About us

Beyond Borders is a cultural association legally established in July 2014 in Puglia, Italy.
Since the beginning, Beyond Borders pursued its defined objectives, such as:
- youth work;
- mobility of young people;
- promoting non-formal and intercultural learning;
- active citizenship;
- empowerment of youth;
- respect of Human Rights;
- promoting European culture;
- promoting social inclusion, solidarity;

Our main activities are highly linked to our objectives and they focus on youth and including them in active project development on different levels. Our work takes place in Puglia, but mainly in the two cities of Corato and Orta Nova.

Our core activities are divided into 3 pillars:
- Erasmus+ actions and international projects;
- local workshops;
- organizing Campaigns and Infodays aiming to promote our organization’s objectives;

Our activities are based on non-formal methodologies, increasing competence of young people, activating young people in society, stimulating creativity and growth of young people.
Ever since we have been growing, we are constantly adding and innovating our work, activities and project types, both on local and international level. Our main goal is facilitating youth mobility and, through this, promoting non-formal education and intercultural learning, Human Rights, active citizenship.

Our main target group are young people living in our local area between 16 and 35 years old. In our activities we are providing opportunities and we are acting towards the empowerment and broadening perspectives of young people who can enrich their community by bringing back personal and professional development. We are focusing on enhancing their level of key competences and skills, especially for those with fewer opportunities. An important part of our Target Groups are young people facing obstacles and having to deal with fewer opportunities, coming from remote areas which are constantly facing geographical, educational, cultural and social obstacles, who have low chances of employability.

In 2016 Beyond Borders joined officially both the No Hate Speech Movement of the Council of Europe and the Coordinating Group of the No Hate Speech Italy, becoming active for the defence and respect of Human Rights online and offline.

In the same year, we joined the Hate Fighters Network which is working internationally on the topics of the No Hate Speech and is officially recognized by Council of Europe. The Network is focused on contributing to the development of the capacities of youth workers and young people in the combat against hate speech through methodology of creative methods (photography, videography, graphics, dance, music, creative writing). Beyond Borders has implemented several activities on the No Hate topc, such as workshops and flash-mobs, spreading awareness among youth in the local area of Apulia.

Since 2018 our organization has been cooperating fully with the Non-profit volunteering organization "Pro Loco" of Orta Nova, which is part of the UNPLI, Unione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia.
We started cooperating with the Pro Loco since we found that our needs and objectives are matching and aiming towards the same direction. We are sharing the goals of improving the quality of life in own local area, promoting the cultural, environmental and historical heritage. This cooperation has created a bridge which is allowing youth work and European culture to meet with the local values they are promoting, such as traditions, customs, products, and social and cultural issues.

Between 2015 and 2018 we have been partner with the University of Bari Aldo Moro. The agreement has provided academical traineeships for students during their Bachelor degree. Specifically, during this period we have hosted around 15 students enrolled in the class of Intercultural Mediation.

Our Experience
Our experience with international programs started before the organization was been established, as our members and coordinator was already experienced in the field of International Youth Work.
We have hosted Trainings and Youth Exchanges since 2014 in Italy, and our team members have been working as facilitators and trainers for other organizations in Europe, often participating to Trainings.
As follows, the projects that we have organized as Coordinators:
- 2015: Erasmus+ Seminar KA1 “BEYOND – Rethinking Intercultural Learning” (Corato, Italy) – Topic: Intercultural Learning.
- 2016: Erasmus+ Youth Exchange KA1 “Indoeuropean Language Tree” (Orta Nova, Italy) – Topic: Multilingualism in Europe.
- 2017: Erasmus+ Youth Exchange KA1 “E.U. & Us” (Orta Nova, Italy) – Topic: European Citizenship.
- 2018: Erasmus+ Youth Exchange KA1 “From E.U. to You” (Orta Nova, Italy) – Topic: European Citizenship.
- 2019: Erasmus+ Youth Exchange KA1 “Not Just Another Graffiti on the Wall” (Orta Nova, Italy) – Topic: No Hate Speech, Tolerance, Creativity.
- 2020: Erasmus+ Training Course KA1 “Breakout” (Orta Nova, Italy) – Topic: No Hate Speech, Creativity, New Methodologies, Educational Escape Rooms.

Since 2019 we have been awarded with the ESC Quality Label, and we have been coordinating the following European Solidarity Corps projects:
- 2020-2021: ESC Volunteering Projects “European Young ESCapists” – 2 long term volunteers involved in supporting European projects and Local events of the organization;
- 2020-2021: ESC Solidarity Project: “Uniti Contro l’Odio” - organizing of local workshops in order to equip youth workers and young people in the local  community to combat Hate Speech with creative methods;
At the same time, we have been active in supporting volunteers in ESC projects abroad, working with them as Sending Organization.

Meanwhile, we have been active partners in the following Erasmus+ KA2 projects:
- 2017: “Play for Inclusion” (organizing of local sport events for the creation of inclusion opportunities for young people);
- 2019-2020: “Hate Fighters in Action” (organizing of local workshops in order to equip young people to combat Hate Speech with creative methods and debate);
- 2019-2021: “Power to Change” (hosting international training course, organizing of local workshops in order to equip young people to combat Hate Speech with creative methods);
- 2019-2021: “Safenet” (organizing of local workshops in order to equip young people for their safety online and offline with creative methods, hosting international final conference);
- 2019-2021: “It’s Time! – Chapter 2” (organizing of local workshops in order to equip young people to combat in favour of gender equality with creative methods);

We have been partners in European Youth Foundation (Council of Europe) projects too:
- 2016: “Hate Fighters Network Work Plan 2016” (organizing of local workshops in order to equip young people to combat Hate Speech with creative methods);
- 2019: “Hate Fighters Network Work Plan 2019” (strengthen the role of young people in peace-building activities and combat against hate speech);

Moreover, we are actively working as sending organization since 2014. We have already been partnering in several projects, letting a large number of youngsters from Italy and especially from our local community to take part in delegations in Youth Exchanges and take the chance to join Erasmus+ programme. Our Team members and leaders have participated in Training Courses and have grown their skills on various thematics of specialization.

For the future, we are seeking more opportunities for the organization to grow in order to create more opportunities for young people.

Contact us at associaizonebeyondborders@gmail.com in order to receive our most updated PIF and become our partner!