scuola-ucodep.jpgSince 2008, Gauteng and Eastern Cape have got a special link with Italy, and with Tuscany region particularly. A project named “Netsafrica – southafrican-tuscan network” have been launched to support the “decentralised cooperation”, that means a way of supplementing the actions carried out by State, national and international institutions and NGOs, involving actors beyond the mere government sector. Main goal of this project is to strengthen local institutions under the new reform of local government, with particular reference to the issue of public participation and empowerment of communities; in deep, to enhance the capacity of Gauteng and Eastern Cape province and of 4-5 districts/municipalities within the same provinces, in the formulation of policies and services to fight poverty and ensure access to basic services, within the context of the National Framework for Local Economic Development.

Who supports this goals in Italy? We’re talking about Italian Foreign Ministry – development cooperation Department, and Regione Toscana (Tuscan region) as public partners; and of a Ngo named Ucodep, for the private part.

Since two years they are carrying on a three parts-program, as you can check out on www.netsafrica.org website; but the most interesting thing is that they’re also involving students of five schools, between the 7th and 10th grades, in both countries. They’re working on an online platform (web 2.0) to acquire an awareness of the theme and develop ideas on possible solutions and to experience how to use new technologies to communicate at a long distance and cross-culturally. In 2010, classes are beginning to work on the proposed themes with their respective teachers, previously trained by Ucodep, preparing items that can be shared and discussed (for instance paintings, stories, letters, photos, videos, theater pieces, etc.). At the end of the project, each class will prepare a report in English and italian language. Reports will be presented and discussed during a final video conference seminar, probably in may 2011, where students will share experiences, ideas, suggestions, as well as the reports and recommendations to be addressed to representatives of their own institutions, some of whom will be present at the meetings. “Netsafrica” it’s a real ambitious project, indeed, but finally it’s something really near to what Go2010! Website tend to be. That’s why we’ll follow its progress, and wish all the best since now.