A “BRIDGE” between people: the network between volunteers and associations remains after the bridges project end

In the multiethnic District 5 of Florence, the BRIDGES project is just over, yet it does not seem: the “network” has remained within the people and associations involved, a true friendship that will turn into new events and workshops that will be built together with the objective of fostering real community cohesion.
These plans come from the participants themselves who have been involved in recent months in the European project aimed at breaking down social barriers and racism. A month after the end of the events, volunteers and operators met to tell each other what “BRIDGES” has left in their lives. “Richness and knowledge of different cultures: today we are more open and patient”, Yulieth says.
BRIDGES was started at the end of 2019 in the District 5 of Florence and it was able to involve over 40 associations in the organisation – “democratic”, Annalisa says – of cultural, sport and voluntary events that enable people and cultures to know in depth each other. “In my opinion, the most important change was the opportunity to collaborate with other associations and other volunteers: you can achieve much more by carrying out projects together than working alone”, Anna says.
In conclusion, the network is the answer. The BRIDGES’s legacy in the neighbourhood, that previously expressed a great number of associations, is the teamwork method through which the different entities of the territory now work: the associations can now share a strong network that will lead them to build together other events and other cohesion activities. It’s the mutual knowledge the best recipe to tackle social barriers.
Cristiano Balli, president of District 5 of Florence, sums it up well: “Through this project, different cultures, territories and peoples can get to know each other: BRIDGES has become an important hub for promoting inclusive practices in the neighbourhood”.

To listen the BRIDGES volunteers’ experiences, download the video here.