Branching out: Community forum Updates

The first activity of the international project “Branching Out: (re)connecting ideas” was held in Antwerp from 6th till 10th of June. The project” is supported by the European Youth Foundation and focuses on sharing best practices and methodologies on working with refugees and asylum seekers, as well as strengthening existing - and creating new - partnerships.

Bracnhing out website

During the first activity of the project a group of 35 participants from 10 different countries gathered. They represented SCI branches, SCI local groups and local partners. The event offered a platform where participants were able to exchange experiences working in the field, get inspired with new project ideas and increase their capacities on working to create inclusive societies. The forum provided lots of room for sharing methodologies, spotlighting facilitation of intercultural dialogue and promoting volunteering as a tool for inclusion. Participants peered up with their local partners were able to focus on future project ideas, working on activities currently running and reflecting on their local context and target groups.

Highlights of the program included study visits to local initiatives in Antwerp. On one day CURANT, a co-housing project that matches refugees and Antwerp citizens to live together thereby providing affordable housing for the pair, opened their doors so that we could learn more about the organization and get in touch with a community pair. Also, Wingerbloei a community center for underage refugees, allowed us to get an inside view on the challenges associated with organizing and working with underage clients. The Community Forum celebrated its last day with a community Iftar. A group of participants supported the initiative Al Ikram by acting as helping hands in the preparation of the event. Kites the community forum group prepared the evening before and brought along was certainly the highlight for the youngest visitors of the Iftar.

As a follow-up, from June till the end of September participants of the Community Forum, SCI branches, SCI local groups and SCI activists will organize Local Activities together with their partners. Stay tuned for more updates about local actions all over Europe!

 

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