Social Day is an international project of territorial entertainment that combines active citizenship and volunteering work by involving young people, adults, schools, companies, public bodies, and associations in concrete actions of social responsibility and solidarity. The Social Day takes place every year during April, during this event that takes place for a whole day, the participating children choose to carry out an activity with a private individual, a company, an institution, an association willing to make them carry out a specific activity in exchange for a donation that will be entirely devolved to support solidarity projects chosen by the children themselves.
Kirikù has been actively involved in coordinating the Social Day activities and in training and accompanying the children of the province of Treviso participating with a specific focus in the areas of Montebelluna, Asolo, Vidor and Valdobbiadene, and in Castellana since 2013.
What is social day?
Social Day is an experience of active citizenship and volunteering work for the younger generations. It takes place on a Saturday (and a Friday) during April. it’s a day in which young people commit to carry out works / activities in the area of their town, devoting the proceeds of their work to national and international projects of cooperation, networking with other groups on the national territory.
The children of the schools (primary and secondary) who have joined the initiative work during morning hours, while the children of the informal groups of the area join in during the afternoon.
The goal of the Social Day is to raise funds to be allocated to solidarity projects; It is also and above all about promoting, during one symbolic day, the action of a sensible community in which younger generations get the whole territory involved in taking action in solidarity initiatives. The concept of solidarity, as an active commitment in favour of others, translates into a work activity that bears concrete fruits. Young people become protagonists of a different way to make relationships: at the centre of their actions there is someone they do not know, but who can help, in the spirit of “acting locally, thinking globally”.
There is, however, another fundamental aspect: getting the territory involved. Children are highlighted due to their positive action and commitment to the other and adults allow themselves to get carried away by a youth which is generous and open to others. The social value of the project is therefore very important: an opportunity for the territory to focus on participation and active citizenship.
The history of social day
The Scandinavian and German experience
In the mid-1960s, Swedish students organised the first “Give a day for Dag”, a day of solidarity work in favour of others, in memory of the United Nations secretary, Dag Hammerskjöld, who died in 1962 in a plane crash. Hammerskjöld spent his life standing up for peace and the redemption of the oppressed around the world, he set an example for the younger generations. The event was a success and is now held every year taking the name of “Operation Dagsvaerk”.
Many other countries in the world, such as the USA and Brazil, embraced and copied the idea of this day of solidarity.
In 1998, the Schueler Helfen Leben association was the first to bring this good practice to Germany, organising “the week of the meeting” and within this week the first “Social Day” took place. It was a great success: around 35,000 students took part, earning 700,000 euros. The “Social Day” took place regularly every two years, obtaining great results and increasing, year after year, the involvement of students in the area.
In 2006, the event got all of Germany involved for the first time: around 200,000 students participated with a profit of around 2 million euros.
Since then the event has continued to take place every two years and has involved thousands of young people.
Social Day in Italia
The Social Day took place in Italy for the first time during the summer of 2006 organised by the Vulcano Group, a voluntary association active since 2002 in the Vicenza area with the aim of promoting youth participation in the area using innovative and original tools. The Italian Social Day, re-adapted the original project to the characteristics of the local context and kickstarted a process producing social change; Social Day is not a simple sporadic event, but instead a path able to give children a chance to experience volunteering: not just by asking them to donate money for a good cause but to get physically involved for it. It is a simple and direct way to give shape to ideals of solidarity and educate the younger generations to take part in something bigger. The Bassano experience started in 2006 and after only three editions it expanded to the entire province of Vicenza. It then further expanded to the province of Treviso (2011-2012-2013), Verona (2011) and Padua (2013). Some companies in Lombardy, Trentino and Tuscany have also joined since 2012.
Kirikù and Social Day
The Social Day crossed the borders of the Bassano area for the first time in 2011, it expanded so much so quickly that in 2013, to better guarantee the organization and supervision of the funds raised, a sub-coordination of the province of Padua and Treviso was set up, with the participation of the Cooperative Kirikù, of the NATs per… Onlus association and of the Fratelli dell’Uomo association.
The results of the social day from 2013 to today