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Participation and citizenship

training for minority youth projects in Europe

Council of Europe Publishing

French edition: Participation et citoyennet: une formation pour la mise en uvre des projets de jeunesse en Europe ISBN 92-871-3649-1 This publication does not necessarily express the official view of the Council of Europe or its member states or the organisations co-operating with the Youth Directorate. Reproduction is authorised, except for commercial purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. The English version is the original. Research and editing: Yael Ohana Editing group: Rui Gomes, Consultant and Trainer, Sweden; Mohamed HajiKella, Allianssi, Finland; Sharon Holder, European Youth Forum, United Kingdom; Yael Ohana, Rapporteur Gnral, Hungary; Alexandra Raykova, FERTYP, Bulgaria; Jean-Philippe Restoueix, European Youth Centre, Strasbourg, France; Antje Rothemund, European Youth Centre, Budapest, Hungary. Photos: Antje Rothemund

Cover design: Graphic Design Workshop, Council of Europe All Different All Equal Logo: LBW, France. Council of Europe Publishing F-67175 Strasbourg Cedex ISBN 92-871-3650-5 Council of Europe, November 1998 Printed in Germany

Preface by Lord Menuhin, OM KBE I look upon the Long Term Training Course for Participation and Citizenship of Minority Youth in Europe (LTTC) as a proving ground for the new, and hitherto suppressed, voices speaking on behalf of their own peoples and groups, whether on their missions to Brussels or Strasbourg or in the Assembly of Cultures (ACE) the second legislative chamber of the European Union as envisaged by the ACE. This second chamber, an essential and urgent initiative of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, which is of crucial importance to the cultures of Europe in all their diversity, has already been officially endorsed by the EU but has not yet been implemented. It is with this in mind that I travelled to Moscow some months ago on a mandate from the European Parliament and the European Commission. Initiatives such as the LTTC, a six month training course for youth workers and youth leaders from minority communities launched by the Council of Europe's Youth Directorate in 1997, can be seen as indispensable for the very viability of our European peninsulas and islands stretching from the Urals to Ireland. The publication you see before you, a testimonial to the work carried out within these training courses and a tribute to the participants, contributes to the growing awareness of youth as a social, cultural and political force. Young people from minority communities, along with their peers from the majority, are the political, social, economic and cultural actors of the present and the future. In order to shoulder their responsibilities they must be given every encouragement and broad support and appropriate resources from relevant institutions. The following publication gives an indication of the positive effects which result when resources and appropriate conditions are placed at the disposal of young people from different cultural backgrounds endeavouring to give their communities and cultures a pronounced and effective voice in the democratic representation of peoples and groups. This work must continue. Like the work I am doing through my foundation in the area of the creative arts in education, initiatives such as the LTTC Participation and Citizenship produce and create the Europe of the future, a Europe based on equality of rights and responsibilities for all its different peoples and cultures. It goes without saying that these projects provide the only reliable prospects for harmony and progress in a Europe liberated from the suicidal curse of exclusion, false theory and wrong practice embodied by racism, xenophobia, ultra-nationalism, religious fundamentalism and commercial homogenisation blights which are no longer tolerable in a Europe belonging to the twenty-first century: global developments must be compensated for by human development. On that note, I urge you to read on.

Acknowledgements The editing group wishes to thank all those who contributed to the production of this publication, and in particular: The participants in the Long Term Training Course (LTTC): Mohamed Ahmed Abdelgabar, Spain; Sonia Oduware Aimiumu, Italy; Eddy Clario, Ireland; Manuela Da Cruz Tavares, Portugal; Jan Feys, Belgium; Mohamed Haji-Kella, Finland; Rauf Hasandazeh, Denmark; Ivan Ivanov, Bulgaria; Leonid Kelim, Latvia; Anne Kivimae, Estonia; Vitalii Kyurkchu, Moldova; Dr Mdai Mnika, Hungary; Cristia Maksutovici, Romania; Igor Martinyuk, Ukraine; Nadia Mazzoni, Sweden; Maria Nikolova, Bulgaria; Edwin Nzwei, Finland; Lisa Omarkhadhieva, Russia; Lolita Opwapo, Sweden; Ausra Raisyte, Lithuania; Yassine Ramdani, France; Said Raouia, Italy; Robert Robertson, Iceland; Stanislav Romanenko, Russia; Pedro Roque, Portugal; Cihad Taskin, Germany; Norayr Tchakhalayan, Armenia; Sari Valimaki, Finland. Training team: Rui Gomes, Sweden; Sharon Holder, United Kingdom; Alexandra Raykova, Bulgaria; Jean-Philippe Restoueix, Council of Europe; Antje Rothemund, Council of Europe. The Secretariat of the European Youth Centre Budapest, Hungary. All the organisations and associations that supported the participants and their projects during the course.

Author's preface Dear Reader, The pilot project that this publication documents was in every respect an innovation and a unique experience for all who took part in it. I have had the pleasure of following the LTTC for Participation and Citizenship of Minority Youth in Europe from its conception. The publication you see before you is the culmination of these observations and the input of many other individuals and organisations. Can a European course be an effective and adequate means for meeting the training needs of youth workers acting in very different national, social, cultural and educational contexts?,1 one member of the team asked of another. The answer then was yes and the answer today is also yes. One of the intentions of this publication is to bear witness to this fact. Training carried out at European level is effective and has many advantages. Moreover, the specific methodology of such training is all-important to its effectiveness. The initiation of projects and local activities by minority youth leaders and workers through this training course amply demonstrates the results that can be achieved. Hence, the aim of this publication is to raise awareness among all those concerned by and interested in the importance of similar training projects at local and European level, to provide evidence that suitable and complementary training is an effective tool for change and empowerment in community relations and that pilot projects are effective provided they are sustained by the provision of educational support and guidance. If one were to be asked what the desired impact of this publication would be, then the list would be very long. The following is a just a brief selection: the creation of greater awareness of the need for complementary training for youth leaders from minority backgrounds; the demonstration of the importance of the European dimension in helping break down the national dichotomy of majority/minority relations as understood by policy makers and the youth sector; the demonstration of the value of this kind of training through a description of the project methodology; getting minority youth out of their ghettos by according European youth work status to the projects offered by the course and by breaking down stereotypes in regard of this type of work;

1. Rui Gomes, Navigare necesse est, report of the European Training for Youth Work in MultiCultural Settings: Long Term Pilot Project Against Exclusion, Service Nationale de la Jeunesse, Luxembourg, 1997, p. 1.

the recognition of and support for initiatives regarding working with minority youth; the demonstration of the relevance of this approach and type of work in responding to the realities of a multicultural Europe.

