of persons with disabilities. " while the Italian Constitution in Article 3 promulgates "It is the task of the Republic to remove obstacles of an economic and social order." This project therefore puts these values into practice through a simple and effective methodology that can be accessible to all!

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