Living Library Magenta

Living Library Magenta

The Living Library Event

The Living Library event took place on the 8th of June Parco di Casa Giacobbe int he centre of Magenta. It was a great spot for the Living Library according to everybody since the outdoors created a beautiful atmosphere that was welcoming and tranquil. 

The date was chosen as it is an important festivity in town, conmemorating the battle of Magenta and the liberation of Italy, people were walking around town on this summer day making the event more accessible to visitors and citizens.

The Living Library event had among its partners the Magenta Municipality, that provided the permission to implement the event in a public area and gave the official partnership status. The event has been included in the leaflet of the events of June from the Municipality, so the event has been well promoted in the city. 

Other partners were the youth Pepper informal group, which participated in the event and some youth were volunteers in the staff. The Association of Psychologist of Piemonte Region – came to support Human Books and lreaders in case of any tention or psychological support needed.

The event was opened the whole morning and it was structured with a welcome desk at the park entrance where all  readers could consult the catalogue, choose the human books slot times and register to the event. 


The project had a great impact in our community. Magenta never had such an event in our territory so it has been like an experiment. The Living Library in Magenta had been a great success and lot of people attended the event asking to repeat it again. For a lot of migrants and refugees this had been the first time where they can share their story to other people out of the institution where they are assisted and for them had been a great experience. We are now meeting them quiet regularly and so we are very happy of the impact of the project in our local community. 

The project involved monitoring and research at the beginning and end of the activities to highlight the changes achieved by our actions. The initial evaluation aimed to evaluate the activities carried out to prepare the implementation of the project.

1. Preparation phase: Skype meetings were organized with our participants in which we assessed the preparation (before the trainings) and division of roles and project responsibilities. The aspects related to this phase were: preparation of the participants (material creation activities, information on safety and protection, linguistic preparation etc.).

2. The pre-project evaluation of the team had been realized by Young Effect by a meeting. Evaluations were carried out during meetings analyzing what they would learn about the project topic, the activities they had to carry out, if they were familiar with the process of self-reflection and awareness of the competences to be acquired for the realization of the Living Library event.

3. Evaluation within the project team regarding compliance with all stages of preparation of the activities: logistics, catalogues, preparation of the books, protection and safety rules, communication and reporting planning, etc. The internal evaluation was carried out through periodic meetings at the YEA headquarters. The evaluation of the project implementation process consisted of examining whether the project was implemented consistently after the initial plan. Implementation phase: – The Living Library event had been designed in such a way as to organize reflection groups of 5-6 participants after the even itself. Each reflection group had a mediator who however did not influence the discussion but was a mediator to obtain coherent feedback from books and readers.

The Catalogue

OXSANA (Ukraina) - “The new comer”

Who will talk about the integration of Ukrainian women in Italy.

Who will talk about the integration of Ukrainian women in Italy.

IRAM (Pakistan) - “Different kind of woman”

Who will talk about the condition of women in his country, also making a comparison with Italy.

NOREEN (Pakistan) - “Woman and tradition”

Who will talk about the differences in customs and traditions between Pakistan and Italy.

HELEN (England) - “You will not come back! No I come back !.. And I came back”

The adventure (with problems and amusements) of becoming an adult by arranging myself or almost in a country not mine.

THOMAS AND MARIA (Uganda) – “From house to house”

Story of a couple who, in the journey of life, has always opened their homes to the world.

RIMO PAQINI (Albania) - The wayfarer in search of a fertile land to grow his dreams”

Rimo has been looking for a fertile land to grow his dreams and after some difficulties now he is enjoying his life and he is one of the creator of the intercultural event: “The world in Magenta”

JEORGE (Mexico) - “I immigrant: between exclusion and integration “

I would like to explain the risks associated with the encounter between different, mutually foreign worlds, the misunderstanding, intolerances and conflicts triggered by the proximity of culturally distant subjects. At the same time, I would like to tell you about the opportunity, and the opportunities for development and enrichment present in every encounter with the other.

LE THUY (Vietnam) - “A diary of a boat people”

She will talk about the adventure of the Vietnamise people escaping from the regime by boat. An Italian Army boat was send to save the refugees.

ADIL (Morocco) – “The journey of hope”

“I feel still young, but when I decided to leave Morocco, I was really young… I decided to leave my Country because there, there are no opportunities to grow up, just everyday life, like my uncles, my grandparents… I wanted to escape but with I didn’t know what to expect so I took a bus and then a boat; I arrived in Spain, then – as a clandestine because, without a stay – I arrived in Torino. After 2 very difficult years, thanks to the Cooperativa, I had the chance to study Italian and now I have finished my middle school and I will reach a cousin in Cremona soon.”

SAID (Morocco) – “Discovering the world”

“I come from the inner part of Morocco, and we have some group of tourists so after the school I considered that I could go and discover the golden world of those people. It hasn’t been that good. I stayed in Germany for a while then I came to Italy. Then I had problems with police, and I am so sad about this situation. I found also a good help here in Italy, I hope to finish my trial period and to find a job.”

