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, 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.