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Needs Become Strengths in Greater Europe
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The background had it that we felt a need to develop professionally. New challenges were observed and we have to adapt our education and system for this. We needed to find a like-minded partner to discuss with and searched for colleagues within our area of interest. We found a partner that we feel united with: Both of us involve in hard work with children and pupils in great needs. Both partners see special challenges and aim at improving staffs’ skills for children and pupils in special needs. Our main target group is well described "The Young Europeans Who Need It Most". The project's activities contribute to meet the EU's objectives for 2020 as regards improved skills among staff and pupils. The intended project, “Needs Become Strengths in Greater Europe”, is a bilateral KA1 Erasmus+ mobilities partnership. The two partners are Complejo Educativo Asistencial 'Pili Varo' and Preschool Eken, Borlänge, Sweden. 'Pili Varo', is located in Rota, Spain and offers great influence to the parents. It accommodates a special school, a unit of day activities and an occupational centre. The school welcomes students with a wide range of special needs, both in terms of mental and physical challenges. The school is fairly new with a lot of future-oriented thoughts and ideas. The development of the Centre is supported by the City Council of Rota, responsive to the demands of parents of people in special needs in the surroundings. The Centre embraces projects that are necessary and directs itself towards good quality education and equal rights to possibilities. Preschool Eken has a special department for children in need of special support. Communication and security are great priorities. Well-structured activities and same staff day and night time offers children and parents a feeling of security. Relief activities are offered to parents. Eken collaboratea with Basic Special School, whose mission is to educate and create opportunities for the development of children and youth in need of special support. Professionals selected for the project are in the forefront to meet the target group. Exchange activities will be a good mix of job shadowing, studies, discussions, exchange of know-how and self-reflection. Job shadowing is a vital part of the project and will allow time for talks and self- reflection. Each participant will reflect in writing on what they learn, experience and hopefully improve professionally. Studies of the cultural environment are essential for future development. The methods will be democratic, creative and future oriented. Democracy involves everyone. Modern tools will be used, like e-mail, Skype and maybe Facebook. We want to start children and pupil exchanges using also postcards, handwritten letters and messages through e-mail and SMS. We want to learn more about the use of relevant modern technology. Meeting will be arranged with local colleagues back home and for dialogues with local politicians. Monitoring and evaluation will be undertaken progressively. We will continuously report to colleagues, preschool faculty, parents, politicians and media. A few expected results are already being slightly felt... In the short term, we will be more competent in taking care of our children. After two years we foresee a) our staff more proficient and safe in exploiting new knowledge, b) our local municipality appreciate our “new” skills, and, c) the two partner schools focus on building a European-international approach with citizens responsive to the needs of our children. At Eken, skills will improve in alternative communication techniques and clarity as well as ability to operate sign language and other signals to support speech. There will be more comfort as regards use of more advanced computer programmes, how to set in practice well-structured activities and awareness of how to organise a safe working environment for the children. Staff will be more efficient as regards exchange with colleagues at fellow preschools and schools in Borlänge. They will know how to shape a good learning environment in an economy with non-budget. In the long run, all experience gained will characterize most of the partners’ future activities. Managing to expand perspectives and minds like that, most of the so called everyday problems will seem increasingly modest. We wish to strengthen the cooperation between the two partners in the long run and have more mobilities of staff and hopefully also pupils. The Spanish language will be more known in Borlänge and the Swedish language in Rota. A wish to facilitate staff‘s job shadowing and other exchanges to promote learning from European colleagues. Beyond that, we foresee that experience gained from the collaboration between the two partners will spread, in Spain and in Sweden, to be a good example for surrounding schools. In the long run, a better Europe and, therefore, a better world!
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