Needless to say, this publication is not a scientific study. However, qualitative techniques such as interviews have been used in gathering the information necessary. As will become evident, not all the projects presented in this publication are documented in the same detail. We have chosen to concentrate on seven examples of good practice, but have included a brief description of all the projects which were part of the training course. This will, we hope, give a clear overview of the nature of minority projects in Europe and their potential to bring about social change and improvements for minority youth. It is important to bear in mind the specificity of this publication. The projects documented relate to real people, with different personalities, and from different cultures. The backgrounds described are real. However, it is clearly impossible for such a publication to outline the specific situation of minorities in each country; neither is this desirable. The project descriptions rather reflect the environment within which the minority community lives and the perception of the youth worker of that environment. On that note, I would like to invite you to read on. I hope this publication will have the desired effect and that you will gain as much from reading it as I have gained from compiling it. Yael Ohana, Author Budapest, March, 1998

Contents Part I: The Long Term Training Course for Participation and Citizenship of Minority Youth in Europe Social analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Presentation of the training course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 The architecture of the training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Concrete objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Project criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Participant profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Results of the training course. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Part II: Minority youth projects in Europe Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Project inventory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Examples of good practice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Project one: Integration and participation course for minority youth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Project two: Integration by participation We dont just say we can, we do. So can you! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Project three: Psychosocial rehabilitation for young refugee children . . 82 Project four: Balance in education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Project five: Youth integration and culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Project six: Human rights for the Roma minority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Project seven: Video caf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

Part I The Long Term Training Course for Participation and Citizenship of Minority Youth in Europe

Social analysis
Europe is multicultural. It will be intercultural or never be EUROPE? In talking about Europe, one is immediately confronted with diversity and complexity. The Old continent is a place full of memories and painful history: a place where the worst was possible. Borders, diversity of religion, multiplicity of languages, all bear witness to this complexity. In the face of this, we have unfortunately very few adequate instruments of reflection. The task of thinking about Europe from a European point of view can seem to be too risky or too difficult. It is within this context that we should ask ourselves Is Europe a project for Europeans? The European project cannot only be institutional in nature. In the end, institutions represent only the tools with which we try to reach the goal. Surely human rights, the peaceful development of the European continent and respect for the rule of law should lie at the heart of this project, a common project for all people living on this continent, for people who willingly see their common future on the scale of the continent. Too often, however, such statements sound like unrealistic dreams. Sometimes they even sound like lies. Have European ideals lived up to their promises in reality? What can Europe possibly mean for young people who are excluded from the job market or from adequate housing? Indeed, what can Europe mean for minorities who face racism, discrimination and the negation of their rights on a daily basis? The European project often seems to be a white man's project. There is a risk that Europe will close itself off, like a fortress contemplating its past, sometimes being visited like a huge Euro-Disney for worldwide tourists. These contradictions between the dream and the reality of Europe lead either to disappointment, to the feeling that Europe is something imposed on the individual, or to disinterest and a lack of motivation on the part of citizens to engage in building this Europe. Every individual should be responsible for trying to overcome the fear and to break down the barriers that remain between Europe and its citizens. This can only be achieved by promoting participation and citizenship, intercultural dialogue and intercultural learning. It is in this way that Europe will become closer to each of us and a place where we have the opportunity to express our opinions daily. Equally, this can only be achieved if those who are usually excluded, those usually not heard, are permitted access to dignity and rights as active European citizens.


Participation and citizenship

It has become something of a commonplace to refer to the multicultural nature of Europe, even though that admittance does not imply recognition of the same quality in individual member states. The nation-state ideology which still prevails and is reflected in education and cultural policies leaves little margin for the expression and recognition of cultural difference. Europe is an ocean of cultural difference, with huge variations not just among the states that compose it, but within those states themselves. While we may be aware that there are many minorities in Europe, we are still mostly unaware of their complexity and diversity. Of course, a minority here is not a minority there, and a minority there can be a majority here. Similarly, it is very difficult to establish a definition of minorities that suits everyone and takes every minority into consideration. Historically, Europe is a continent where conflict and cultural exchange have been so closely interlinked and bound together that it is difficult to distinguish where one ends and the other begins. Cultural exchanges are themselves a source of tension, if not open conflict. History may teach nothing other than that respect for human rights and democracy is never entirely established or confirmed: it is a permanent field of work in which the advances produced by more or less universal common statements, beliefs and declarations are permanently questioned, whether it be in Sarajevo, in Grozny, or in the slums of Lisbon. Racism and discrimination, exclusion and the denial of full citizenship and human dignity take many forms and have become so banal that they are often perceived as the inevitable result of the construction and deconstruction of national identities, if not simply as intrinsic consequences of postmodern or neo-liberal societies. The Council of Europe and its member states resolved to address some of these issues in a Europe-wide campaign, in which the fight against racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and intolerance was the banner under which states and voluntary organisations could show their determination to never again allow the irrational to take over. Known as all different all equal, this campaign has drawn attention to the importance of such issues and, by means of the inherent results and frustrations highlighted the fact that change is a very slow process which must take place in peoples minds, that they have to learn and get used to translating their beliefs into attitudes and action and, finally, that for each act of exclusion and marginalisation there are ten attitudes of solidarity. The campaign also provided an opportunity for the Council of Europe and its partners to reach out to those sectors of society that had most often been neglected in the past, namely minority organisations. The campaign was also a youth campaign and, as such, it strove to motivate young people and involve them as partners, carriers of the message and as the actors that played the main roles. While during the one-year period that it was intended to last the all different all equal campaign mobilised, involved and recognised the irreplaceable role of civil society partnerships, it did so with very different results and types of experience in different countries. One of its most important dimensions was 12

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

the fact that it sought to involve minority young people, their communities and their organisations.

The special accent put on minority young people was determined by the following factors: 1. The fact that young people from minorities represent a bridge between past and future. They will be the interpreters of integration and of an intercultural Europe. They are the generation through which change can take place. In the dynamic process of the re-construction of cultural identity, young people from minorities are among the most vulnerable to exclusion and self-exclusion. Many minorities, regardless of the size of their communities, remain largely invisible for a multiplicity of reasons. From a European point of view, putting the spotlight on them would be a positive step towards their recognition and affirmation in their countries and societies. The results of exclusion, self-exclusion and discrimination have, in some cases, led to isolation or have entailed this risk. The result can be the manifestation of ghettos, whether social, cultural or educational. These are also responsible for xenophobia and the negative image that some minority cultures carry with them, although they can also have positive dimensions. Exclusion and discrimination, when perpetuated over generations, lead to powerlessness and disbelief in the democratic model of social organisation, so crucial to the European continent. 13




Participation and citizenship


Minorities are largely invisible to each other. Exclusion is accompanied by mutual exclusion, through which minorities project upon other minorities the fears, the resentment and the discrimination that they suffer themselves. Minorities are very diverse throughout Europe. Defining those with minority status is a complex business and sometimes dangerous as this can constitute another label worn by young people which serves to reinforce a non-European identity. There is, apparently, nothing more in common between a Gagauz in Moldova and an African refugee in Spain than between a Swede and a Spaniard. However, all of them should be entitled to benefit from the prospects of European integration and, similarly, to deal with its consequences. It can also be argued that they are likely to suffer from similar forms of discrimination and face similar barriers to integration, dignity and cultural integrity. A European perspective on minority issues is required to avoid new dichotomies and to progressively overcome the East-West split in defining who belongs to a minority and who does not that has replaced the cold war model of cultural and political relations in Europe. Young people from minorities, like anybody else, need to understand the history, culture and aspirations of other peoples as a pre-condition for a common understanding of the past and for mutual respect. Discovering the commonality of values and future aspirations is a necessary step for the development of co-operation and solidarity. Nation building and the reconstruction of national identities cannot be exclusive of the common responsibility human beings share for the world they live in. The rights of all minorities need to be included in this process. Rights claimed by national minorities need to embrace those of ethnic minorities, immigrants and refugees, as well as those of other minority groups, when forging the future of their nations. Intercultural education, as a dual process, cannot overlook the fact that young people from minorities also need intercultural education. Transnational European minorities of all origins, ethnically based or not (such as homosexuals, handicapped, Roma and others), require a special European approach. This cannot be assured solely by national policies or organisations, especially with people whose geographical roots transgress national borders.





