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”Inimă pentru Inimă” Foundation - A new Erasmus project in partnership with a Portuguese association

In January 2017, the Inima Pentru Inima Foundation took part in the Erasmus+ Training Course “Games of Cultures – Active Communities for the Inclusion of Young Migrants and Refugees”, by sending 3 participants: Stefania, Denisa and Mario.

The project took place in Cascais (Estoril, Portugal) from the 10th until the 18th of January 2017, it was organized by the portuguese organization Vida+Viva / Associação Animam Viventem and involved 30 participants (youth workers, youth leaders, volunteers) from 10 different countries (Portugal, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Sweden, Italy, UK, Germany, Spain, Greece and Romania).

The main aim of the training course was to support, empower and develop the competences of youth workers in order to give them the tools for acting in their local communities, by promoting and encouraging intercultural dialogue in their local communities for enhancing its openness to the inclusion of migrants and refugees.

The main objectives of the project:

- 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 create awareness about the importance that influence of culture has on persons' behaviour and identity;

- To raise awareness on the cultural differences between different European countries and to what extent this impacts the inclusion/exclusion of migrants and refugees in different societies;

- To explore the potential of young people as actors of inclusion and change on a local level, by developing tools, activities and sustainable strategies;

- To share good practices related to youth work, inclusion and active participation

- To acknowledge the Erasmus+ Programme as a tool for intercultural learning, Youth Work and inclusion;

- To develop an informal network of youth workers and youth leaders tackling the Refugee Crisis and promoting follow up projects and initiatives.

Denisa, one of the Romanian participant selected by the Inima Pentru Inima Foundation, was at her first experience with an Erasmus+ Training Course and decided to share her thoughts about this experience:

„Coming from the formal education environment (I am currently a PhD student), for me the training was something unexpected and unique: focusing on non-formal education, we learnt things by doing –and most of the activities we did were so fun and exciting, like playing games, but then reflecting on the experience and translating it into real life, because each had an enstablished purpose. This was a good opportunity to discover myself, by noticing both of my weaknesses and strengths. And this didn’t come just from the activities – it was also about the people involved. We were a group of 30 people from 12 different countries. And we spent the whole day together, every day for an entire week. It was very intense, especially for me that I’m an introvert and I haven’t even shared a room before with other people. And now I had two roommates, so even in the night I wasn’t alone. The only alone time I got (besides a few activities that involved that), was an hour each day after lunch. But athough I missed having a bit more time by myself, I really enjoyed interacting with those people! I made some good friends, I discovered different cultures, but we also created future collaborations. I got home very inspired and eager to continue the work that we started there.”

Ștefania, another participant from ”Inimă pentru Inimă”

”Being interested in dicovering humans culture, humans envirovment and how they developed as humans, the experience in Cascais helped me to organise better my knowledge, to improve my views, maybe to change some of them and of course to get rid of a little fear.As I was for the first time abroad I felt insecure all the journey to Portugal, especially for traveling alone. But it seemed that I still could visit the neoarabic Campo Pequeno bullring in the way from airport of Lisabona to Cascais.The days after were very intense with lots of activities that made us know the others. It became more difficult when many stories were filling my mind and time was little. But after a few days I could recognise every person’s story.The last days were about how can we design an Erasmus project with immigrants and refugees subject, what tools can we use, how can we inspire each other with our projects from our organizations and whom we rely on. And at this step, many of us came with their case, with their project. Not to forget an important visit of the Programe Educa which revealed us an old beneficiary who became sort of educator for the new ones, proving them and us that it depend on our will and our work to succede, no matter of how poor the conditions are.It was fascinating to figure out how the Italians look like Italians, the English like English, the Germans like Germans etc and how history has influenced their behaviour.What a great experience!”

”Training in Portugal”

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