Project title: Youth Work in Culturally Mixed Areas (2019-3-SK02-KA105-002317)

Duration of the project: 01.01.2020-30.04.2021

We live in a time when more people choose to live outside of their home country than ever. According to the UN Population Division report 3.2 percent of the world’s population lives outside of their country of origin. Through the years, around 72 million migrants have made their home in Europe. Just the European Union itself is a home to over 33 million people born outside of the EU. In addition, the most recent Eurostat figures show that more than 17 million citizens changed their country of birth within the EU for another EU country.

Demand for migrant workers to fill gaps in local labour markets is set to rise as Europe’s population ages. Conflicts in the Middle East are forcing more refugees to seek safety in the EU. The European societies are ethnically and culturally mixed, and the trend is growing. But as societies are becoming more mixed, the conflicts between the people from different cultures are increasing. This also increases the demand for competencies, methods, and tools which shall be put into practice from the youth workers who are already working with these people in order to improve the communication and cooperation for peacefully living together. Because if not, the young people will continue to create stereotypes and prejudices which will lead to hate speech, discrimination, conflicts and living in ghettos.

It is a fact that most of the learning experiences occur in the formal environment, but non-formal education is a very important substitute and place where the young people if are appropriately educated and motivated, can achieve a great transformation of their lives. However, very often the lack of resources and competencies that the youth workers have is what can affect the final impact and result of those learning experiences. Also, various researches have shown that if people have positive and enriching experiences with other cultures then they are more likely to embrace diversity. The idea of this project was driven from that fact, that we have to bring various methods and tools which the youth workers from culturally mixed areas can effectively use and by that develop their competencies for working with youth from different cultural backgrounds. The project’s target group is NGO trainers, facilitators, mentors, coaches, project managers, and coordinators who are working in culturally mixed areas, directly with youth on a daily basis. The project will gather participants from 10 countries.

The core activity of the project is an 7-day training course in Szeged, Hungary from 14-20 May, 2020, where the participants will discover various pedagogical approaches and methods; Analyze different aspects of culture and interculturality; the immigration situation, integration challenges and opportunities; Analyze the youth work situation, youth work competencies, portfolio and different online and offline tools and approaches.

Methodology:

The training will be built upon a participatory and “child-centered” approach, where the participants during the whole training will experience various teaching methods and approaches.

The main aim of this project is to increase the competencies of youth workers about Intercultural communication and cooperation and bring various teaching methods and pedagogical approaches for transferring that knowledge into their local realities while working with young people on daily basis.

More specific objectives coming out from the general aim are:

  • To recognize the unique importance of each culture, emphasizing shared values and pluralistic identity
  • To increase intercultural awareness and understanding of different communication styles and approaches in multicultural areas by exchanging views and experiences.
  • To promote tolerance, equity, and solidarity among different cultures, nationalities, ethnic and religious groups, etc. According to the Human Rights principals.
  • To develop positive attitudes and behaviors for less discrimination and more positive intercultural relations.
  • To experience the existing and alternative methods and tools for intercultural education in youth work.
  • To improve participant’s facilitation skills, teaching methods, and pedagogical approaches for working with youth.
  • To inspire the youth workers to implement new projects and activities for intercultural learning and cooperation in their communities and organizations.
  • To promote the Erasmus+ programme and the EU developed tools and platforms as a resource for youth workers for mutual learning and cooperation.
  • To empower youth workers to use different formal and non-formal methods in order to improve their educational approach with young people.
  • To develop their ICT skills for better project management and a larger spread of information to wider communities.

The final product of the project will be a manual and online platform for youth workers working in intercultural areas with various pedagogical approaches and teaching methods.