10. The issues of and challenges faced by minorities in Europe need to be understood within the broad perspective of the consolidation and the development of civil society throughout Europe and, particularly, in central and eastern Europe. 11. Innovative pilot projects can be efficient tools to demonstrate the effectiveness of intercultural education in action and its positive effects in redu14

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

cing prejudice, scapegoating and discrimination. Working together with majority and minority young people from different backgrounds is a powerful example and practical instrument for promoting understanding and acceptance in respect of the other. 12. European programmes concerned with the mobility of young people allow them to develop personally and professionally, but may be disappointing for some. Fortress Europe is a reality for many young people with barriers to their actual mobility, such as refusal of visa applications, refugees denied access at borders and restrictions due to inadequate facilities. 13. Optimism is a state of mind that requires effective and concrete action. We all have the right to hope that the genocide and the acts of barbarism that Europe has witnessed in the past and in recent history will not take place again. However, we have the right to optimism only when we have ensured that everything has been done to actually prevent such atrocities from happening again. 14. Minorities in general, and young people from minorities in particular, have had reduced access to the European institutions and their programmes. This has been the result of gaps in education and of subtle forms of structural discrimination. These can only be overcome by providing examples of good practice and by a particular effort to sensitise both civil servants and decision makers to their role in perpetuating and overcoming such discrimination. 15. Participation means, in the first place, feeling part of society and, in the second place, being willing and able to participate in it. The value added to minority youth participation by the European dimension, through the supranational attitude it entails and by de-stigmatising minority perceptions, can hardly be replaced exclusively by national policies only. Both are necessary and need to be implemented hand in hand. 16. The risks of the adoption of a defiant attitude, namely one of revolt and negative identification, are inherent to being young. When they are combined with low self-esteem and regular forms of discrimination and exclusion, they can breed the germs of fanaticism and fundamentalism, to which young people from minority groups are likely to be prone given their social and economic status. Europe and European projects represent formidable tools for positive prevention and treatment of such attitudes, while respecting the needs of each young person in developing their cultural and social identity. 17. Europe can only be at peace with itself when it has overcome and understood past errors and present responsibilities. The cultural stigmas and corresponding security measures placed on minorities such as immigrants and asylum seekers are still too common and need to be balanced (and 15

Participation and citizenship

counter-balanced) by strong determination to seek integration mechanisms respectful of basic human rights and dignity. 18. The perception of a shared view of the past and of a common future cannot be solely based on formal education and history teaching, given their foundation in national definitions of citizens rights and responsibilities. The role of youth work and of out-of-school education are of prime importance as they provide positive examples of participation and can build on role models accessible to young people from minorities. 19. Victimisation, on the one hand, and patronising attitudes towards minorities on the part of members of the majority, on the other, do not encourage empathy and tolerance. Similarly, guilt is more likely to produce resentment than solidarity. The necessary interaction between minority and majority young people is a process, a result of which can be the dissolution of frontiers between minority and majority. The romanticising of the cultural heritage of minorities still prevents young people from satisfying their desire to be different and yet equal in rights to their neighbours and fellow citizens. Citizenship is autonomy and responsibility. 20. Minority-majority relations are influenced by cultural difference as much as by other factors, namely the conditions for participation on an equal footing in the shaping of society. They cannot, therefore, be understood nor dealt with only from a perspective of cultural relations without falling into the trap of over-ethnicising cultural relations. An integrated intercultural approach needs to provide an understanding of societal issues of global importance while, at the same time, preventing the use of approaches that lead to cultural relativism, under which everything would be acceptable on the altar of cultural difference. Youth work and out-of-school education must be able to benefit from and integrate the different dimensions affecting majority and minority youth relations, both at the local and at the European levels. 21. The intrinsic diversity of situations in Europe, within each country (for example, between inner cities and rural areas) and between countries, requires a common approach to intercultural relations that takes into account the specificities of each situation and builds upon general principles of analysis and action. This would allow each social partner to place its action within a European context and would prevent stigmatisation (over-emphasis on some minority groups, the neglect of others), which in itself can be a factor in social exclusion. 22. Minority-majority relations interest several institutions and public policy areas (social affairs, youth affairs, immigration, education, etc.). For too many years, however, they have only been implicitly or sectorally addressed by European youth policies. The non-existence, until recently, of representative structures of minority and intercultural youth work at the European level has also resulted in alienation from Europe and European 16

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

youth policy. Representative European structures and networks are needed in order to provide a dissemination of information and access to Europe for young people from minorities. The Youth Directorate, particularly aware of this need after the youth campaign all different all equal, cannot ignore this fact in pursuing the development of the associative life of young people at European level, in co-operation with its institutional governmental and non-governmental partners.


Participation and citizenship

Reaching multipliers It is no coincidence that the scarce resources of the youth sector are to a large extent invested in training activities for a public of multipliers for the ideas, competence and motivation generated through such training courses. Youth workers and youth leaders active in associations and organisations are considered as multipliers of social change, having the commitment, the infrastructure and the direct contact with the young people concerned to play such a role in society. Political, civic and intercultural education are areas of intervention for which the Youth Directorate of the Council of Europe is well equipped. The experiences of the European Youth Campaign all different all equal brought to the surface the need for training of minority youth, and made It clear that the level of goodwill for action in this field is not at all matched by the resources made available. Local and innovative pilot projects are, at the moment, considered as one of the best means of transmitting the idea of a European civil society to the population. However, the call for pilot projects cannot be legitimate if the necessary skills, knowledge and competence are not provided at the same time. Tasks and responsibility are delegated by the governmental to the non-governmental sector without adequate support to ensure the highest possible impact of such projects, which hardly seems effective. On the other hand, the training provided needs to be applied in practice: training cannot create synergies without adequate project funding and projects cannot reach their objectives without the necessary training of those people working at grass-roots level. The Council of Europe, by its nature, relies a great deal on the assistance of the non-governmental sector in pursuing its aims: safeguarding human rights, working towards a democratic European civil society and the active participation of its citizens. A coherent approach in youth policy, as regards training provision, project funding and access to the decision-making structures for young people from minorities will be the most efficient way to guarantee the multiplication of the Council of Europe's activities and the creation of wide synergies all over Europe.


Presentation of the training course

A pilot training course on empowerment1 of minority youth in Europe The Long Term Training Course for minority youth leaders was organised by the Youth Directorate of the Council of Europe for the first time in 1997. The following will allow the reader to understand something of the origins, nature and specificity of the methodology and approach of this training course. 1. History Following a declaration of the heads of state and governments of the member states of the Council of Europe in 1993, a European Youth Campaign against racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and intolerance was organised to mobilise young people as protagonists of an open and tolerant society. Within the framework of this European Youth Campaign, known as all different all equal, a number of training courses for minority youth and youth leaders were organised.2 These training courses facilitated the widening of the involvement of partners in the Council of Europe youth structures which until recently had had difficulty in accessing such representation. At the same time, they highlighted the need for the training and empowerment of young people from minorities in Europe. In its declaration on the follow up to the European Youth Campaign, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe underlined the continuous need to train representatives of minorities and the necessity of opening up the relevant Council of Europe structures to all representatives of civil society. The Youth Directorate of the Council of Europe proposed this training course as a means of deepening the networks and contacts with new partners established during the European Youth Campaign and in order to contribute further to the empowerment of minority youth in Europe. It is in this spirit that the aim of the training was decided upon: to train and empower minority youth leaders to develop projects and associative strategies committed to the development of a civil society based on participation, intercultural education and human rights in a European perspective. As will become apparent from the rest of this report, the projects and commitment to the creation of a more representative and inclusive Europe that have
1. Empowerment should be understood in a broad sense as strategies to overcome or counter situations of discrimination, oppression or isolation. 2. Training Courses: Situations and Perspectives of Young People from Roma/Gypsy and Traveller Backgrounds in Europe (April 1995, Strasbourg, France), Situations and Perspectives of Minority Young People in Europe (May 1995, Levoca, Slovakia), Situation and Perspectives of Young People with Migrant or Refugee Backgrounds (February, 1995, Strasbourg, France), Training Course for youth and social workers in a multicultural context (April, 1995, Barcelona, Spain), Training Course on Peer Group Education as a Means to Fight Racism, Anti-Semitism, Xenophobia and Intolerance (February 1995, Strasbourg, France).


