Say NO to indifference
Start date: Sep 1, 2015,
End date: Aug 31, 2017
The project „Say NO to indifference“ deals with the topic refugees and migrants in Europe. We do not only want to have a look at the hard facts such as numbers, laws and regulations we also would like to discover the emotional side of this topic in terms of attitudes, fears, burdens, expectations, feelings and problems as well as highlighting the advantages of living in a multicultural, open-minded and united Europe. For quite a while now Europe has to deal with huge waves of refugees coming because of political or religious persecution, war, terror or just in the hope for a better life. However, the question arises how Europe and its member states can cope with the situation and the resulting challenges. To accommodate and integrate those refugees presents a major challenge to the EU. Moreover, it produces a wrong understanding and xenophobia which cannot be a basis for a peacefully living together. Hence we are a group of seven countries from Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and Turkey willing to make our students aware of the topic and dealing with it in more detail. All of our participating countries are in a certain way affected by the topic: Estonia has a long tradition of living together with a Russian speaking minority; therefore they have extensive experience in the integration of Russian-speaking children into the Estonian society and thus can be a role model for how to avoid the causes for the current conflict in the Ukraine. Finland and the Finnish school system are known for well-established and good programs of how to integrate refugees/migrants. The German school has established special classes for refugees teaching them the language, social and cultural aspects. Further, the town has got a great influx of refugees from e.g. Africa, Syria and Afghanistan. Besides, nearby the Italian school is one of the largest refugee camps in Europe, thus they are directly affected by the incoming refugees and the political situation. In Poland there are many “euro-orphans”, children left with relatives because their parents have gone, usually in pursuit of better career prospects. The Slovakian school is situated next to the Ukraine border; therefore they receive many European refugees of the Ukraine. Finally, Turkey has a big migration flow in and out of the country. We can also examine a huge amount of prosperity-related and forced migration and the arrival of Syrian refugees.
With all those experiences we set up a project with the aims to found a students' action group promoting the notion “Say NO to indifference", to produce a long film documentary, to establish a homepage with blogs and do a flashmob on the UN Refugee Day. Other outcomes will be e.g. flyers, interviews, Explainity clips or a booklet. Additionally there is the aim to educate our students to be active European citizen, to take up responsibility, to participate and to form their own opinion. Further to be sensitive and responsive to the public opinion and to be able to reply with knowledge as well as to get a feeling for the problems and situations of refugees/migrants within their own country and Europe. Besides, our students will enhance and develop their basic and transversal skills. On the other hand the teachers will develop methods to promote the idea of Europe being open to all cultures and to be a role model regarding the handling of refugees/migrants, to integrate and support them. Additionally, we want to inform the society, politicians and organizations to get a deeper knowledge of the problems the refugees and migrants have to face, to pull the same string in terms of a common European policy and to be aware of the important role and responsibility of Europe within the world and above all that xenophobia has no place in Europe. Finally, we want to support refugees and migrants to get a clear view of living in Europe so that they won’t have wrong expectations and being integrated more easily.
To reach all those aims we meet up in every participating school to be able to work in cross-national groups, to work on the outcomes and to meet refugees and migrants, to visit refugee camps, organizations and meet representatives. Between the meetings we will work on the project tasks.
On the homepage, in the blog, due to films and the students’ action group the results will be made accessible to a wider public and by sending the materials (films, articles) to organizations and politicians the outcomes will be widely distributed and they are displayed in all schools.
The long term benefits are the enhancement of different key skills and competences which help students to be better prepared in their future life. Additionally, the outcomes are lasting resources for teaches. But above all, the expected long term impacts will be that the participants have a greater knowledge, understanding and awareness of the topic, the European values and that students are active citizens in a multicultural, united and peaceful Europe.
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