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Contact Making Seminar New prospects for Minorities and Inclusive Europe
Start date: 20 Apr 2015, End date: 19 Sep 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Contact Making Seminar New prospects for Minorities and Inclusive Europe was realised in Potenza (Italy) in the period 23.08.2015-31.08.2015 (the dates were changed with the authorizathion of Italian Erasmus N.A.). The aim of the seminar was to find partners and develop new projects on the topics of social inclusion and European citizenship for youths from minorities background. We had 29 participants in place of the 30 planned because 1 participant from Lithuania did not come at the project and informed us only the day before so it was impossible to substitute him with an other interested young people. A significant number of younger minorities is becoming more alienated from the European societies they live in. Depression amongst some minorities is exacerbated by a feeling of humiliation fuelled by negative media stereotyping about minorities, by institutional discrimination and by rising level of racism. Fear, anger, isolation, frustration, rootlessness, vulnerability, and despair are all emotions which, when experienced by young minorities, could contribute to alienation and exclusion. A lack of recognition of their religious identity, marginalization and deprivation, educational under-achievement, higher grade of unemployment and endemic racism have contributed to a sense of frustration and resentment amongst many minorities youths. Minorities also have to contend with rising migrantophobia, particularly voiced by expanding anti-immigrant lobbies across Europe and right-wing parties trying to explain various problems at the expense of minorities. Simultaneously many minorities’ youth now face difficult tasks of ‘social navigation’ in seeking to find their own identity or balance their multiple identities. All these serious and painful issues need to be thoroughly discussed not only by politicians but within human rights circles first of all. And it is crucial to put human rights activists and migrants, minorities and Europeans on the same page – even written in different languages. Our seminar is the first step on this road to positive reconciliation and creative change as well learn more about the issue of social inclusion and European citizenship. Several objectives were taken into consideration while designing the programme of the seminar: - to overcome the “cultural barriers” between the participants from Member States of the European Union and Eastern Partnership Countries and to get acquainted with cultural peculiarities through communication and working on common projects; - to discuss and prepare various project ideas with Mobility of young people (EVS, youth exchanges or Youth workers' training and networking, on the topics of equal opportunities for young women, sport and arts as means for social inclusion, youth from national minorities and multicultural society etc.); - to broaden the organisations´ spheres of activities with the topics of social exclusion and equal opportunities; - to create a common vision of the situations in the participants’ countries, and on the basis of this understanding to create common vision of the project ideas; - to exchange experiences of the youth projects in different countries (both positive and negative); - to create trustworthy and confidential relations with future partners; - to create an opportunity to discuss the practical details of the projects face to face with the future partners; - to present different Youth programmes and their opportunities to the participating organisations from the Third countries and programme countries; - to involve organisations, which have no previous experience in the framework of the Erasmus+ program (especially about involvement of youth from the partner countries); - to exchange information about good practices in the framework of the Youth programmes; - to create projects with involvement of young people (ethnic minorities) with few and weak opportunities; - to discuss opportunities for the involvement of young people with disadvantages, drawing examples from different organisations´ experience and by organising workshops on those topics; - to create trustworthy relations and to break the “cultural barrier”.
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