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Factsheet - Loano

Characteristics of the area

Loano is a small city on the Ligurian Sea in the northwest of Italy. The number of ihnabitants increase over summer from 12,000 to 50,000 inhabitants. In the summer, student jobs and cultural events offer opportunities for young people to participate in local life. However, for the greater part of the year there are few youth-targeted initiatives or job programmes.

The lack of social and economic opportunities has led to an exodus of young people. Large numbers of boys and girls decide to leave Loano to study and work elsewhere, not thinking of returning before they constitute their own families. This process makes it difficult to develop a vibrant and modern local identity that could inspire an active community.

When did the YEPP Local Site become involved?

Following contacts with Compagnia di San Paolo and local actors, the municipality decided to adopt and implement the YEPP model in 2007.

Why did the Local Site start implementing the “YEPP” approach and methodology?

The City didn't have any youth policy programmes. "YEPP" has been considered by the Municipality a great opportunity to give space to young people within the community as well as to promote their engagement in local life.

Main issues and objectives?

Increasing youth participation in Loano, reducing social isolation and raising self-esteem through new forms of expression.

What are the projects and achievements to date?

OfficinadelleArti (Art Laboratory) initiated in 2008 and has been qoeking since then. The venue has become a new space for meeting other young people, learning, developing new skills and gathering useful information. Free courses have been offered to young people aged aged 12 to 25 in a number of creative fields: drawing, music, photography, theatre, TV and web community projects. The courses are very successful, with an average regular attendance of 80%.

YEPP Youth Portal (www.yepploano.it) is a “virtual meeting place” aimed at promoting art activities organized by and directed to young people. Among its initiatives: "Up’n’Coming”, a young local bands’ competition; a web radio; the EMN activities.

Stazioni di Servizio. A number of actions focused on health, psychological support, school support, free meeting spaces. The PAS project (Pronto aiutoScolastico- School First Aid) is directed to lower secondary school students; it offers free workshops and study groups. For high school students, PAS offers support for studying and active listening groups. All these activities are organised and implemented by the Support Group members, in co-operation with local agencies and experts.