At national level, through the organization of conferences, debates and studies, SONIA is engaged in capacity building and awareness raising about the situation of some developing countries, of migrants in Italy and of indigenous peoples in the world. Awareness raising campaigns regarding developing countries comprise the organization of a series of cultural events and debates related to the Democratic Republic of Congo, in particular the region of North Kivu, during the conflict in the area (2008-2009), the diffusion of information related to the situation in India of Muslim women Zari Sardosi (those who embroider fancy saris for weddings) and the Manual Scavangers - untouchable women who clean by hand open pit latrines (2012). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NLRzS5Cwhs&feature=youtu.be
Migrants in Italy and Rome, their economic, demographic, cultural and social contribution and the value of diversity is a major area of SONIA’s work and takes many forms: the organization of conferences and debates – addressed to Master students of the Luiss University of Rome (2009) – and in more public spaces: Bisignani public library (2009), Caffè Letterario (2011), Città dell’Altra Economia (2013) e Eataly (2014); b) participatory research and case studies on the situation of migrants in the province of Rome, undertaken by students of La Sapienza University of Rome (2010 and 2011); and, c) specific projects: for example, in 2013, SONIA, in partnership with OMVCI and in collaboration with Slow Food Lazio, implemented a project “ROMA INTEGRA”. Its results have been quite remarkable:
➢ A synthesis study on migration in Italy and in the Roman province in particular, highlighting the substantial contributions made by migrants in the country;
➢ Preparation of training modules to synthesise the results of the study:
➢ A competition amongst the students of I.I.S.P.T for the development of the ROMA INTEGRA logo
➢ Training modules on the links between food and interculture
➢ Organisation of laboratories at the secondary schools Alberto Manzi and the Insitute Albio Tibullo; subsequently students were brought on a tour of the ethnic food market of the Esquilino;
➢ An event at Eataly Rome where children discussed their experiences with Roma Integra and the importance of interculture and diversity were stressed;
➢ A conference titled “At the School of Diversity” at Eataly Rome, aimed at disseminating the results achieved with the schools;
➢ A conference on the theme “New Generations: a resource for co-development”, aimed at an adult audience;
➢ The production of two videos as well as of a series of cartoons, a card game - both made by the students – and a class recipe book, produced by the students with the assistance of their family members;
➢ The final events were broadcasted on TV (Rai 2 and Rai 3).
Awareness of the contribution of indigenous peoples to biological diversity, their way of life and their specificity, including discrimination against them, is raised through the organization of conferences and events geared to different types of public. Two conferences were organised at the La Sapienza University of Rome on “Indigenous Peoples and Food Sovereignty” (2011) and “Indigenous Peoples and Self-Determined Development” (2012) for students and decision makers, or through the organisation of public events, such as that organised at the “Aranciera di San Sisto” to sensitise the public on the situation of discrimination experienced by the Bambuti peoples (usually called pygmies) in the Congo Democratic Republic (2014).
Since 2012 SONIA trains about 30 students from developing and developed countries enrolled in a Master's course in Food Security and Human Development at the University of Roma 3 on Participatory Research Methods.