A series of experiences and comments from persons who took part in Mine Vaganti NGO’s activities.
2. Gianluca Solera
Writer, journalist and activist, with a past as a political advisor in the European Parliament for the parliamentary groups of the Greens and European regionalists, when he dealt with economic and social cohesion, transport and biodiversity issues in cooperation with several European associations, Dr. Gianluca Solera was coordinator of the Spanish greens in the European Union for three years, engaging in matters concerning the environmental dimension (water management, contrast of marine pollution, sustainable transport and tourism etc.).
At the end of his political commitment at the institutional level, Gianluca Solera pursued civil participation in the third sector, performing the function of Network Coordinator in the Anna Lindh Foundation with regarrds to matters dialogue between cultures, an institution of the Union for the Mediterranean which brings together more than four thousand non-governmental organizations, public and private foundations, local authorities and businesses. Since March 2014, Gianluca Solera has started a professional relationship with COSPE, an organization working in the developmental field, of which he directs the department dealing with rights, interculturality, citizenship, common goods, policies and campaigning activities in Italy, Europe and the Mediterranean area. As an activist, Gianluca Solera works to build bridges of social and cultural dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean, with particular reference to the Middle Eastern area. He followed with particular attention the youth movement of protest and democratic advocacy linked to the Arab Spring. His book “Riscatto Mediterraneo”, collects the reflections and experiences matured by Gianluca Solera through first-hand knowledge of the Arab realities in the hectic revolutionary period.
Mine Vaganti NGO hosted a public presentation of the book “Riscatto Mediterraneo” (Mediterranenan Redemption) by Gianluca Solera in the Santa Caterina Youth Center in Sassari on April 1, 2016. The presentation was met with enthusiastic welcome by the public, made up of young customers of the Santa Caterina Youth Center, representatives of the local community and city associations. At the end of the presentation there was a session of open dialogue and joint reflection, in the context of which Dr. Gianluca Solera answered questions from the public.
“My knowledge of Mine Vaganti NGO dates to long back in time and is closely linked to my commitment in the third sector, with a particular reference to the dimension of cultural exchange between Europe and the regions of the southern shore of the Mediterranean. I have invested a lot of energy in the growth and renewal of the Anna Lindh foundation, in the capacity of coordinator for Italy. Mine Vaganti NGO, at that time, supported and, to a large extent, fostered this impulse of renewal and growth. We developed a close sintony of vision and ideals with the responsible persons of MVNGO, Maria Grazia and Roberto, which has allowed us to cooperate also in al later stage, through the proposition of joint project initiatives within the Anna Lindh frame “
3. Martin Barthel
Dr. Barthel is an academic researcher at the Free University of Berlin and at the University of Eastern Finland, wherein he carries out research studies and analyses on the topic of border dynamics. He is among the founders and the responsible person of the researchers’ association Comparative Research Network (CRN). MVNGO and CRN cooperate in several Erasmus Plus Strategic Partnership KA2 projects in the fields of Adult and VET and are partners in a project within the frame of the European programme JUSTICE, “VOICITYS” whose focus it is to analyse and improve the management of diversity in European urban neighbouhoods. In addition to the above, MVNGO and CRN are co-sponsors of various project proposals in the programmes COSME, Growth and Horizon 2020.
“My knowledge of MVNGO and its responsible persons- Roberto and Maria Grazia- dates back to the former GRUNDTVIG programme and more specifically to a study visit paid by them to CRN. Though still young, they nonetheless proved to be competent, hard-working and well versed in their fields of expertise, yet capable of going outside their sphere of comfort, looking for new challenges and being undaunted in sharing provocative yet solid points of reflection with more mature professionals, even with an academic background. My first impression of them belied a certain prejudice, as their self-confidence and promptness in judgement and action drove me to think of them as somewhat centralizing personalities, who tended to reserve all decisions to themselves. However, this impression was completely overturned after we had the occasion to share our designs and start the cooperation which binds us to this very day. I had the occasion of getting to know Roberto’s and Maria Grazia’s style of human resources’ management directly and was positively surprised by their ability to show trust, share work and information as well as, in this fashion, support the growth of young professionals in the fields of both Training and European project design, which lead them to count on a staff of 15 full-time professionals at the present time. In my understanding this is not only crucial but also represents the very “raison d’etre” of top-tier NGOs that are never satisfied with the state of the art- as prosperous at is may be- but constantly aim at growing and finding new pathways for improvement. This is a model which I consider a benchmark for CRN to reach and strive to replicate”.