Project description: The ongoing conflict and violence in Syria, Iraq and other parts of the world is causing large-scale displacement and refugees are seeking safety beyond the immediate region. According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2015, and the first months of 2016, almost 1.2 million refugees and migrants reached European shores, most fleeing conflict and persecution. More than four in five (83 %) of the first time asylum seekers in the EU-28 in 2015 were less than 35 years old; those in the age range 18–34 years accounted for slightly more than half (53 %) of the total number of first time applicants, while nearly 3 in 10 (29 %) applicants were minors aged less than 18 years old (EUROSTAT, 2015).
Now, in 2016, the defining image in Europe’s migrant crisis, that prompt outrage, encourage action and spark an international outcry over the human cost of the crisis are the tragic images coming from social media of children and women inside the refugee camps. From the other side, It’s clear many refugees due to their young age are using their smartphones and social media to survive, communicate and plan their journey. It is interesting, and talks about how important is digital literacy to help them map their journeys to Europe, or to find where to sleep and eat.
On these basis funds the project ”#REFUGEESWELCOME”, which aims to strengthen youth workers digital literacy to address the needs of refugees and asylum seekers as overall objective. It is an opportunity for all those who work in a multicultural environment and wish to improve skills and competences on this important issue.
In this regard, the specific objectives of the project for youth workers are:
- To utilize social media to traverse the language barrier,
- To provide all the information that refugees need in order to procure their legal papers and to help them get to refugee camps across Europe.
- To connect volunteers and youth workers to help those in need of assistance.
- To reach through social media those in need of information or support.
- To develop an informal network of youth workers and youth leaders tackling the Refugee Crisis through the use of social media and promoting follow up projects and initiatives.
- To increase awareness about refugee crisis within local communities
- To reflect on the current European and National realities concerning the flux of migrants and refugees and their inclusion
- To learn and develop knowledge, competences and tools to work on diversity, intercultural learning and intercultural dialogue
- To share good practices related to youth work, inclusion and active participation
- To acknowledge the use of Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support (OLS), which is free of charge for refugees.
- To acknowledge the Erasmus+ Programme as a tool for intercultural learning, Youth Work and inclusion
The name of the project arises from the hashtag #refugeeswelcome, which is the top trending search on Twitter when people shared messages of support to refugees with the aim of increasing pressure on politicians to take action. Dependent on their needs, different social platforms are being used by refugees, for example WhatsApp, to stay in contact with relatives, phone GPS systems and photos to help them make their way across borders and Facebook for group chats which contain queries around advice on what, where and who to avoid on the long journey North.
Under these purposes, participants will explore the importance of social media and how to use them to provide support and services via these channels to refugees. Non-profit organizations or civic organizations are the most inclined to design and bring products and services which can easily be adapted to specific refugees needs. To do so, first of all, they will need to include in their strategies the factor of understanding the diverse cultures, diverse religions and diverse languages. Participants should therefore understand the “human” nature of social media to empower populations in crises, galvanise public support and how inform on real-time needs.
The training course will be facilitated by experienced trainers, using methods of non-formal learning and will include input sessions, experience-exchange sessions, reflection-groups and discussions. Trainers aim to use the resource of the participants’ as much as possible during the programme, therefore participants will be encouraged to share their knowledge, ideas and questions related to the topic.
The working methods will be varied and interactive in order to ensure a balance between theory and practice, between information and application. Taking into account the diversity of the participants in terms of culture and working experience, the methods will provide an effective group communication and will allow all participants to fulfil their expectations and needs through a progressive and valuable intercultural learning experience.
One specific quality of this training course is the focus on projects and concrete use of learning products, therefore participants will be supported and guided on development, implementation and evaluation of their own tools or projects for intercultural learning and dialogue.
This training is not only for Youth Workers who work directly with refugees and migrants, but for all those who work in multicultural environments and work in communities who face the challenge of newly arrived cultures.
Programme and action:
Erasmus+ KA1 training course
Number of participants: