How to repopulate a town with its young descendants abroad thanks to the Felicita Back Home - Young Edition © format
In recent years, our towns have lost many residents who have emigrated and who have often become prominent people in their new countries of residence. Some of them have maintained links with their place of origin and today they are a real value on which the very rebirth of the town can be built.
As a publishing house that publishes a magazine in two languages and has a very popular newsletter in Italy and abroad, Discoverplaces has decided to help municipalities to rebuild connections with young descendants by attracting them in a format that unites generations and continents in the rebirth and tourist repopulation of the villages.
The format is called Felicita Back Home - Young Edition© and was developed in the revival project of the village of Settefrati in the Comino Valley. The starting point is a recognition of the work of the first generations of emigrants who then help to create a bond with their descendants. The program is therefore divided into two parts: the Town Ambassador® Award dedicated to the first generations and the Felicita Back Home - Young Edition © format designed for Italian descendants together with communities abroad.
1st phase: Town Ambassador® Award
Together with the municipality, we identify people who reside abroad and who have maintained a proactive relationship with the country by showing love, donating works or successfully promoting the country. To these people we give the Town Ambassador® Award which received the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Enit (www.townambassador.org).
We interview the winners for our magazine and together with them we identify young people to be involved in the Felicita Back Home - Young Edition project. Where possible we involve the clubs and international associations connected to the municipality.
Young people must be enterprising, social (perhaps influencers) and be descendants of the place eager to discover their roots to build a common future. The format of Felicita Back Home - Young Edition © is the social and web story of a week-long stay in the village and neighboring municipalities. These young people are offered a stay in a house, food on premises, which will be involved in the project and promoted, and an electric car to drive around with a local young man.
Preparation of the territory
To be successful, it is essential to study an adequate and special welcome for these young people in order to make them 'feel at home' (Back Home). So, when a municipality joins the project, it starts with a strategic analysis of the place to choose what and whom to promote that can have the highest chance of an excellent return in terms of national and international communication.
At this point there is a 'transfer of know-how' by Discoverplaces and training of the people who will be involved in the project (obviously the training is open to all economic and social operators in the country).
In particular, the young person who will follow the young descendants and all the children who want to take part in the activities on the field will be trained. The recommendation is to involve above all people who know another language to facilitate the creation of lasting relationships.
On the Discoverplaces portal, we will blog about the whole experience that the country and its people live in order to encourage and increase people's participation from below. Articles in two languages will be published which will tell about some of the things the children will do and the stories of the people they will meet to prepare them for the visit.
This material will also be posted on our social networks.
We will have to create an expectation for foreign readers about the food they will eat, the wine they will drink and the experiences they will make in order to intrigue them and make them eager to experience the whole spirit of the place (genius loci).
2rd phase: Felicita Back Home - Young Edition ©
Thanks to the presence of the Town Ambassadors, up to a maximum of 3 young Italian descendants and a local boy will be selected who will come to visit the village and its surroundings with the commitment to document everything on the web and on social networks.
The children will follow a daily program but will also have spaces of freedom in which they will decide with their Italian peers some experiences they want to do in accordance with their passions.
The students will have a specific commitment to produce a certain number of contents to be used as articles on the web and on social networks (articles, posts, stories, reels) and at the end of making a mini-documentary of their stay.
All this communication operation will be organized by Discoverplaces which will also take care of the tutoring. The materials will be published on the Discoverplaces portal in two languages, press releases will be prepared for the local press and various social channels will be used to be agreed with the chosen children even before their arrival
Celebration of the event
On the last day of the youth's stay, a small event will be organized in the municipality, with live connections with the Town Ambassador to tell the experiences and understand how to continue promoting the village and its excellence abroad. On this occasion, a short documentary of the experience written in two languages will be screened
This has the purpose of consolidating the bonds between the young people of the two communities by engaging them in a continuous process of storytelling and social sharing.
Finally, all the Town Ambassadors® awarded in all Italian countries will then be involved in the annual meeting that takes place at an Italian university in which experiences are told and studied together other ways of continuing the path of union between the Italian communities and those of the descendants (see past events at www.townambassador.org).
The Town Ambassador® Award is registered and the Felicita Back Home - Young Edition © format is a copyright of the Discoverplaces.travel publishing house.