The second event of the SINet project, Public Debate: Solidarity, Civic Actions and CSOs as a tool for Social Impact, was held from 6 to 8 October 2021 in Madrid and it was organizaed by the Solidaridad Sin Fronteras (SSF), Spain, one of the SINet project partners, in collaboration with the Municipaliy of Alcorcón (Madrid).

Before the debate, all project’s partners (PORAKA NOVA from Struga, North Macedonia, L’Unione degli Assessorati alle Politiche Socio-sanitarie dell’Istruzione e del Lavoro from Palermo, Italy, Youth association ‘Youth in the EU’ from Sibenik, Croatia and Solidaridad Sin Fronteras from Madrid, Spain), had an initial meeting to follow up the project development and to prepare in advance the Public Debate. Partners discussed in groups about possible civic opportunities to the needs assessed of different marginalized target groups in order to present their contributions during the Public Debate.

The place of venue of the Public Debate was the Cultural Centre Viñagrande in the Municipality of Alcorcón. We had +30 participants at the event, including international partners, representatives of civic social organizations, representatives of the public administration and general public. The Public Debate was opened by SSF, followed by some welcoming words of a representative of the Municipality of Alcorcón.

After a brief introduction of the European funding frameworks by SSF, the Coordinator of the SINet project, Poraka Nova from Republic of Macedonia, presented the project and the Europe for Citizens programme to talk about the importance of connecting common interests and problems that European citizens may have and to create debates to see new opportunities. At starting point to generate debate among the audience, the previous event in Palermo, Community Forum: European Citizens Needs, was described together with the results gathered from the event, namely a table with marginalized communities and their needs and the civic recommendations and opportunities that can be implemented to alleviate these difficulties.

Following, attendants actively participated in a debate by presenting different examples of local civic opportunities for some target groups. Some of them are listed below:

  • Digital map of medical resources in the Municipality of Alcorcón .
  •  Active ageing of senior citizens connecting elder people with young people.
  •  E-newsletter managed by people with disabilities. It is also generated a debate around the opportunities of this group and the work regulation in Spain. It is highlighted the importance of promoting awareness raising among general population.
  •  Empowerment of social organizations with no technological capacity and therefore, affected by the technology gap, in order to facilitate their work. This is consequence of a previous discussion around the increasing level of exigency by the public administration to fund local project.
  •  Promoting volunteering from early education.
  • Crowdfunding and digital marketing to make projects and its impact visible.
  • Private-public collaboration: some enterprises in Italy offer discounts to young people in exchange for their participation in volunteering activities.
  • Leisure time and socialization spaces for people with disabilities.

The event was closed with the conclusions from Poraka Nova an SSF. We all have examples of civic opportunities and there are many opportunities to generate funds to carry out social activities. Social impact can be generated through social enterprises and the various ideas presented. It the end, the upcoming activities of the SINet project were presented and attendants were also invited to take part of them and to keep updated of future initiatives.

Big thanks to everyone who were involved in this event.

SINEt project is funded by Europe for Citizens program.

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