Participation and citizenship

resulted from this training course have created synergies and knock-on effects that have been instrumental in helping to overcome situations of exclusion and discrimination caused by racism, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance.

2. The architecture of the training

PHASE I Introduction Seminar on Training and Project Development.1

PHASE II Project Phase Project Implementation in participants' home countries.2

PHASE III Evaluation Seminar Project Evaluation and Complementary Training.3

1. Residential seminar held at the European Youth Centre Budapest, Hungary, 28 May-7 June 1997. 2. 9 June to 28 November 1997. 3. Residential seminar held in the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg, from 29 November6 December 1997.


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

3. Concrete objectives To support new forms of participation and representation of minority youth, in particular those resulting from the Council of Europe's campaign all different all equal. To discuss and enhance the representation of minority youth in European youth associations and structures. To reflect on issues such as identity, nationalism, Europe, discrimination, social exclusion and majority-minority relations. To exchange and analyse the challenges posed by racism and xenophobia. To initiate innovative projects on participation and citizenship and document good practice. To develop methods and practical approaches in order to translate solidarity, empathy, democracy and citizenship into youth work practice. To enable participants to prepare, run and evaluate a project. To provide specific skills training relevant to participants' projects and the development of their organisation. To inform participants about European institutions and youth structures and opportunities provided by their programmes and policies on youth and minority issues. To motivate and enable participants to share their acquired knowledge, information and experience as widely as possible and act as multipliers on the issues of intercultural education, equal opportunities and empowerment of minority youth after the course. To gather contributions for the future development of a Council of Europe policy as regards minority youth in Europe.

4. Methodology This pilot training was a Long Term Training Course. The LTTC methodology training was developed by the Youth Directorate of the Council of Europe to cater for the training needs of youth workers and leaders of youth associations working at European and national levels. At the time of its introduction in 1990, it represented a strong innovation, both in methodological terms and in terms of the intensity of the training. The LTTC is based on an intercultural approach, another unique feature. The initiation of the LTTC for citizenship and participation of minority youth in Europe represents a qualitative development in the field of the training of youth workers at the European level. This is due to the application of the intercultural approach, comprising a European dimension, in training a public until recently only rarely reached by the Youth Directorate.


Participation and citizenship

There are a number of specific factors that strongly influenced the choice of methodology in working with minority youth workers and leaders. They are as follows: The LTTC is the most inclusive European approach to training youth workers available to date. The three-phase construction, including a project development phase, allows for the translation of which is learned in the introduction into youth work practice and for a solid evaluation of the training process. The LTTC provides a bridge between local level minority youth work and the European dimension, often considered to be distant and irrelevant to the everyday reality of working with minority youth. The LTTC is the most intensive form of training available in the Youth Directorate. The LTTC is the only training model that goes beyond the short-term perspective of other training provision for youth workers and leaders. The intensity of the LTTC creates a strong commitment among participants towards future involvement in networking and to the inclusion of a European dimension in their projects. A European setting provides minority youth leaders with useful contacts and exchange and enriches and places value on specific work they are doing in their home countries. The projects carried out by participants gives the training a concrete and immediate relevance for participants, their associations and the people they work with.

The course is designed as an experiment in learning and exchange. The experience and insights of the participants are the starting points of the training process. With young people from a wide diversity of minority communities living in twenty-three European countries participating,1 the multicultural group was a forum for intercultural learning in itself. The training course was run in English, French and Russian, the diversity of languages providing an interesting and useful instance for intercultural reflection alongside the formal inputs on intercultural learning. During the residential phases, the team of trainers covered a series of themes relevant to the objectives of the course, including Europe, intercultural learning and citizenship and participation. The practical dimension of the training was assured by inputs and activities on project management and skills training in intercultural learning methodology and evaluation. The methodology is such that it facilitates the maximum participation of the group, through the use of interactive and communicative methods. The accent put on the individual participant during the training process allows the person to overcome self-defence/protection mechanisms and stigmatisation.

1. One of the pillars of the selection process was to ensure the representation of a wide diversity of minorities and a geographical balance among participants.


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

As outlined above, the second phase is a project phase, during which each participant organises and implements a project related to the issues of the training. The projects are an essential part of the course and of its methodology. As a tool for learning, they allow participants to put into practice what was learned during the first phase. As concrete initiatives, they contribute to improving the participation opportunities for minority young people and provide examples of good practice for the future. 5. Project criteria While this pillar of the methodology will be elaborated in more detail in the second part of this report, it is worthwhile to mention here the criteria established for assessing the projects presented by applicants to the LTTC during the participant selection procedure. The following criteria were established by the trainers' team and were set out in the course presentation distributed to the target publics of the course: Projects should aim at empowering young people from minorities and at removing barriers to their participation; Projects should be concrete and relevant, reflecting the situation and challenges faced by the minority or minorities that they address; Projects should be based on an intercultural approach; Projects should have clear aims and objectives; Projects should be run by and for young people; Projects should be carried out within the framework of an organisation or association; Projects should be initiated during the course (i.e. before the end of November 1997);

As regards the financing of the projects, participants received information and advice about different European funding sources during the introductory phase of the seminar. The Council of Europe, however, could not make any commitment to finance the projects of the participants. Fundraising and the financial management of the projects were the sole responsibility of the project leader (the participant) and of the sending organisation, group or association. 6. Participant profile Two particular groups of participants were especially targeted by this training: Minority youth leaders who are active in European networks resulting from the Council of Europe Youth Campaign against Racism, Anti-Semitism, Xenophobia and Intolerance and/or who are active in local, regional or national associations and are interested in developing strategies and projects around participation and citizenship for minority youth. Other youth leaders and youth workers who are interested in developing strategies and projects around participation and citizenship with minority youth in their organisations. 23

Participation and citizenship

In both cases participants had to be: willing to undergo and set up a project within the framework of the training; aged between 18-35 years; willing and able to attend for the full duration of the course; supported by their organisation or association; able to work in English, French or Russian.


Results of the training course

What has been achieved by the LTTC in terms of citizenship and participation of young people from minorities in Europe?
Relating to minoritymajority relations

The course 1. The course highlighted the positive role of young people from minorities in Europe and the importance of allowing them to make their contribution to the development of multicultural societies based on equality, dignity and solidarity. Being a direct follow-up to the European Youth Campaign all different all equal and its participative spirit, the course followed the principle working with minorities rather than for minorities, or worse still, about minorities. The participants, over 80% of whom come from minority backgrounds, showed, through the intensity of their learning and development and by the planning and running of participative minority youth projects both short and long term, the extent to which they are able and willing to contribute to the development of multicultural and civil society and to be independent in their action. Community relations were bridged by making local or national minority communities visible and by de-stigmatising complexes about being a minority. Participants projects and training, being part of a wider European policy, gained respect and acceptance, resulting in a feeling of confidence and pride among participants and at the same time, positive publicity about action undertaken by minorities. The mere fact that young people from minorities were seen as the initiators and organisers of positive action rather than being the subject of negative news in the media contributed to their visibility and helped to demonstrate the kind of role they can play in building associative and community life. 3. The course helped to overcome minority-majority dichotomies at local, national and European levels. The analysis of the situation of young people from minorities cannot be completed without putting it in its social context. Becoming aware of the interdependence of people in a community, within a nation state and on the continent, and realising that young people share similar problems, be they from minority or majority communities, that minorities have faced similarly difficult situations, be they from north, south, east or west, are an important precondition to working towards a peaceful co-existence. 25


Participation and citizenship

Relating to citizenship and participation 4. The course contributed to breaking the isolation and closed nature of minority groups and communities in Europe and stressed the importance of active citizenship and open identities as preconditions for the full involvement and responsible participation of the younger generations of minority communities. One of the striking elements in participants' evaluation of this course was the formulation of its impact in terms of the addition of new perspectives to their work. Minority groups in Europe, often thrown back or retreating into the exclusivity of their own groups in their national and local contexts, found, in this course, the potential and the motivation to seek co-operation and dialogue with other groups in society and rewards in doing so. Initiated by the exchange between participants in the course, such opening-up in approach could be transported back to participants' countries, resulting, inter alia, in the large number of projects emphasising dialogue between minorities and majorities, the interest of the media and the widening scope of the projects for the duration of the course. Further impetus was given to the development and consolidation of civil society and democratic participation structures in some countries and local communities. The theme of the course, Participation and Citizenship, added an irreplaceable dimension of reflection on the construction of civil society and the role of the individual, and in particular, minority youth therein, a concrete example being the creation of a new association. This was considered an innovative dimension in participants' youth work practice and as a challenge for the educational planning of the course. The projects started debates in local communities and amongst the different actors in civil society, brought the item onto the agenda and improved relations between the authorities and minority groups in several cases.


Relating to youth work practice 6. The course provided examples of good practice in communication and mediation at local and national levels between majority and minority young people, as well as of inter-minority co-operation, and created a pool of expertise in local projects involving minority young people with a capacity to multiply the projects and the approaches in their communities and institutions. The projects that were put into practice did not only reach a large number of young people from minorities and majorities all over Europe, but were in themselves innovative examples of how to approach challenges concerning the relations between majority and minority populations and within and between minority groups. The expertise created at local and international levels will in future be an important asset to organisations, institutions and various communities. 7. Intercultural education and confidence building were translated into accessible and usable concepts in conflict situations through youth work and out-of-school education projects; Making concepts of a peaceful


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

multicultural society an operational method for education is the challenge to most youth workers and other educationalists. The experience of the youth sector of the Council of Europe in this field is vital for assisting this process of translation. The application of educational methods for programmes of intercultural learning and confidence building, conflict resolution and co-operation are, if successful, a way out of situations of feeling helpless, or that It is all so complicated, what can I do to solve such big problems, or that Young people cannot understand the complexity of society. To feel for different cultures and to be more confident, to have solved a conflict are the motivations to continue the work and promote a feeling of progress and success. Within this course, participants' personal experiences provided an important, realistic and practical dimension to the training. For example, the experiences of someone living in an area of war or conflict or being continuously confronted with racism and discrimination in daily life had profound effects on the process of training undertaken. 8. The course fostered a competent and coherent approach to youth work with young people. The development of the course concept, itself based in a reflection on the training needs of minority youth leaders (for instance working with multicultural groups, youth participation approaches, project planning and implementation, intercultural education, conflict resolution, dealing with racism and discrimination) gave a unique structure to the course, as well as ensuring it a special place within the programme of the Council of Europe's youth sector. The shaping and formulation of tailor-made projects for minority youth brought the work done in this field out of the closet and created a competent basis for present and future work. 9. The course sensitised NGOs and government institutions to the importance of youth work with minority young people. The projectrelated contacts and the impact of the discussions on the issues within NGOs and the governmental funding institutions were considered as positive, as open debate could offset some of the existing scepticism towards minority youth work and make the different actors in youth work familiar with the work done in the field. The documentation and publication of the results of the course and its projects contribute greatly to making the work done by minority youth leaders better known. Relating to the European dimension 10. The course motivated the aspirations of European youth organisations to further integrate and embrace young people from minorities, and 27

Participation and citizenship

emphasised the need for an integral approach to participation and representation of these young people in Europe, by involving them in the existing youth associations and structures and by recognising and supporting efforts to create international/European minority youth organisations and networks. The involvement of the European Youth Forum and some 28

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

participants from its member organisations and the representatives of existing European minority youth organisations and networks showed, on the one hand, the interest of many youth organisations in involving minority youth in their work and creating fruitful co-operation and, on the other, proved the need for minority youth and local organisations to be informed about the existing work in the field at the European level and through many organisations at national level. The majority of participants in the course, due to structural, historical or social barriers, knew little or were not informed about the work of European organisations and were astonished to see that youth participation structures exist at the European level, to the extent of co-management structures within the Council of Europe youth sector. The contact with representatives of European minority youth networks gave participants the feeling of being an important part of a European youth scene. The dialogue created might lead to access to these structures for minority youth and help the European organisations to respond better to the needs of minority youth organisations. 11. The course motivated the participants and NGOs to continue further work towards European integration and to develop approaches to national minority issues. The participants, mainly representing local and national NGOs and youth services, acted as multipliers of the European training, both by giving their projects a European dimension and by opening up the European dimension to their organisations or services. A European approach to issues concerning national minorities, in the perspective of European integration, emerged as a promising means of solving existing conflicts. Participants stressed, in particular, the supportive effect of the project being considered part of a Council of Europe training, especially when addressing, inter alia, funding institutions and the media. It has to be stated, however, that several participants met rejection in their regional or local youth services or associations when attempting to implement their projects: the European project of the participant was considered as competition to the local and regional work of the service or organisation, rather than a complementary asset to its work. Local and national organisations and institutions often underestimate the value of international work. Relating to the work of the Council of Europe 12. The course gave an irreplaceable practical meaning to the Council of Europes values and action for local and national communities who often feel alienated. The Council of Europe, as well as European institutions in general, are often considered to be far away from the realities of people's lives, their action being seen as going over the heads of people and irrelevant at the local and national levels. The information about European programmes and funding received by participants will provide access to funding for future projects. 29

Participation and citizenship

The direct link between the Council of Europe's values and local projects was easily established, without the necessity of passing through the national or intermediate level. 13. Contacts and networks initiated during the Council of Europe's all different all equal campaign were consolidated and secured. One outcome of the European Youth Campaign's minority training courses was the first proposal regarding the expression of the very specific training needs of minority youth leaders. This proposal was linked to the hope of continuing the work done during the campaign and to widening the networks created. The course has made its modest contribution in this field. However, synergies will need to be created to keep the already dispersed networks alive. The recruitment of participants for this first pilot course was greatly supported by individuals and organisations which had been active during the campaign. It needs to be mentioned, however, that the small number of follow-up activities to the campaign created extremely high expectations of this course as regards its political impact and potential influence on the decision making and programme structures of the Council of Europe's youth sector and other relevant directorates. 14. The course integrated minority young people's issues and challenges into European and national youth policy fora, particularly within the Council of Europe's Youth Directorate. The follow-up programme of the European Youth Campaign all different all equal, being less exhaustive than desired by the main actors of the campaign, was also meant to be a means of putting work with minority youth on the agenda of national and European youth policies as a permanent item. As regards the Youth Directorate, it can already be stated that the decision-making bodies consider this type of course an important complementary element to the youth sector's programme and gave it high priority. This can be seen from the fact that there will be a repetition of the course in 1998. Hopefully, this or similar courses will become a permanent feature of the programme of the Youth Directorate in the future. Effective youth research should lead to the implementation of policy. From this work, specific topics for research can be defined, with a strategic and coherent approach to providing high quality work, which may be translatable at local and national levels. The social and political development of young people is of recognised importance by institutions such as the Council of Europe, and responsibility for delivery is ever present. It is expected that the expertise and contacts created by this course will lead to co-operation between the Council of Europe's Youth Directorate and the Directorate for Education, Culture and Sport. This activity will mainly involve cultural youth projects which aim to enhance participation and active citizenship, and will respond to the Plan of Action defined by the Summit of Heads of States and Government held in Strasbourg in 1997. At the national level, it is expected, that the stimulus given to associative life (notably through the National Youth Councils) will have a positive impact on national youth policy in a medium to long-term perspective. 30

