The Study Visit to Italy within the ToBeCoop project ended successfully on 13rd May. Among the positive results of the project, which will end at the end of June, are two activities of exchange of practices, knowledge and expertise between the Italian and Turkish cooperative movement.
In order to contribute to the achievement of the objective, the project carried out a capacity building activity by developing ten workshops with different experts and different cooperatives selected from Legacoop’s world, addressed to local Turkish cooperatives in the city of Rize and its province.
The activity was an exchange of knowledge and good practices between cooperatives, such as some cooperatives from Legacoop Puglia, including: the cooperative Brainpull on Business Planning and Marketing; the cooperative Articolo 12 on the role of youth and opportunities for women and gender equality in cooperatives. The workshops also involved the cooperative PANGEA for its experience in enhancing the value of local agricultural production and products, and some experts from Legacoop Nazionale including Mauro Iengo, as head of Legacoop’s legislation office, and Alessandro Ficicchia, Legacoop Nazionale’s legislation office, and Katia De luca. The activity was well received by all participants, including young students from the University of Rize, representatives and members of cooperatives and also future members of cooperatives. From the participants of the workshops, 6 representatives of different cooperatives from the Rize area were selected and given the opportunity to participate in a Study Visit to Italy to discover the Italian cooperative movement.
Study Visit to Discover the Italian Cooperative Movement
The project organised a Study Visit involving additional cooperatives thanks to the support of Legacoop Puglia. This gave them the opportunity to get to know several co-operative realities between Bari and its Province, in different sectors, such as tourism, fishing, social, housing, handicrafts and community. The participants were hosted in Bari, thanks to the Experience cooperative. Each day was a discovery of cooperative stories. After being welcomed into Legacoop Puglia, where the cooperators discovered how at regional level the association is a centre for dialogue between cooperatives and between sectors, the discovery of Apulian cooperation began. The Rize cooperators tried their hand at this treasure hunt to discover the city and the history of Bari Vecchia thanks to a game organised by Fleet Save. The Rize delegation then got to know the reality of Bari Social Housing thanks to the Experience cooperative and Homa cooperative. The participants were hosted by Villa Artemisia, a place reborn from land confiscated from the mafia and transformed into a place of welcome and value; thus we got to know a social housing project created by the social cooperative CAPS. Again, we got to know the stories of fishermen with the president of the cooperative Fra’ Pescatori di Monopoli, and participants were able to share the moment of the landing of the catch directly with local fishermen. Thanks to the nature tour and environmental education moment by the Thalassia cooperative, participants were able to learn about the Torre Guaceto nature reserve. The group was also able to experience moments with the Albedo social cooperative at the Casa delle Culture in Bari S. Paolo, meeting women suffering from psychic discomfort who were socially and professionally included thanks to a craft and tailoring workshop. The Rize delegation then spent a day at the headquarters of the Progresso Agricolo cooperative, in Fasano, discovering how the cooperative manages and enhances local products and relations with small and large producers. They then moved on to Alberobello to experience a moment of social animation, listening to the projects and history of the Faber City community cooperative. The study tour ended with a visit to the headquarters of Legacoop Nazionale in Rome, meeting the head of International Relations and European Policies Francesca Ottolenghi, to learn about the structure of Legacoop and the national, European and international networks of cooperatives. This was followed by the example of a regional structure such as Legacoop Lazio. Concluding with the interesting stories and projects of community cooperatives thanks to the intervention of Paolo Scaramuccia.