Seminar on social inclusion

From May 29th to June 3rd, SCI Catalunya hosted in Barcelona a group of 10 volunteers from SCI European network as part of the project ”Opening Minds to Remove Barriers” financed under the Erasmus + Programme of the Council of Europe. The objective of the seminar was to give tools to workers and volunteers who deal with social inclusion issues in their organizations across Europe. Corine Wouabeng, volunteer of CVS Bulgaria, went to this training and shared with us what she learned.

In fact, the seminar was a space to debate about social inclusion policies within the European branches of SCI and an opportunity to create a strategy to improve social inclusion in our network. The workshop was mainly about giving participants the  tools  to work with youth with fewer opportunities and to establish strong local networks among other organizations who work for social inclusion in their countries – Bulgaria, Armenia, Portugal, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Ireland.

What I want to spread is that:

1.  An inclusive project must be ‘’Empowering’’ by giving abilities to become autonomous. It should be ‘’Participative’’ so that the persons who are in risk of exclusion can take part in the process and also be an active actor of the inclusion of the others. It has to be ‘’Expressive’’ because most of our times, we avoid ask to the target group what are their needs. So, we have to create opportunities to let them express their views, their needs. Finally, an inclusive project must be ‘’Educative’’ by providing skills, new awareness and knowledge.

2. One of the helpful strategies for leaders of inclusive projects is that he/she must measure progress in small steps. So, avoid being too much ambitious. Another is to expect to be tested by the participants of your project because they don’t trust you. That is why, you should be consistent. To make them feel confident, you have to do what you promised. For the mentoring purpose, you should make the balance between the Challenge to which you expose the excluded person and the support you provide in order to avoid the mentee remains in regression/ statis or in growth/validation.

3. There are some practical tools for social inclusion provided by Erasmus +. With the Key action I, you can be helped in the organization of youth exchange, seminars, trainings and short EVs Volunteers but not for work camps.  With Key action 2, it is possible to settle strategic partnership projects funded by Erasmus+. The European Youth Foundation also funds projects either international project with regional NGO or Pilot project.  Some means are useful for resources like ‘’The guidelines for experts on Erasmus +’’, the website: for tools for searching partners or trainers for activities, the social webinars of European Youth Foundation.


4.  There are some good practices of social inclusion lead by social entities of Barcelona. We visited Germina which provides youngsters with opportunities to improve the quality of life of children, youth and their families especially those in a vulnerable situation. Throughout the seminar, meals were provided by Impulsem's cooking workshop, an association that helps young people with fewer opportunities by training them in the catering business. We also have a meeting with many associations working with people with fewer opportunities like Casal Jove Atles, Nicosia, Helia, Prometheus, FADEAM, Raveluscious… The last dinner was at Mescladis - a social entity restaurant which trains people in risk of social exclusion in catering business for 3 months before being integrated into the labor market. The seminar ended on a note of discovery and satisfaction.

All the materials elaborated during the training will be published on the following blog: dedicated to share experiences about social inclusion projects and information about the SCI- Youth Working Group (SCI-YUWG) hosted by Utilapu Halozat (SCI- Hungary). It will be a toolkit for social inclusion in Erasmus Program and a place to learn about social inclusion tools.


Story contributed by CVS Bulgaria. 



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