Part II Minority youth projects in Europe

This section documents minority projects in Europe. The projects were proposed, planned and carried out by the participants of the LTTC for Participation and Citizenship. The projects were an essential part of the course and of its methodology. The project plays a dual role in the training process of the LTTC. As a tool for learning it allows participants to put into practice what they have learned during the introductory seminar. As a concrete initiative, the project contributes to improving the participation opportunities of minority young people. Hence, the projects provide examples of good practice for future minority youth work. The projects also facilitate the transmission of the course methodology to a wider audience within the field of minority youth work. Among other important aspects (such as the personal and vocational development of the individual participants), the projects present concrete proof of the effectiveness of the training carried out during the course. They offer a solid and concrete basis on which to evaluate the need for such training. Hence, the overall aim of this section of the report is to demonstrate the effects and impacts of the LTTC for Citizenship and Participation, through the concrete experience of the projects and their carriers. In addition, the effectiveness of the projects highlights the responsibility of local and national authorities, of international organisations such as the Council of Europe and of other social partners to continue to support such initiatives. Among all the projects launched by those who participated in the training, we have chosen seven, which are documented here in particular detail. These projects are considered as particularly useful examples of good practice and were chosen by the team of trainers according to the following criteria: the diversity and variety of minority communities and realities represented by the projects overall; the potential of each project for making a long-term contribution to the empowerment of minority youth; the representation of different socio-educational approaches across the projects documented; the dimension, realism and ambition of each project chosen; projects that were completed or nearing completion at the time of the preparation of this book; a geographical and gender balance amongst the project leaders.

What is a European Youth Project for Citizenship and Participation? What makes this type of project different from any other youth project? 33

Participation and citizenship

Empowerment All the projects were aimed at empowering minority young people and at removing barriers to their participation. Within the course, empowerment and participation were understood in a broad sense as strategies to overcome or counter situations of discrimination, oppression or isolation. The form of the projects varied according to each country, minority and organisation represented by the participants in the course. Intercultural approach The projects were all based on an intercultural approach. The aims and activities undertaken by the projects aimed to contribute to a better understanding and acceptance of minority cultures or groups and of their rights. Young people and participation The projects were run by and for young people. The project carriers were youth leaders or representatives of young people (for example members of a youth organisation) and young people were the ultimate target group. Young people played an active role during the entire duration of project. The promotion of young peoples' interests was also an important aspect of these projects. The associative dimension The projects were carried out in the framework of an organisation or association. Purely individual projects were not considered suitable for participation in the training course. The projects were understood as tools for the initiation of a multiplication of the training within the associations and communities represented by the individual participants. The nature and size of the organisations and associations represented varied (from small and local associations to national or European organisations), as did the form (informal association, foundation, federation, etc.). Relevance The projects were concrete and relevant, reflecting the situation and challenges faced by the minority or minorities that they addressed. They had local, regional, national and/or European dimensions and aimed at removing the barriers to participation of minorities at social, political and educational levels. They addressed a particular local community but they often also embraced different minority organisations. The projects had clear aims and objectives. For this purpose, the projects all had both a beginning and an end even if a follow-up is foreseen so as to allow an evaluation and assessment of the results achieved. Initiation All the projects were initiated during the course (that is before the end of November, 1997). Due to the diverse nature and size of the projects, it was not always possible to finish the projects before the evaluation seminar. However, to benefit from the support of the trainers' team and in order to allow for an evaluation, some activities had to be undertaken within the framework of each project before the end of November, except in extenuating circumstances. 34

Project inventory
The following briefly describes all twenty-nine projects which participated in the LTTC for Citizenship and Participation. The information presented here was collected in a series of interviews with participants and reflects their interpretation of the questions asked.

Mohamed Ahmed Abdelgabar Movement for Development, Peace and Liberty Seville, Spain Community: Sudanese refugee living in Spain African, Arab and Muslim minorities Profession: Medical doctor Issues: Participation and citizenship, intercultural learning, being part of a minority, the situation of minorities in Spain Project: Vamos Juntos (Lets go together). Creation of a Youth Centre for African immigrants living in Seville, in order to encourage the self-organisation of the African collective in Seville, the social integration of the African minority living in Spain, the promotion of the African collective in Spain Place: Seville, Spain Target Group: African immigrants under 35 years of age living in Seville, Spain Geographical Scope: Town and region (province of Seville) Project Type: Youth Centre


Participation and citizenship

Sonia Aimiumu "Alma Terra" Centre Via Norberto Rosa, 13 A, Bariera D1, Turin, Italy Community: Nigerian Profession: Singer and Artist Mediator Issues: Citizenship, participation, Europe, minorities, empowerment Project: Youth Integration and Culture Seminar on health education for minorities. Brought together minority women, health workers and representatives of the health authorities in Turin to discuss the health education needs of minorities Place: Turin, Italy Target Group: Minority women living in Turin and the surrounding area Geographical Scope: Town and region Project Type: Health education


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Eddy Clario1 The Cities Anti-Racism Project Dublin, Ireland Community: Congo/Zairian Profession: Student of Business Issues: Integration, human rights, racism and intolerance Project: Mosaic Radio programme for minorities Place: Dublin, Ireland Target Group: All age groups and generations of people Geographical Scope: Town and neighbourhood Project Type: Media and information

1. Could not participate in the evaluation seminar due to university exams.


Participation and citizenship

Manuela Da Cruz Tavares Association Cabo Jovem Rua Angelina Vidal, 57, Cave-Sala, 06, 1170 Lisbon, Portugal Community: Naturalised Angolan living in Portugal Black African woman Citizen of Cap Verde Profession: Law student and volunteer Issues: Improvement of conditions for immigrants in Portugal, cultural pride, identity, self-development and confidence building Project: Centrus Creation of a centre for young people from different ethnic origins, including the majority, where they can meet, discuss, participate in professional training, socialise and participate in symposia and debates Place: Lisbon, Italy Target Group: Young people between the ages of 16 and 30 from different ethnic origins (Angola, South Tom, Cap Verde, Guinea Bissau/Senegal, Mozambique, Brazil, Portugal) Geographical Scope: Region Project Type: Youth centre Training Integration


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Jan Feys Pedagogical Institute J.L. Vives Cordouaniersstraat, 13, 8000 Bruges, Belgium Community: Flemish Profession: Youth Worker Graduate of Political and Social Science (Communications option) and Development Aid. Issues: Intercultural learning, tools for youth work, multicultural settings. Project: Play Colourfully play project with youngsters from Flemish and minority communities (mainly immigrant background). Organisation of Intercultural recreation and leisure-time activities for children from minority and majority backgrounds. Place: Antwerp. Middlekirche, Kinessalare, Brugge, Belgium. Target Group: Flemish and minority children who participate in youth centres, Flemish and minority children who participate in recreation projects, Children of immigrants and refugees living in Brugge. Geographical Scope: Local and regional Project Type: Play project. Leisure time-activities


Participation and citizenship

Mohamed Haji-Kella Migrants Initiative for Employment Nokiantie 24, 00510 Helsinki, Finland Community: Sierra Leonese living in Finland Profession: Student Youth and social support worker Adviser to immigrant groups Issues: The effective integration of minority youth, looking at minority issues positively Project: Multicultural youth project Creation of a youth centre where young people from different minorities (Russian, Vietnamese, Somali, other African) and from the majority can find a safe space to meet and run activities of interest to them Peer group education project Place: Helsinki, Finland Target Group: Young people from various ethnic backgrounds and from the majority Finnish society between 16 and 23 years of age Geographical Scope: Town Project Type: Youth Centre


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Rauf Hasanzadeh1 Pan-Danish Organisation for Ethnic Minorities Norre Alle 7, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark Community: Kurdish from Iran Profession: Adviser to local minority groups Issues: Bringing new ideas about equal opportunities to Danish society. Promotion of mutual integration Project: National Youth Conference Place: Copenhagen, Denmark Target Group: Representatives of NGOs representing ethnic minority and majority youth between the ages of 20 and 30 years Community institutions Local authorities Geographical Scope: National Project Type: Conference

1. Could not participate in the evaluation seminar for financial reasons. At the time he was unemployed and by leaving Denmark would have lost his unemployment benefit.


