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Social Inclusion for Youth With Migrant Background
Start date: Oct 1, 2014, End date: Oct 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context of the Project The Social Inclusion for Youth with Migrant Background (SI4YMB) has been a youth exchange project implemented from the 5th of July to the 25th of July that targeted 30 participants (23 young people and 7 group leaders) coming from four countries: Belgium, Italy, Bulgaria, and Portugal and it took place in Molenbeek-Saint Jean (Brussels). The question of youth with migrant background is becoming each day more important. Its growth over the 2005-2015 was significant in most European countries. Objectives The project aimed to support the employability of young people with a migrant background currently available in the labour market by focussing on three themes over the course of the three weeks. The first week focused on the diverse origins of the migrant youth and sharing experiences and defining the meaning of a migrant’s “roots.” The second week aimed to discuss what it means to live in Europe, given each’s diverse backgrounds (extra-EU): the challenges and rewards. Finally, the third week waimed to improve job marketability of the participants through workshops on resume/CV and cover letter building, creating a business plan, and presentation skills. Through these activities, we tried to address the challenges faced by youth with migrant background and add value in the delicate phase of the work placement. The project promoted the social mobility of migrant youth by developing essential competencies such as cultural awareness, self-awareness and 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. Participating in this youth exchange programme represented a unique opportunity for those who came at the exchange. Target group The target group of the project are: - Youth with migrant background (18-30 years old); - Group leaders with migrant backgrounds (18+); - With a high school diploma; - Currently in the labour market (or will be following graduation); - With a basic knowledge of English. Methodology The project carried out using multiple teaching styles, both static and interactive in order to ensure the fulfillment of the above objectives. ECEPAA, the lead organization of the project, has been the primary presenters during the project, using Powerpoint, Prezi, and short video clips to convey ideas and information. External speakers from the community have been also incorporated into the agenda to provide a practitioner’s insight. This has been accompanied by active debate and roundtable discussions between the participants, group leaders, and project facilitators. We used worksheets and self-awareness/personality tests for an interactive element, tailored for each individual youth. Finally, the participants partaken in group exercises and presented their findings to the larger group, thereby improving teamwork and presentation skills of the young people. During 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 background, they learned from each other and discovered similarities and differences between their cultures and their different perspectives and value systems. In addition, participants gained knowledge and information that can enrich their own perspectives. The main tool to promote this exchange was through dialogue and open discussion between all participants in order to combat prejudices and negative stereotypes that are often present. In addition, the participants had the opportunity to interact with one another, both in the classroom and outside, fostering relationships and experience sharing through both formal and informal learning.
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