Social Inclusion for Youth with Migrant Background
Youth Exchange – KA1 Erasmus+, 5th – 25th July 2015
Context of the Project
The project “Social Inclusion for Youth with Migrant Background – SI4YMB” is a youth exchange that will involve thirty (30) participants (composed by 23 young people and 7 group leaders) coming from four different countries: Belgium, Italy, Bulgaria, and Portugal. It took place in Molenbeek-Saint Jean (Brussels) from the 5th until the 25th of July 2015.
The project aims at supporting the employability of young people with a migrant background who are currently available in the labor market by focusing on three themes over the course of the three weeks. The first week focused on the diverse origins of the migrant youth, on experience-sharing, whereby the definition of the meaning migrant’s “roots.” In the second week, discussions on what it means to live in Europe were held. Finally, in the third week the aim was the improvement of job marketability of the participants through workshops on resume/curriculum and cover letter, creating a business plan, and presentation skills. Through these activities, we try to address the challenges faced by youth with migrant background and add value in the delicate phase of the work placement.
The project promotes the social mobility of migrant youth by developing essential competencies such as cultural awareness, self-awareness, confidence, and business and entrepreneurial skills. The entrepreneurship attitude, in a time of economic crisis, could be quite useful not only for natives but also for our target group. The project also discussed current opportunities within the EU, and considered actions to avoid segregation and social exclusion. Participation in this youth exchange programme represents a unique opportunity for the youth with migrant backgrounds to move towards a potential path of social mobility and personal growth.
The target group of the project are:
– Youth with a migrant background (18-30 years old);
– Group leaders with migrant backgrounds (18+);
– With a high school diploma;
– Currently in the labor market (or will be following graduation);
– With a basic knowledge of English.
The project was carried out by using multiple teaching styles—both static and interactive—to ensure the fulfilment of the objectives above. ECEPAA, the leading organization of the project, was the primary presenter during the project, using PowerPoint, Prezi, and short video clips to convey ideas and information.
External speakers from the community were also incorporated into the agenda to provide a practitioner’s insight. This was accompanied by active debate and roundtable discussions between the participants, group leaders, and project facilitators. We also used worksheets and self-awareness/personality tests for an interactive element, tailored for each individual student.
Finally, the participants partook in group exercises and present their findings to the larger group, thereby improving team work and presentation skills of the young people.
During this exchange, we promoted youth mobility and intercultural learning between groups of young people from different non-European countries, all living in Europe. By meeting people with various backgrounds, they can learn from each other and discover similarities and differences between their cultures and their different perspectives and value systems.
In addition, participants could gain knowledge and information that could enrich their own perspectives. The main tool to promote this exchange is through dialogue and open discussion between all participants in order to combat prejudices and negative stereotypes that are often present. In addition, the participants will have the opportunity to interact with one another both in the classroom and outside, fostering relationships and experience sharing through both formal and informal learning.