Participation and citizenship

Ivan Ivanov Human Rights Project Solunska str. 23, 6th Floor, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria Community: Roma in Bulgaria Profession: Law student and legal consultant Issues: Participation and human rights of Roma in Bulgaria Project: Human rights for the Roma minority Human rights education and training for young multipliers in Roma communities around Bulgaria Human rights monitoring, information gathering and information meetings. Seminars on human rights education Place: Various towns in Bulgaria where human rights abuse of Roma takes place Target Group: Young people from the Roma minority living in local communities between the ages of 18 and 35 years Geographical Scope: National Project Type: Human rights education


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Leonid Kelim NGO "Culture, Tolerance, Friendship" Lielvardes 121-70, Riga, 1084 Latvia Community: Latvian and Jewish Profession: Legal adviser to companies Issues: Participation of people from minorities in social and political life of Latvia and their integration. Raising the awareness of these young people Project: The Youth Centre for Integration Language training courses (Latvian language) and integration opportunities for Russian-speaking youth. Creating opportunities for young people from minority and majority backgrounds to meet and learn together Place: Riga, Latvia Target Group: Russian-speaking and Latvian youth between the ages of 15 and 18 years living in Riga Geographical Scope: Town Project Type: Language training


Participation and citizenship

Emilia Khalilova The Azerbaijani Youth Association of Georgia Gorgasali str, 17, Tbilisi 380005, Georgia Community: Azerbaijani minority in Georgia Profession: History teacher and philologist Issues: National minorities, encouraging minorities to have confidence in their own capabilities, motivating minorities to participate Project: Historical reality of the Caucasus - seminar on historical questions in the region Place: Cultural Centre of Azerbaijan, Tbilisi, Georgia Target Group: Young people of different nationalities living in Tbilisi between the ages of 16 and 35 years Geographical Scope: Town Project Type: Seminar and conference


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Vitalii Kyurkchu Centre for Social and Cultural Development and Co-operation Comrat, Galatsan St, 17, Republic of Moldova 3800 Community: Gagauz Profession: Economist and assistant professor Issues: Human rights Project: Creation of an information and resource centre for young people from Gagauz and other backgrounds living in the region Seminar on human rights and minorities in the transition in Moldova Place: Comrat, Republic of Moldova Target Group: Young people from all backgrounds Students and school children Youth workers and those working with young people. Age: 1530 years Geographical Scope: Regional Project Type: Youth Centre Seminar


Participation and citizenship

Dr Madai Monika Common Fate Organisation for Disabled and Able-bodied Youth Nagysandor Jozsef utca, 94, 1196 Budapest, Hungary Community: Woman with disability (cerebral palsy since birth) Profession: Researcher Issues: Recognition of the needs and requirements of young people with disabilities for integration into able-bodied society Project: Balance in Education a seminar on the potential for creating integrated education for people with disabilities and the able-bodied in Hungary Place: Budapest, Hungary Target Group: Pupils and students (able-bodied and with disabilities). Specialists from ordinary educational establishments Experts and professionals from special education establishments Parents and teachers Geographical Scope: Town Project Type: Seminar


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Anne Kivimae Department of Education of the City of Narva Keresa 20, 2000 Narva, Estonia Community: Estonian living in a majority Russian-speaking area (Narva) Profession: Adviser on youth issues Issues: Dealing with isolation, social apathy, low self-esteem and a lack of activity, awareness among young people Project: Youth Participation organisation of a seminar to discuss the interests of young people in Narva youth work and policies Providing information about youth organisations, youth work and the youth policies of the city of Narva Place: Narva Target Group: Minority youth in Estonia Russian-speaking minority in Narva Majority young people Age: 1422 Geographical Scope: Town and regional Project Type: Youth information and seminar


Participation and citizenship

Cristia Maksutovici The Cultural Union of Albanians in Romania Piata Walter Maracineanu, 1-3, Et. 3 cam. 262, sect. 1, Bucharest, Romania Community: Albanian living in Romania Mixed religious and family background Profession: Teacher Marketing co-ordinator Issues: Empowerment, intercultural learning and identity Project: National minority participation in Romanian civil society Place: Bucharest Target Group: Young people from the majority (students of law, economics and stomatology, representatives of the cultural foundation of Romanian youth) Representatives of the cultural foundation of minorities of Romanian government. National youth organisations of minorities in Romania Geographical Scope: National Project Type: Workshop and seminar


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Igor Martinyuk1 Crimean Research Centre for Minorities 4 Yaltinskaya street, Simferopol State University, 333036 Simferopol, Ukraine Community: Ukrainian Profession: Researcher Issues: Minority protection in Europe Project: Civil society development and national minority rights institution forming in Crimea and Ukraine a seminar and lectures on the development of civil society and rights for minorities in Crimea and Ukraine Place: Simferopol, Ukraine Target Group: Representatives of the majority (i.e. Russians and Ukrainians) and representatives of the Crimean Tatar minority Geographical Scope: Town Project Type: Seminar and lecture series

1. Moved from Ukraine to Hungary for the purpose of continuing his studies during the second phase and did not attend the evaluation seminar.


Participation and citizenship

Nadia Mazzoni1 Nord Gay Foundation for Homosexual Culture Klungsg. 52 A, 21213 Malm, Sweden Community: Bisexual woman Second generation immigrant Profession: Unemployed Issues: Promotion of comprehension between people Identity and understanding others Project: Jeu de rles Space for Dialogue. Theatre project for various cultural, sexual and religious minorities Place: Malm, Sweden. Potentially an international activity Target Group: Various cultural, sexual and religious minorities Geographical Scope: Urban and/or international Project Type: Theatre project

1. For reasons of new employment, Nadia was not able to participate in the evaluation seminar.


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Eddie Nzwei Africa United Football Club Violankatu 3A, 00550 Helsinki, Finland Community: Nigerian living in Finland Profession: Footballer, coach and manager Issues: Intercultural learning, participation and citizenship Project: Africa Cultural Festival Week Organisation of a festival of African culture to raise awareness among the general public about the need for integration of minorities into majority Finnish society Place: Helsinki, Finland Target Group: Minority youth from Africa, Latin American and European countries between the ages of 17 and 28 The general public Geographical Scope: Town Project Type: Cultural festival


Participation and citizenship

Lisa Omarkhadhieva Ingush Red Cresecent Society Raievskigo ulitsa, 3, Flat 145, 121151 Moscow, Russian Federation Community: Ingush, British Profession: Aid worker for Ingush Red Crescent Issues: Dealing with the effects of war and armed conflict on children and communities Project: Psycho-social rehabilitation of refugee children and young people affected by war and armed conflict. Provision of counselling, therapy, leisure time and sports activities Rehabilitation of young people using creative methods Place: Ingushetia, Russian Federation Target Group: Refugee children between the ages of 6 and 17 Geographical Scope: Town Project Type: Rehabilitation


