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Our approach

M.A.I.S. embraces the definition of Development Education (Eas) elaborated in 2004 by the Eas Forum of CONCORD, the European NGOs and associations confederation dealing with development cooperation, emergency and development education (to which many NGOS based in Piedmont participate – Consorzio delle Ong Piemontesi - Cop).

Development education is an active learning process, based on values of solidarity, equality, inclusion and cooperation. It enables basic awareness of international priorities about human development, since it helps the understanding of causes and effects of global issues and calls attention to personal commitment and collective action.  Eas fosters the full participation of all citizens in world-wide poverty eradication, and the fight against exclusion. It promotes more just and sustainable economic, social, environmental, human rights based national and international policies.

Along the evolutionary path of Eas during the last decades, it is possible to see a general acknowledgement of its support to cooperation policies for:

  • Awareness-raising;
  • Awareness-raising in development issues and in poverty-fighting;
  • The acquisition of behaviours in coherence with human rights’ respect
  • A critical evaluation of the possible options for the construction of a more equitable world

Definitions remain ‘dead letter’ if not supported by active cultural policies of dissemination, implementation and construction of conversation and dialogue between institutions and the civil society.

From this point of view, M.A.I.S.  promotes awareness-raising interventions at European, national and local level, collaborating with institutions, schools and civil society organisations, organising awareness-raising activities on the issues of women and minor’s rights, on the environment and agro-ecology, promoting lifestyles which can be sustainable and consistent with human development, both in the North and South of the world.


Eas in Italian and European laws

Over the years, several definitions and legitimation have been attached to the term ‘development education’, in the field of cooperation and educational policies.
the Italian Law 49, in 1997, article 2, comma h, defined  “the promotion of educational programmes about development, also in schools, and of initiatives aimed at the intensification of cultural exchanges between Italy and development countries, particularly among the young” as one of the sectors in which the Italian Development Cooperation operates.
The EU Development Council, in 2001, elaborated a Resolution on:
“Development education and public awareness in favour of development cooperation”, comma 6 – “The Council Wishes to encourage increased support for development education, and for the corresponding communication policy, by the Commission and the Member States through the establishment of closer links between the various sectors which may help promote development education in areas such as NGOs, schools, universities, adult education, training for trainers, audio-visual media, the press, collective organisations and youth movements; Comma 10 -   
“Encourages the initiatives of the NGOs, European and national institutions, aimed at raising
awareness amongst the population of the candidate countries for accession to the EU, on the
importance of supporting international solidarity in the fight against world poverty, as well as
promoting development education in general”.
Some of the Italian regions have regulated the issue. Piedmont region, through the Law 67 of
, claims that “the Regional Authority is active in favour of grounding into the regional community the culture of peace and of its prerequisites such as democratic freedom, human rights, non-violence, solidarity, international cooperation and sustainable development education”. (art.1) and that “for reaching those aims, the Regional Authority will act for realizing, promoting and supporting some initiatives such as: a) cultural, research and information activities; b) education and awareness of the local regional community; c) education; d) international cooperation with development countries and the PECO; e) emergency and relief in favour of the populations who experienced exceptional disasters or armed conflicts, as well as to re-establish decent life conditions”. (art. 3, comma 1).

Didactical kits

Ours projects