The “From Small Steps to Big Changes” project aims to tackle the growing discriminatory attitudes and practices in the contemporary EU. With the rise of xenophobia and fears against refugees, migrants and generally ‘others’, the situation of minorities has worsened, and even people who were indifferent to those groups before now begin to manifest discriminatory attitudes. The news that media consumers get about the terrorist attacks and the radical Islam make them fearful, and even though the news present cases of individuals (whereas the whole communities of ‘others’ - mostly migrants and Muslims - live peacefully in Europe), the image of “evil Muslims”, “refugees-terrorists” and “dangerous others” begins to prevail in both public discourse, and influences a lot individual attitudes. As lack of knowledge and mostly one-sided media images lead to the growth of stereotypes and prejudices, discriminatory practices start to grow. Minority group members report that it gets much harder to get a job, rent a flat, and often just walking on the streets is a challenge.

There are many efforts in Europe to stop and turn back the growth of exclusion and discriminatory attitudes; however, youth workers all around Europe encounter tough challenges working with this issue. They often are more than willing to help and act, but they lack expertise – both in theoretical preparation, and practical experience. Fortunately, the initiatives for supporting inclusion and combating discrimination are on the rise, but even more efforts and helpful hands will be needed in order to increase awareness and tolerance of societies and local communities in all EU countries.

 

SCI as a movement for peace and solidarity is aware of the situation and is proactively looking for ways for involvement and active participation in tackling today’s challenges of discrimination in our societies. Having regular contact and cooperation among the members and enhancing the knowledge sharing among them, we have received requests for further development of the capacities of the partner organisations and decided to proactively address the problem of “willingness and motivation but lacking the tools” by proving content and methodological support to the interested in partners and offering SCI approach and expertise, based on recognised non-formal education methodology.


“Small Steps” is a 8-month long (1.01.2018 - 31.08.2018) project, that will consist of 2 main elements: a training course and country actions:
 

1.       The training course “From Small Steps to Big Changes: Tackling discrimination in everyday life” will include elements of both theory , direct encounter with minorities, practice, and action planning. The training is currently taking place from 12-18 April in Antwerp, Belgium, inviting  27 participants from Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.


2.       The local country actions that will be implemented by the participants after the training course.


Stay tuned for updates!




Branching out resources

Some inspiration and resources related to the topic of Branching out: (re)connecting ideas project:

The Building Bridges Toolkit is a web platform, designed to share the know-how on voluntary projects involving asylum seekers and refugees as well as raising awareness on forced migration in general. There are inspiring case studies of successful projects on the topic, practical guidelines on how to organize such projects and specific methods you can use.

‘’A Route to Connect’’ online platform was used to collect the material from all stages of the project, including the Balkan study trip that happened in May - June 2017. It contains stories, videos and pictures from the project which serve as an inspirational tool, but also as a method for collecting and documenting important information related to the topic of forced migration.

The project has three main activities:
 
Community forum (6 – 10 June 2018): a platform where participants exchange experiences, become inspired and increase their capacities for future work towards creating inclusive societies, facilitating intercultural dialogue and promoting volunteering as a tool for inclusion. The SCI branches will have the opportunity to invite local organization(s) they are interested in working with including any results from the 2017 workplan and inspire their future actions.
 
Local activities (July – September 2018): Local activities will provide the pilot space to practice and experiment with some of the tools showcased during the community forum. The activities will be organised in a partnership with refugee groups/organisations, aiming to promote volunteering as a tool for inclusion and to facilitate intercultural dialogue in practice. Results: Organisations reflected about and experimented with (new) possibilities on how to systematically engage the target groups into volunteering opportunities.
 
Strategic planning workshop (October 2018): a place where SCI branches and other organizations will be able to discuss future strategies on working with young refugees/migrants and evaluate their past actions.
 
This travel policy applies to all the activities of this project.
 
 
Branching out: (re)connecting ideas
 
Many of the project that SCI works on are organised with the intention to bring effective social change. ‘’Branching out: (re)connecting ideas’’ is a project supported by European Youth Foundation that focuses on collecting and sharing best practices when it comes to working with refugees and asylum seekers. The project is part of Building Bridges campaign.
 
The project has three main activities:
  • Community forum: unique platform where SCI branches, other organizations and volunteer groups will come together, exchange experience and become inspired for their future work
  • Local activities: connect the local communities and target groups, while promoting peace through cooperation, using volunteer work as a medium, each done according to the local context.
  • Strategic planning workshop: a place where SCI branches and other organizations will be able to discuss future strategies on working with young refugees/migrants and evaluate their past actions.
 
Aims of the project are:
  1. Create learning opportunities for young people and volunteer-based organisations to increase their capacities to act as change makers 
  2. Systematically engage the target groups into volunteer-based activities in Europe 
  3. Give young people and organisations a voice in formulating their vision for SCI’s work in this area by coshaping the SCI’s Strategic plan 2019-22 and beyond.
 
 

 

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