SALAH (Morocco) – “A difficult choice”

“My mother used to say that I am her best job, and now I miss my mother’s advices and sweet words. I knew inside me that I had to go away from that poverty; I thought a lot, day by day considering what I was leaving and one day my mother gave me a little money ( I really don’t know where she took it!) I have always been close with my family, I cried when I spoke to my elder brother. I came to Europe on an illegal bus through Spain and then my life hasn’t been that good. Maybe one day I will go back to Morocco”


On the implementation of the local part of the project several stakeholders were involved:

Municipality of Magenta: the municipality gave the permission to use the public park to implement the event. Published the Living Library event in the leaflet of the events of June and distributed the leaflet to every house of the city. The Municipality provided rooms and facilities to organize the preparation meetings with the books and the staff for the Living Library event.

School Without Borders Association: they hosted some preparation meetings for the books and they supported the event engaging human books and volunteers to the event.

Community Fides Ca’ Nostra: the team had a preparation meeting in the community from where 4 human books were involved. Their participation in the project had been very important because their young migrants are under justice control so we used specific rules while involving their participants. 

The Association of Psychologists of Piedmont supported the Living Library event. They were ready to enter into action in case of emotional problems with the human books or readers. It didn’t happen, and this special suppirt was not needed but was great and reasuring to have them in the team.

Organisation Description

Young Effect Association is a non-profit organization created in 2009. It is an independent association and undertakes to carry out the following prerogatives:

  • Promotion of youth mobility in Europe and the rest of the world.
  • Non-formal education on intercultural youth dialogue and human rights.
  • Inclusion of youth in the civil society independently of their race, religion, gender and level of instruction.
  • Promotion of interest in development of historical, environmental, cultural and economic resources in the local territory.
  • Offer training, seminars or similar activities at local, national and international level. 

Young Effect Association is officially recognised by the municipality of Magenta in Lombardia region, Milano district of Italy. The Association is composed of Counsellors with specialist backgrounds in social policies and youth education; members of the association also have great experience in European projects development. The Association is working with a specific methodology; the youth involved come from small communities, where social and cultural opportunities are few. Moreover we have many partnerships with local cultural, art, theatre and sport associations as well with several groups of youngsters.

During the last years Young Effect was involved in more the 40 international projects in Europe, Asia and Africa and it was promoter in Italy of 3 international projects about rural development, immigration and conflicts resolution.

In 2017 Young Effect has been the official promoter of the programme “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” for Milano Metropolitan City and started cooperation with the Youth Centre of Milano (Informagiovani) in order to implement local initiatives (the first will start on February 2018).

Young Effect is working regularly on EU projects involving youth workers, young people with fewer opportunities, migrants and in general youth interested in intercultural dialogue and exchanging experiences abroad. Most of our volunteers have experience in youth projects and leading young people and so we believe that we can contribute positively in the implementation of this project and his follow up. Moreover thanks to the great experience in entrepreneurs projects Young Effect is able to motivate the participants in order to guarantee a follow up of the project in their life and in the development of their ideas.

Since 2015 Young Effect is implementing a local activity called “Magenta Express” because like the legendary train the organization is making several stops along the world. Each event is similar to an intercultural evening but only related to specific country. The evening is facilitated by young migrants coming from the presented country (Cultural presentation, non-formal activity in relation to break the stereotypes and final buffet with traditional food of the presented country)

Magenta Arte & Gusto will be the next event where we expect hundreds of young people attending. It’s a 2 days event were we mix art exhibitions of local young people and food 0KM from local farmers. During the event we will have music, debates about environment, local and ethic food etc., if this first event will be successful we are planning  to make it regularly. In summer time Young Effect organize the Music Summer Festival, an event that collect thousand people that enjoy music and food.

The Coordination team

The local Living Library in Magenta was possible thaks to the engagement of the Coordinators Team,
the Librarians, Facilitators, Interpreters and specially to every and each Human Books with their live stories.

Tiziano Tomassini

Project manager

Tiziano Tomassini (Degree in Sociology) From 2012-2017 have been member of Magenta city council with delegation to youth and culture. Till 2013 have been president of the International Youth Association Young Effect and founder in 2009. He was European Voluntary Service coordinator for Joint Association in Milan and Erasmus and EVS coordinator in Antalya (Turkey) University for about 2 years and he was helping in the organization of Salto trainings during his stay in Turkey. Tiziano is expert in non formal education, he works since about 10 years in the facilitation of training course at international and local level. He is specialised in social entrepreneur projects and also free lance cooperant with Milano Città Metropolitana for the program Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs.

Orietta Andreoli


Orietta is a teacher in a vocational high school, she is the supporter for students with DSA and BES (specific learning needs) and she is also a teenager educator since year 2010, running some specific after-school programs. Being part of three different associations in the local area of Magenta she works fighting drop out & early school leaving. Since 2014 she is involved with YEA (Young Effect Association) in Magenta that works with Erasmus+ projects and her cooperation had quickly evolved from a simple volunteer (support staff involved to local projects) to Team Leader (from 2018 on).