The theme of the 2017 work plan was social inclusion, intercultural dialogue and peace-building in relation to the current refugee situation. The aim was that northern European youth organisations increase their capacity to facilitate intercultural dialogue, become more inclusive and contribute to peace-building. The method was competence building on youth work leadership, raising of the non-formal education competences of youth workers and leaders especially in direction of the theme above. The activities were done in cooperation with youth organisations in norther Europe.
Our projects have been supported by the following funders:
In addition to the activities listed below, we sent participants and contributed with team members in several international projects yearly.
Life on the Line
“Life on the Line” was a youth exchange that took place the 5-11 of December in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 55 young participants and leaders came from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Germany, Norway and Latvia. Approximately 1/3 of the participants were immigrants in the country of residence. The host of the activity was Danish 4H and Saga Finland by participants and administrative management.
The participating organisations of "Life on the Line" initiated the project to support peaceful societies in a time when Europe has suddenly become more multicultural along with the recent refugee crises. We do not deny the challenges that both the refugees and the local societies face in this situation and we are aware of the extremism, hostile attitude, hate speech and violence that has arisen. But to balance all the negative attention this situation gets, our project celebrates in a youthful way the opportunities, richness and joy the cultural diversity in Europe gives. Therefore, at this project we want to work for intercultural learning, for all parts and by all parts.
The main aim of “Life on the Line”was to increase intercultural dialogue in NGOs and unite European youth across cultural boundaries.
The main objectives were that the participants:
-enhance their interest and understanding of other cultures,
-gain skills to interact considerably and respectfully in multicultural environments,
-discover how intercultural cooperation can raise the level of competences and resources for all parts,
-strengthen European citizenship and belonging to the diverse and constantly changing Europe,
-learn and practice how to transfer the gained competences to youth organisations and communities.
Programme flow and methods
The objectives were directly connected to sessions in the programme. They were steps along the process, that led to reaching the main aim, to increase intercultural dialogue in NGOs and unite European youth across cultural boundaries. The programme flow and main working methods were the following:
Day 1) Team building exercises and introduction to the theme if intercultural dialogue by a simulation game.
Day 2) Exercises that open up what human rights means and that give direction for the human rights campaign, and Discovery Time sessions (open space format) for exploring interests/hobbies/skills of the participants.
Day 3) Discovery time sessions continue and development of Diversity Celebration.
Day 4) Street festival with workshops related to the participants´ youth cultures facilitated on the Copenhagen streets
Day 5) Evaluation of project outcomes and the personal learning process, as well as for the planning of how the outcomes can be disseminated in the sending communities.
Summary of the evaluation
• Learned a lot
• A new view on culture, a bigger view on how everyone is the same even if there are different cultures
• A lot of new friends
• New and better understanding of the human rights
• The flash mob was really fun, could have trained more for it
• More time in Copenhagen, to be in the city
• Would have liked to see all the leaders more in the evening and during the day
• More free time
• More program, discussions
• More doing, less talking
• The level of the workshops was to basic
The part of the street festival was fun, but:
• Could have been more organized
• Good that the participants got to organize/should have been less responsibility to the participants
• Could have been a workshop to make posters for the stations
• Less windy place
• Only 1-2 hours instead of 4 since it was December
• All together from the beginning
But they all liked the festival and felt like they participated
• The workshops on discovery time were good, but: could have been shorter/longer (discovery time)
• Some confusion on what to do in workshops and were, but overall good (discovery time)
The 19th-25th of February we organised the training course LEAD in Kemiö, Finland.
The aim of LEAD was that northern European youth organisations both (1) motivate their young members to develop inclusive approach towards other cultures and (2) develop the activities to be more easily accessible for refugee youth, as a step for them to become socially included in their new home community.
-In comparison to the original aim, this final aim shows that we more clearly initiated change on two areas: the first part is about the NGO´s current young members´ attitudes, and the second is about NGO accessibility for young refugees.
The objectives of LEAD were that experienced northern European youth workers and leaders:
-get overview of the refugee crisis´ impact on local level in northern Europe,
-reach increased understanding of the refugees´ background, their situation in the new home community and their needs and interests,
-learn about social inclusion and how an inclusive approach could be brought to youth at the organisations´ regular activities,
-gain competences to motivate and facilitate respectful intercultural dialogue between local and refugee youngsters, and
-plan inclusive follow-up activities and develop specific skills to implement them.
The flow of the training was:
- Introduction and getting to know each other
- Getting to know the aim, objectives and programme
- Sharing the participating organisations´ experience of social inclusion
- Sharing articles from participants home communities/countries about social inclusion
- Exclusion breakfast (simulation game) as a starting point for talking about inclusion/exclusion and refugee situation
- Research about who, why and how people come to northern Europe (very valuable how the Syrian participant told about his travel to Europe)
- Guest from Red Cross telling about their work with refugees and basic facts about asylum process etc.
- Exercise about the difference between hate speech and freedom of speech
- Discovering and sharing culture (especial values) together with local Syrian refugees
- Discussing exclusion/inclusion, hopes, dreams together with local Syrian refugees
- Exercise about non-violent communication and intercultural dialogue
- Introduction to action planning sessions, along with input on project management
- Skills development: Conflict management, human rights, European immigration law, gender mainstreaming in youth work, public speaking and leadership
- Action planning sessions as group work and presentation of it
Click the gallery to see photos of the follow-up activities planned at the course.