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Urban heArtbeats
Start date: Jun 17, 2014, End date: Jan 16, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Socio-economic, political and structural upheavals inside and outside European boarders have led to a significant increase of regulated and unregulated youth migration in recent years. One of the challenges of young newly arrived migrants /refugees include the lack of integration into existing structures of society, social isolation and the lack of contacts in existing social networks. Five partner organisations from Greece, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Germany approached this challenge in the project "Urban heArtbeats". Their aim was: -To develop methods for social inclusion of young, newly arrived immigrants and refugees through activities in the "urban culture disciplines" graffiti, break dance and parkour. Their objectives were: - Raising awareness of social needs and challenges that young, newly arrived immigrants and refugees face in the participating cities - to practice and assess activities related to Graffiti, Break Dance and Parkour as a "door opener" for social contacts and orientation in a new urban environment. - to document methods and experiences during the training cycle in form of a digital brochure. -to create a vision for “strategic partnerships” between urban culture activists and migration services on a local and European level. The project "Urban heArtbeats" was divided in two training units in Stuttgart (DE) (8.07.- 14.07.2014) and in Amsterdam (NL) (6.10.-12.10.2014). Participants (18 years on) from the urban disciplines parkour, graffiti, break dance and the social education and leisure sector participated in the training. During the first training in Stuttgart 16 participants from Strasbourg, Naples, Amsterdam and Stuttgart shared the situation of the young refugees in the participating cities/countries and their urban culture activities. Through workshops in parkour, graffiti, break dance with young refugees they experienced social inclusion through urban culture, as discussed during the training methods. These experiences provided the basis for the evaluation and development of a best practice plan for offers in urban disciplines for social inclusion of young migrants /refugees. The participants discussed how values and creative and sporting opportunities offered by urban disciplines can support the social inclusion of young newly- arrived migrants in an urban society. The experiences have been tested in local projects in Amsterdam and Naples until the second training. In the second training unit in Amsterdam 20 participants from Strasbourg, Naples, Amsterdam, Stuttgart and Athens met. On the basis of the results from the local projects and the reflections on the different welcoming situation of refugees/newly arrived immigrants in the participating cities/countries a digital brochure with tips on methods about the project topic has been created.At the end of the project the participants discussed a first vision of interdisciplinary teamwork with migration services to establish “strategic partnerships” in the frame of Erasmus +. The brochure is promoted in each participating country among independent immigrations initiatives and services, social institutions, refugee dormitories, and with local politicians as well as urban culture scenes. It refers to the planning process of long-term, interdisciplinary collaborations within strategic partnerships. A film documentary of the second training cycle was also disseminated.
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