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Embrancing The Harmony Nationalities In Colours
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Between the 14th and the 30th of October, youth workers from our organisation participated in the Erasmus+ Training Mobility called ETHNIC (Embracing The Harmony Nationalities In Colours). The Erasmus+ funded project aimed to develop good practices in the field of youth and international collaboration among NGOs, facilitating the exchange of good practices and development of experts within them. This multi-national project included the following partners from their respective countries: the hosts of the project TDM 2000 Malta - Malta, Parcours le Monde - Sud Est - France; The Inside Out Program – Northern Ireland (UK); EURO SUD - Italy; Instytut Rozdzienskiego - Poland; Associação Inspira! - Portugal; Asociatia Pentru Dezvoltare Activa - Romania; Asociación Xuvenil Arousa Moza - Spain; and Kiyikoy Doga Sporlari Kulubu Dernegi - Turkey. 

The creation of this project came primarily from the need of the collaborating partners to develop their youth workers in the field of refugees and immigrants’ issues. This was done through updating and adapting the participants’ competences to improve the service they provide the target groups back home. The main objectives of the project include increasing the attractiveness of educational programs and updating the working methods in identifying, approaching, involving and supporting young refugees and immigrants.

The multi-national 36 youth worker team participated in several non-formal activities throughout the 2 weeks in Malta, where they shared their experiences and prepared plans of action to improve the support for youth coming from migrant backgrounds. They also discovered the very intense history and culture of the island, which in spite of its size, has always been the cradle of multi-cultural activity in the centre of the Mediterranean. Hence, the location of this project could not have presented a better niche for the international group seeking to improve immigrant integration and active citizenship, constructively aiding in achieving the objectives of ETHNIC.

ETHNIC was a training course created by a network of 12 partner organisations from the EU, pre-accession countries and other partners from Euromed, Eastern Europe and Caucasus and South East Europe. The project which was run by TDM 2000 Malta had the main aim of increasing youth work competences when working with youth coming from cultural minority groups in the countries of the partners. 

The main event took place in Malta, where youth workers from our organisation participated in non-formal learning based activities and workshops within a group of 36 workers. Through the organised activities, the participants achieved the following objectives;

● To develop and update the capacity of youth workers and youth leaders from 9 countries to approach and help the young refugees and immigrants to better integrate into the local communities – through creative inclusive projects;

● To raise awareness about the refugees and immigrants’ situation in the local communities, fighting hate speech and building dialogue and understanding between the locals and the newcomers – through different non formal education methods, awareness campaigns and different visual tools.

● To facilitate the best practices exchange at international level between 9 NGOs and 36 youth workers in the field of non-formal education and promote the effectiveness of non-formal methods in addressing the current challenges to the crisis of refugees and immigrants.

● To enhance the international collaboration among the 9 NGOs involved in the project and to facilitate the development of 5 future non-formal education projects whose main target group will be young refugees or immigrants

• Learnt about the opportunities set by the Erasmus+ programme and how this structure and how young persons coming from lesser opportunity backgrounds

The two week programme was run by the Maltese hosts and the Romanian Trainer who tackled the needs of our organisation and our target groups to help us in the work we do regularly. The outcome of this Erasmus+ event includes new skills and sharing of loads of new examples of good practice which we hope to be able to put into practice.

Embracing The Harmony Nationalities In Colours was a training course created with the youth worker’s learning needs in mind. During the project design and management stage, both before and during the actual project, these learning needs were kept in mind. 

During the training in Malta the participants developed various competences.

Knowledge - This competence was achieved through the activities revolving around the sharing of information about Erasmus+ and Youthpass Certificate. Basic concepts of adult learning theory and youth working, important aspects related to Formal, Non-formal and Informal education, Kolb’s cycle and learning styles, the values and challenges of working inclusively, aspects related to different cultures, about inclusion and exclusion, information about refugee and immigrants situation in participating countries were also activities which were essential to the participants’ increase of knowledge on the topic. 

Skills - Various skills were obtained through the various activities that were carried out through the project. Some activities which contributed to this were activities revolving around recognizing the individual learning styles. The skill to identify cultural factors and identifying refugees and immigrants problems and needs were also developed during the duration of the project. The participants, through each other and the project trainers, managed to obtain the necessary skills to be able to build an inclusive project whilst using different methods to enhance participatory learning.  

Attitudes - Multiple attitudes were tackled and achieved by this project. Positive attitudes towards solidarity and inclusive work whilst also having a positive attitude towards cultural diversity. Having respect for the knowledge and ability of others was also an attitude which was tackled through the training course. Self-confidence, flexibility and adaptability to participants’ needs was an important attitude that was obtained through ETHNIC. 

 The project also developed the general competencies on project management, project writing, non-formal education methods, training and facilitation, but especially specific competences addressed the needs and problems of young refugees and immigrants and promoted fundamental European values. 

After the mobility, the learning process focused on using the competences in the follow up activities, ensuring at the same time the sustainable impact of the entire project.

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