UNIVERSO is an intercultural non-profit association based in Bologna, Italy, since 2002. Created by the goodwill of a group of students and workers, both foreign and Italian living in Bologna but far from home, with the aim of promoting and supporting social initiatives alongside motivating and facilitating mutual understanding between people of different cultures and origins.
UNIVERSO has as main goal on the one hand, to facilitate the integration of foreign citizens following the approach of empowerment and active citizenship. On the other hand UNIVERSO operates as a platform which establishes the basis for a pleasant coexistence between different cultures in our society; where the local population, volunteers, interns, and migrants, all with very different backgrounds, mutually dialogue to realize different activities.
Nowadays we are catapulted into a complex and globalized reality, in front of which our capacity for response and action is often limited to reductive considerations.
It is therefore necessary to find the courage, which can only arise through mutual dialogue, to overcome superficial and defensive attitudes and distorted vision of the other.
We strongly believe that only through a persistent culture of encounter,will it be possible to start a process of positive change that makes all actors actively participate in common construction processes.
Our thoughts and actions have led us to essentially create a space open to the multiforms and varied voices of the city, a platform for interaction between natives and non, where everyone can "feel" at home. Making this platform available means, creating events and occasions that allow the communication process between other cultures: learning to live together overcoming the barriers erected by diversity, at the same time the common elaboration of activities into opportunities to regain confidence in oneself avoiding the unjust and dangerous process of denying one's own origins and history.
For this reason, among other initiatives, we organise language literacy courses, Basic IT literacy courses, Civic education for migrants and new citizens, consultancy and support services for registered members, promote urban regeneration projects and organise voluntary working services for refugees and international protection seekers to promote active citizenship while adding quality to leisure time.
Furthermore, we have various projects promoting empowerment of migrants and mutual learning though a persistent peer-to-peer approach. UNIVERSO brings together young people from all over Europe and all over the world to strengthen mutual understanding and the development of a European Citizenship.
Its activities go beyond national borders thanks to the implementation of International exchange projects and further projects in the transnational context.