Young people have a central role in the process of making the most of natural and socio-cultural heritage. Youth marginalization and unemployment can raise social tensions and highlight deficiencies in national socio-economic and educational policies.
The Caribbean islands, with their 20 million of inhabitants living in 20 different states, represent a complex and variegated Region with large economic and social differences. As a whole the Caribbean States, because of their small size and characteristics, seem to be economically too weak to cope with globalisation processes and under the continuous threat of environmental risks.
Youth population (between 15 and 29) is one third of the total and because of the exposition to the violence, connected with weapons and drugs commerce, have to be considered at risk. At the same time young people are the main resource for the future of their countries as innovative workforce and as ruling class. It is the increasing awareness of this situation to push several institutions to give rise recently new capacity building policies.
As a primary cultural and educational agency, the University can strongly contribute to draw young people in from the margins of society and provide them with vision and knowledge, by directing the attention of policy-makers, educators and young persons towards new opportunities for identifying and extracting territorial local values.
Moving from its consolidated tradition in training and cooperation aiming to local self-sustainable development, University of Florence/DIDA/LabPSM has designed and coordinated the Italian-Caribbean CARITALENTS project, co-funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI). The intention is to develop innovative educational methodologies to support young people – especially disadvantaged and at risk – in the Caribbean Region.
The project vision is to growth the human capital through new tools for the recognition and enhancement of the Territorial Heritage as the main resource for innovative ventures directed to the improvement of the quality of life. The project’s partners are:
- The University of Florence, Department of Architecture, Italy (UNIFI/DIDA)
- The University of the West Indies, Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, Barbados (UWI/EBCCI)
Implemented since June 2015, the “Training of Trainers course” (ToT course) is the main activity of the project, aiming at developing skills of educators in the field of understanding, representing and making the most of the local resources in two different Caribbean Countries, Barbados and Dominica.