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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Global Hands Erasmus+ training ‘’Integration through Action’’

I participated on behalf of Global Human Rights Defence in a 6-day training for 25 youth workers from eleven different European countries . The training entitled 'Integration through Action' was organised by Global Hands at De Montfort University in Leicester, United Kingdom. During the training we were introduced to the concept of Social Rights in Europe as well as issues of racism and stereotyping. The seminar stimulated us to develop key skills related to these topics through non-formal education methods and we got familiar with interactive methods to engage with young people across Europe, especially those on the margins of society, who often find it difficult to access their social rights. The seminar has given me valuable theoretical and practical tools and insights in the topic, and it has truly been an unforgettable experience.

On the day of our arrival, the project was officially opened by Marco and Momodou, the facilitators during the week of training. The location, which looked like a trendy lounge, immediately ensured a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for the ‘getting to know each other’-games.

During the following days we created mind maps, posters and presentations on several topics in the field of integration, played instructive games related to stereotyping and prejudice and expanded our theoretical knowledge through lectures – all in a non-formal education setting.

The intercultural evening proved the perfect opportunity to introduce Dutch cookies and sweets (the stroopwafels were a hit –of course) and a typical Dutch game: koekhappen. 

One of the highlights of the Erasmus+ training was the ‘local realities day’, during which we visited the Racial Equality Centre and a Gurdwara, a Sikh temple, in Leicester. It was truly special to experience a Sikh wedding ceremony.
Each and every one of our group participated in the – sometimes heated – discussions we had on topics such as stereotyping, racism and integration. Even though we all live in the European Union, and may sometimes be neighboring countries, the issues we face differ significantly.
At the end of the training week, each group developed and designed their own project. Our masterpiece was entitled ‘Equality and Diversity’, and given our faces we were very proud of the team effort.

Despite the many cultural differences, we had one thing in common: our group loved to dance. Here we are practising an Angolan dance, which was definitely an interesting experience