Monday, 14 November 2022 16:23

Destinazione Tirana: Giffoni’s project in Albania wraps up with a startup to wipe out stereotypes

It's like catching up with an old friend. I remember Giffoni in Albania in the 1980s, I was just a child at the time. Seeing Giffoni again today, as mayor, is highly meaningful to me and I will strive for it to be the beginning of a new chapter for the youth of Tirana. These are the words with which the first citizen of the Albanian capital Erion Veliaj welcomed Destinazione Tirana (Destination: Tirana), the event promoted by the Ministry of Sports and Youth, and implemented by Giffoni to provide new opportunities for teenagers from the two countries.

The setting is perfect - Veliaj continued - we are the European Youth Capital 2022 and next year we will be the European Capital of Sport. I would like Giffoni to be here with us in 2023 as well; there is every reason to go on working together. Also, no team has better chemistry than the Italian-Albanian team.

Indeed, there is much groundwork for cooperation: during the event, the delegation of Italian giffoners consisting of Giorgia Pia Fasano, Domenico Potenza, Alberico Giusti, Giuseppina Lambiasi, Vincenza Carmen Fasano, Simona Della Monica, as well as a representation of European Youth Year 2022 Ambassadors Youssef Tabi, Esdra Sciortino and Angelica Boscolo, worked in close contact with Albanian peers. Their goal was to devise a startup aimed at breaking down the prejudices and stereotypes that are often associated with Italy and Albania. The young people will continue to work together remotely during the upcoming months with the support of the Giffoni team. The project will be presented during the 53rd edition of the Festival, scheduled for July 20-29, 2023.

Over the four-day project, many institutional meetings were engaged by president of the Ente Autonomo Giffoni Experience Pietro Rinaldi, head of the Special Projects department Marco Cesaro, head of institutional relations Davide Russo, along with Michele Melillo, Giusy Rago, Marta Frasca, Giuseppe Novellino and Rita Esposito from the Giffoni team. The Department for Youth Policies was represented by Adriano Scaletta and Francesco Pallante.

We are absolutely happy – said Giffoni general manager Jacopo Gubitosi. I would like to thank the Ministry, which believed in this project from the very beginning and included it in the Giovani2030 activities. Our relationship with Albania has very deep roots: in 1984 we presented to the world the first Albanian film exhibition, offering an international showcase to the film creativity of this country. Today we are here to create new opportunities for cooperation and growth for our giffoners. I am sure that in 2023 we will come back to Tirana to present the achievements of this first Albanian-Italian startup.

Adriano Scaletta was also very pleased: It was wonderful to discover such a dynamic city - he explained. We joined Destinazione Tirana with great enthusiasm, supporting Giffoni’s idea wholeheartedly and involving three European Year of Youth 2022 ambassadors in this fantastic initiative. Our objective is to include young people who would normally remain excluded from European activities. I am sure that we can build something significant together.

The delegation was welcomed by the Tirana - European Youth Capital Committee. In addition to this, the Ambassador of Italy to Albania Fabrizio Bucci extended an invitation of great institutional significance to the giffoners and the team, who visited the embassy premises. Once there, they had a long and cordial conversation with Deputy Ambassador Luigi Mattirolo and cultural projects delegate Carmen Taschini.

We have always been committed to innovation programs aimed at promoting the emerging role of young people in achieving a full European vision of the Balkans - commented Mattirolo. The dissemination of Italian language and culture is definitely one of the cornerstones towards this, and we believe Giffoni can play a key role.

The program featured many focus panels, including MEDITERRANEAN NEETs, an in-depth look at those young people who are not studying, not working and are not even involved in a training process, and who make up a high percentage in the Mediterranean area. A worrying and increasingly widespread trend that Giffoni has long chosen to deal with.

Amid cinema and workshops, music also played its part: Federica Carta, who has a very large fanbase in Albania, met with the young people as part of an event combining music and words. The singer-songwriter also announced a new album planned for 2023.

This is my first time performing abroad, I am grateful to Giffoni for this opportunity - she said. It is wonderful to be able to engage with people my age. Giffoni is able to unite and erase all prejudices, to provide opportunities for growth, reflection and fun.