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For more information about the European Federation for Intercultural Learning visit our webpage http://efil.afs.org.
The study session “Active citizenship in the Refugee crisis – local projects for global exchange network” was held in the European Youth Center Budapest in cooperation with the Council of Europe and its Youth Department, from the 21 to 28 August. This event gathered 29 participants from 12 different countries, as well as 6 trainers.
This study session was an intense learning experience for participants, as well as very inspiring and motivating. What made this week so special is the fact that half of the participants were AFS volunteers, while the other half were people from different external organisations, all engaged in work or volunteering with refugees. The participants were recruited in pairs from the same country – each consisting of one AFS volunteer and one participant from an organisation working with refugees.
In February 2016, EFIL Board recognised the need and importance of contributing to the refugee crisis as follows: “While acknowledging that AFS is not in the frontline when it comes to dealing with traumatised people, AFS does have good contacts with school networks and an expertise with ICL education, and can play a role when it comes to targeting local communities, and even better so in cooperation with other non-profit organisations specialised in the field.”
This is why the aim of the study session was to establish local cooperation between AFS and external organisations who are experts in working with refugees, as well as cooperation between the initiated projects themselves.
The specific objectives were:
The participants were very motivated and engaged and they enjoyed sharing and exchanging opinions. Different local realities were shared and explained. As they were supposed to work together after the seminar, a lot of time was dedicated to team building and get-to-know activities. Participants also had an opportunity to get to know and explore themselves better, in order to understand where their motivation comes from and what personal resources and talents they possess to carry out their projects and thus make a change.
In the end, every country pair came up with one project to implement after the seminar. Support groups (peer groups) were formed, consisting of three projects each. Participants will, in these groups, stay in touch after the study session and help everyone implement the activities they have planned, as well as motivate each other in times of low spirit.
Some of the follow-up activities are:
The external organisations present were:
A big thank you to the Prep team and the participants for having engaged in this innovative session for EFIL and good luck for implementing the projects developed!
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