Increasing and easing the participation of visually impaired people to EU volunteering projects is a way to pronote inclusion and social awareness about the visual impairment.
Some Aniridia Italiana APS representatives joined the training course “More opportunities for adapted ESC for young VIP (visually impaired people)”, organized and hosted by Views International and funded by the European Commission through Erasmus plus – youth.
The main aim of the project in the long term is to increase the number of ESC (European Solidarity Corps) projects hosting and sending young people with visual impairment.
Short term aim was to increase awareness about inclusion and exchange good practices among different participants and organizations. The activity was addressed to mixed target groups: organizations with experience in hosting and sending participants with visually impairment for mobility and organizations that never hosted or sent young with visually impairment, that could rely on the collaboration with local organizations dealing with visual impairment.
Despite Covid-19 and challenges related to the organization of a training course in this peculiar and difficult years, Aniridia Italy has played an active role in the course organized and coordinated by Views International AISBL, and has been represented by a board member, Michael Pellegrino, a youth delegate, Viviana Teofili, and an accompanying person, Alessia Argiunti.

Participants of the training course "More opportunities for adapted ESC for young VIP (visually impaired people)" pose for a picture in front of the castle of Wegimon (Belgium)The training course took place from 29th November to 5th December 2021 in Wegimon (Belgium).
An ancient castle has been the inspiring location, where participants gathered together from Italy, Spain, Belgium, Turkey, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia.
Through non formal education the participants learnt what a “European solidarity corps” project is and how it can be set up.
Moreover, the course was aimed to define, share and discuss how a volunteer can support and, at the same time, be supported in order to ease and capitalize his/her participation to a ESC project.
VIP, along with other categories of disabled people, could be and, hopefully, will be an added value for all the ESC project since their involvement can improve the offer and the contents of any volunteering activity.
The training has given all the participants the opportunity to know other NGOs from other European countries and to start some collaboration and to develop innovative ideas for planning and designing new project on ESC, all with the aim to promote and increase the participation and direct involvement of Visually Impaired People from all over Europe.