DARE+ in Brussels

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Erasmus+ Project “Developing All-Round Education” (DARE+) is not just the name of the project that brought together fifty people from six countries and very different backgrounds to Brussels the week of July 11-16. DARE+ is also an invitation to believe -and make others believe- in the European Project that, despite its flaws and imperfections, we all know and love.

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Second Training Seminar of Erasmus+ Project "Roots and Wings" in Rome

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The second Training Seminar of Erasmus+ Project "Roots and Wings" (Capacity Building in the field of Youth) was held in Rome from 18 – 23 July 2016. The training focused on some of the current social challenges in Europe (employment, inclusion, education and participation for all). Each of the challenges was first prepared in small groups and later discussed in plenary sessions highlighting once more youth participation to address these challenges.

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Youth Fieldwork in India: learning to live

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Thirteen young people from different parts of Spain landed in Mumbai, India, on July 27 to start a fieldwork camp in Honavar, for 3 weeks, organized by EDIW. These volunteer, university students and some who are already working professionals, arrived in India full of energy, expectations, and dreams ... At the end of the experience we can confirm that the dreams and expectations were well fulfilled and even surpassed. The rich work experience, the exchange and sharing, the welcome received, meeting people with different customs, communicating in unknown languages, interacting with many people from different cultures and religions, and reaching out to the hearts of many will be a unique experience we will always cherish.  Also, we bring in our hearts the faces, names, lives, and names of many who have touched our lives.

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A youth fieldwork camp is a short-term volunteer experience (less than a month) which in many cases, such as ours, is done in group and accompanied by one or more facilitators.

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This experience took place in Honavar, state of Karnataka, at the SARPI Center, an NGO directed by the Teresian Association for more than 35 years. In the morning, we did our work in the different projects: nursery schools, mobile library, special education school, and stitching project. In the afternoons we taught English and computer classes to groups of children, youth, and adults; and at sunset and before dinner we received practical classes on various cultural aspects of India: the local language Kannada, classical Indian dance: Barathnatyam, Bolliwood dance, yoga, mehendi, and meditation. The weekends were also moments for action and relaxation: excursions to beaches and temples, assistance to a Hindu wedding, shopping at the market, boat rides on Sarashvati river, cricket and volleyball matches with the youth from Pedro Poveda parish... Even though there were 17 of us, a quite large number to move by vehicle or rickshaws, we were invited by several families to have lunch or dinner at their homes... It is important to mention that we lived and felt like a family and all of us always went together everywhere …

This experience has helped us learn and develop different competences or personal skills like intercultural communication, capacity to plan and organize, teamwork, leadership, self-management, and emotional intelligence.

The last days were memorable moments for everyone, full of gestures and symbolic events, such as farewell celebrations in the different projects and the final party at SARPI with all the children and participants in all the activities, with whom we exchanged souvenirs, gifts, photos, written expressions, and words of love and friendship ...

How difficult the departure was!! And how huge the gratitude!!. 

                                                               

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We all know that this experience has marked our lives forever and has taught us to live ... We are no longer the same persons!! We encourage everyone to participate in experiences like this that help change the world a little, but change ourselves a lot!.

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   Volunteers Team

Training in Granada

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GRANADA, Spain.
The scenic and prize-winning buildings of the University of Granada School of Architecture were the backdrop of the third “Train the trainer” seminar sessions of the Erasmus+ project Dare+, held between the 15th and 19th of February 2016.

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IWB Madrid Training

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The Erasmus+ Project Integration Without Borders (IWB) opened its Second Transnational Meeting and Training Seminar in Madrid on the 17th of January 2016 held in the premises of (UPSAM)-Fundación Pablo VI. It coincided with the 2016 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, with a theme that fitted very well with the concerns of IWB, “Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us.”

The five-day Training Seminar organised by the IWB consortium and hosted by our partner in Spain brought together twenty-nine representatives and participants engaged in social work and volunteering with minorities and migrants in different countries in Europe. Two competences, Social Entrepreneurship and Project Development, crucial in the work with these vulnerable groups were addressed in the formation and training of social workers and volunteers. The presentations opened very rich, interesting and lively discussions in the breakout groups and in the plenary.

The training was highlighted by a contact-visit to San Cristóbal de los Ángeles neighbourhood of Madrid that is characterised by low-income population, unemployment, migration, school abandonment and low self-esteem. It gave us the chance to see how an abandoned space under a bridge can be transformed into an open-air Arts and Culture Social Centre and at the same time create the opportunity to empower the youth to be facilitators of diverse cultural activities. The “Puente de Colores” symbolises the will and determination of both locals and community partners to change things for the better and work it out together. In the discussion panel held in Navas de Tolosa Public School, the principal presented efforts on keeping young people in school. The other speakers were the coordinator of Community Intercultural Intervention Project (ICI) and the head of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano in Madrid, speaking on the situation of Roma communities in Spain. The visit concluded with a welcoming and friendly dinner at ECyS Centre, alive with children and women from different nationalities.

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The cultural issues of migration were discussed by reviewing the two competences taken up in the IWB Satu Mare Training: Intercultural Competence and Management of Diversity. A significant part of the discussion was on field practices, experiences and real stories brought by the participants themselves generating a spirit of connectedness and mutual concern.

The most important results of the transnational training were learning from each other and encouraging each other's work. In the coming months, the network will be busy preparing a reference manual for the training of young social workers and volunteers. The Satu Mare and Madrid training experiences will be the springboard in writing the reference manual.

The topics discussed in the IWB Training were very much in tune with the Open Forum Panel From Migration to Integration in the Davos 2016 meeting and with the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) launch event. ARDI has an important role in promoting diversity and policy change.

The role of civil society is indispensable in the acceptance or rejection of new ideas and initiatives on the issue of migration. It can take migration as a phenomenon of crisis turned into problem or as a crisis turned into opportunity for growth, for inclusion, for a more democratic citizenship in the continent and eventually in the world. IWB believes in the latter and focuses all its activities of formation of social workers and volunteers towards values of inclusion and human dignity. In an article, entitled Educazione senza confine” - Education without Borders, a trainee writes about her own experience.

18 February 2016, EDIW - Rome Team