FAI's exclusive purpose includes “educating and instructing the community in relation to the defence of Italy's environment and artistic and monumental heritage”. It is in these terms that Article 2 of the FAI Statute states clearly that raising the awareness of the public is one of the main objectives of the Trust's work – an objective that is fulfilled through the promotion of a harmonious, respectful and conscious relationship between human beings and nature.
To reach this fundamental objective, for the past 15 or so years FAI has drafted teaching programmes for use in schools, in the conviction that making young people aware of Italy's cultural and environmental heritage is the first crucial step in spreading a culture of respect for – and a commitment to protecting – the unique beauty that the country has to offer.
In this context, FAI School – FAI's Schools Education Sector – offers nurseries and primary and secondary schools a range of educational activities that are fully aligned with the principles of “discovery education” and “taking teaching outside of the classroom”. The activities encompass everything from school trips and teaching workshops at FAI sites to national competitions. Special mention must be made of the training given to the Apprentice Tour Guides (“Apprendisti Ciceroni®” in Italian), who tell those visiting FAI properties during events such as FAI Spring Days all about the environmental education projects being implemented both locally and nationally.
Young people aged between 18 and 40 are the focus of the FAI Giovani (FAI Youth) Project, which is geared both towards raising the awareness of young people on their role as custodians of the cultural and environmental heritage, and also towards creating a national network made up of young professionals in every industry and of youth groups with social and cultural objectives.
In addition – as FAI's Honorary President Giulia Maria Mozzoni
Crespi is fond of reminding people – “you defend what you love and you
love what you are familiar with”, and so FAI's educational projects are
not just targeted at young people. Adults,
too, are the recipients of this process of spreading knowledge and
raising awareness, thanks to the organisation of culture
sessions and art courses,
which are held every year and are dedicated to themes relating to the
history of Italian art.