Marche Region Re-use Playgrounds “Ludoteca Riù”: reorganisation of activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Activities carried out by the Ludoteca Riù (short for “Regional Playground of Re-use”) represent a unique experience at national level and an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and educate the new generations on the topic of waste prevention and re-use.
Ludoteca Riù is part of a broad objective seeking to encourage behavioural change among children and young adults, promoting more sustainable and ethical habits respectful of the environment. Attention is paid to inform on reducing waste production, including through re-use practices as well as separate collection of waste for recycling. The re-use playground promotes the idea that re-usable goods and materials are valuable resources. In the recreation areas of the Ludoteca Riù, imagination, creativity and craftwork enable the repurposing and upcycling of these goods and materials.
This project involves schools, families, as well as cultural, social and voluntary bodies. To benefit all audiences, the re-use playgrounds organises both activities designed directly for young children and teenagers as well as workshops for teachers and parents.
In addition, collecting items and re-usable materials also becomes an opportunity to build relationships and foster cultural exchanges between managers of the waste collection services and the companies and households that discard them. A network is thus created, involving all the actors in the cycle: from the producers to the young “re-users”.
However, during the months of lock-down due to SARS-CoV-2, Ludoteca Riù had to rethink and adapt its traditional activities to comply with the conditions of social isolation. This led to the development of new ways to involve and engage audiences, notably through distance learning. For instance, the project created video tutorials educating on waste management and re-use. The publishing of these videos on social platforms is effective in reaching a wide audience at national level.
As these activities proved fruitful, it was considered appropriate to promote the implementation of integrated projects on a regional network scale and the possibility of continuing to provide the service through digital means. Indeed, the adaptation of the technical equipment of the re-use playgrounds continued, in line with the project entitled 'Ludoteca 2.0'.
On 06/05/2020, a web conference meeting was held between the regional re-use playgrounds managers and officers of the Marche Region. The aim of the meeting was to define the 2021 Activities Programme and the reorganisation of the 2020 Programme due to the global pandemic.
Supported by the Region with the financing of the necessary technological investments, it was decided to continue pushing digital activities that had proven valuable so far, such as the service called "Ludoteca Riù in ospedale". The service is active at the "Salesi" Children's Hospital in Ancona. Eight years after its opening, the detached office of the regional “Ludoteca Regionale del Riuso di Santa Maria Nuova” at the Children's Hospital of Ancona represents a unique opporunity for hospilaised children to experience leisure and entertainment. In view of the important results, stability and continuity achieved, it is considered important to guarantee the activities of the project "Ludoteca Riù smile!!!" remain a permanent point of reference at the service of children in the Salesi Children's Hospital.
A new area of activity, different from the ordinary programming, is the involvement of Ludoteca Riù in the development of the Regional Sustainable Development Strategy, also confirmed in an agreement with the Ministry of the Environment, involving the following :
- Sustainability vectors of the SNSvS: among these there is "education", a theme for which the libraries are one of the sustainability vectors identified by the Region for the children/youngsters.
- Goal 12 of Agenda 2030 "Guaranteeing sustainable models of production and consumption": to disseminate sustainable models of production and consumption through the work of the Play libraries.