The experience of a JUMP Trainer with the project Let’s Teach Europe

By Teresa Platì - JUMP Trainer

My never forgetting experience with JUMP, Gioventù in Risalto, with Pietro Curatola and Erika Gerardini went from March to September 2022. One of the sessions I was asked to teacher train was Let’s Teach Europe. I diligently asked what exactly I needed to prepare my teachers on. I was explained that I could choose from history, geography, cuisine, music, language, traditions, myths ecc. This, naturally did not help me in deciphering what I coherently, was supposed to do my presentation on. It seemed a little vast.

I continued to ask myself, what do we have to teach Europe? Europe, a continent of 44 countries held together by the Maastricht Treaty signed in 1993. The treaty sets clear goals for the single currency as well as a closer cooperation among member states. My doubts grew…

Recently, I was asked to write an article for the session “LET’S TEACH EUROPE” and that same sense of doubtfulness reemerged. “What or why do WE have to teach Europe?”: a land of multiculturalism, multilingualism,
an infinity of history, a natural beauty, comparable to no where else on the globe.

After much thought, I came to the conclusion, that we do not have to teach Europe anything. It is Europe that teaches us and we, in turn have the moral responsibility to hand it down to future generations. “What do we have to hand down?” We have to hand down what we were taught and have learned, working together toward a common goal, sharing ideas, promoting green, inclusive, sustainable environments, to become a stronger union; socially, politically, economically, teaching youngsters of our wealth, if together and of our national loneliness, if apart.

Our history, with its great importance, needs to be taught and pondered that without a past, we have no future. We need to teach our mistakes and above all, learn form them so they are not committed again. We need to teach respect for our wildlife, our environment because if destroyed, we are not given a second chance. Our traditions and customs, with their language, music and cuisine need to be taught because they give us our identity. They tell us who we are and where we come from. Our myths must be handed down by word of mouth, from generation to generation, because that is how we learn, how we remember. Words become stories and stories become milestones.I did do my presentation and I took into consideration all these aspects. 

Three days were not enough time to share my Italy, my Calabria, my Soverato with the splendid teacher trainees. I tried my best touching the tip of the iceberg. But as we know, there is a much bigger part of the iceberg underwater, what cannot be seen adds to the mystery of discovering.

I believe and hope my trainees enjoyed experimenting our Calabrian cultural heritage with our spicy food, listening and singing to our most up beat music. Our Adriana, from Soverato Superiore, who opened her humble abode to better understand how a numerous family lived happily even without having all the comforts we have now, perhaps sixty or seventy years ago; our sun kissed beaches where they allowed their dreams to soar along with their kites. I entertain the thought that they attained a better perception of OUR Calabria, OUR Italy, that of course, a small but not less important part of OUR Europe.

My doubts have been cleared.

A most grateful thank you.