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Lolita Opwapo1 Young Women from Minorities Mangakulturelt Centrum, Sweden Community: Kenyan, living in Sweden Profession: Student Issues: Citizenship and participation Project: Ophelia Creation of a group of ten to fifteen girls from minority backgrounds Organisation of discussion groups on issues relevant to young women from minorities (sexuality, equality, identity, affinity, etc.). Provision of information related to young minority women Place: Mangakulturelt Centrum, Botkyrka, Sweden Target Group: Young women from immigrant backgrounds living in Botkyrka, between the ages of 16 and 25 Geographical Scope: Town and national Project Type: Discussion groups

1. Could not attend the evaluation seminar due to study obligations.


Participation and citizenship

Ausra Raisyte Lithuanian Social Democratic Youth Union Basanaviciaus 16/5, Vilnius, Lithuania Community: Lithuanian Profession: Student of Law Issues: Defence of minority rights, comparing the situations of different countries as regards minorities, finding solutions to minority problems, establishing dialogue between minority and majority youth Project: International seminar on Minority Status in the Baltic States to bring together youth representatives of minorities and majorities from different states where problems are similar, in order to compare situations and to look for solutions and discuss the problems of minority integration in Baltic States, Scandinavia and Germany Creation of a network Place: Palanga, Lithuania Target Group: Representatives of youth organisations dealing with minorities from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Kaliningrad, Scandinavia and Germany Age: 18-30 Geographical Scope: International Project Type: Conference Creation of a network


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Yassine Ramdani1 Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture: Georges Brassens 55 Place Mozart, 51100 Reims, France Community: Naturalised Moroccan living in France Profession: Actor and socio-cultural activity leader Issues: Youth exchange, openness, minority problems, interculturalism and citizenship Project: Citizen Video youth exchange built around the production of a video by four different groups in four different countries Place: France, Sweden, Luxembourg and Germany Target Group: Young people from minority and immigrant backgrounds between the ages of 16 and 20 Geographical Scope: Neighbourhood, town, national and international Project Type: Media youth exchange

1. Was not given permission to attend the evaluation seminar by his employer (a socio-cultural youth centre in France) due to a change in the work priorities of the centre during the course of


Participation and citizenship

Maria Nikolova The United Roma Union 5 Nikola Karev Street, 47 - B - 2 Tsar Osvoboditel, Bulgaria Community: Roma woman in Bulgaria Profession: Co-ordinator for the Roma self-help bureau Issues: Roma issues, Problems of Roma women, youth and families, intercultural learning Project: The Power of Education" a project to encourage young people from Roma background to finish school, or to go back to full-time education. Awareness raising among parents about the importance of education Place: H.M. Pashov Secondary School, Sliven, Bulgaria. To be extended to other schools in the area Target Group: Roma children and youth (7-18+ years). School administrations, head teachers and other teachers Parents of the children concerned Geographical Scope: Neighbourhood and town Project Type: Education


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Said Raouia Bureau for Immigrants and Roma Gypsies of the City of Turin Via del Carmine, 4, 10100 Torino, Italy Community: Moroccan living in Italy Profession: Cultural mediator Issues: Getting in touch, understanding different realities, intercultural learning Project: Agents de dveloppement a project to establish better communication between majority and minority people in Turin, through the intermediary of cultural mediators Organisation of a training course to achieve this Place: Turin, Italy Target Group: Cultural mediators, immigrant minority, general population, students, associations, young people between 25 and 30 Geographical Scope: Town Project Type: Training


Participation and citizenship

Robert Robertson The Information and Cultural Centre for Foreigners vid Skeljanes / 101 Reykjavik, Iceland Community: English-speaking minority living in Iceland Profession: Bilingual and multicultural educator Issues: Integration and active participation, finding a niche in the community, the problem of limited opportunities for young people in Iceland Project: Integration and participation course for minority and majority youth (integration groups) A series of weekly meetings of a group of young people from minority and majority backgrounds to discuss issues of relevance to them and issues of integration in Iceland Opportunities for enjoying cultural activities together and cultural exchanges. Place: Reykjavik, Iceland Target Group: Majority and minority young people between the ages of 16 and 19 Geographical Scope: Town Project Type: Weekly discussion and activity workshops


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Stanislav Romanenko National Cultures Centre 53, Krasnoyarmeyskaya Ulitsa, 350000 Krasnodar, Russian Federation Community: Member of the majority, Russian Profession: Teacher, translator and business consultant Issues: Citizenship and participation, management by objectives Project: Workshop entitled Managing Careers by Objectives: Effective Methods and Employment Opportunities Project organised to provide better employment opportunities for young people from minorities Place: Krasnodar, Russia Target Group: Young people from Adyg, Armenian, Jewish and Crimean Tatar backgrounds between the ages of 22 and 24 Geographical Scope: Regional Project Type: Vocational training


Participation and citizenship

Pedro Roque Associaciao Olho Vivo Av. Antonio Enes 31, 2745 Queluz, Portugal Community: Member of the majority Profession: Actor Issues: Integration by participation, intercultural Europe, globalisation and how to deal with it, development of creativity, personal empowerment Project: Immigrants Social Centre Creation of a centre for the immigrant population of Lisbon. Initiation of training courses for immigrants in the legal aspects of immigration. Development of local projects in local communities so that immigrants can make a contribution to the development of Portuguese society Place: Lisbon, and to be extended to Oporto, Braga and Algarve (Portugal). Target Group: Immigrant community in Portugal Young people from African and Asian backgrounds between 18 and 30 Geographical Scope: Town and national Project Type: Training and education


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Cihad Taskin Jugendbildungswerk (JBW) Landgrafenstr. 5, 63071 Offenbach, Germany Community: Turks living in Germany Profession: Social and media pedagogy Issues: Widening the view of young people, dealing with ethnic and regional interpretations, breaking down stereotypes. Putting the problems in a wider perspective Project: Video Caf creation of video documentation about the area inhabited by people from minority backgrounds, who have few opportunities to express themselves. Providing the possibility for the young people to become visible and to express themselves through a medium other than language Place: Offenbach, Germany Target Group: Young people from minority backgrounds (mainly immigrant or migrant) in Offenbach, Germany, between the ages of 14 and 21 Geographical Scope: Town and regional Project Type: Media project Personal development education


Participation and citizenship

Norayr Tchakhalayan1 Armenian Red Cross Youth St. Antarain 188, Yerevan, Armenia Community: Armenian Profession: Student Issues: Citizenship and participation, refugee rights and welfare Project: Fraternit project for the integration and socialisation of refugees Place: Armenia, in the regions where there is the highest concentration of refugees Target Group: Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan between the ages of 10 and 25 Geographical Scope: Town, regional and national Project Type: Development and education

1. Was unable to attend the evaluation seminar due to reaching the age of army call-up and despite official intervention was not given permission to leave Armenia for the duration of the


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Sari Valimaki Romano Missio Vilppulantie 2C4, 00700 Helsinki, Finland Community: Roma Profession: Project manager Issues: Raising the self-esteem of Roma people in Finland, participation, breaking isolation Project: AAA a project to improve the level of education among Roma children and young people, to improve opportunities for Roma youth to get into continuing education Place: Jyvskyla, Finland Target Group: Roma children and young people between the ages of 6 and 19+ Children at school, people who finished school less than ten years ago and early school leavers Geographical Scope: Town Project Type: Education and vocational training


Examples of good practice

Project one: Integration and participation course for minority youth A series of discussion and activity groups for young members of both the majority and various minorities in the city of Reykjavik Robert Robertson works for the Information and Cultural Centre for Foreigners in Rejkyavik, Iceland, which is an organ of the municipal government, and which is responsible for providing translation and social services to new immigrants and existing minority communities in the capital and surrounding areas. At the Information and Cultural Centre, Robert is responsible for the administration of the translation and interpretation service, a programme for immigrant children and youth work projects. He possesses a Bachelors Degree in Modern Languages and was educated as a teacher in the United States. He has over eight years of experience working with foreigners and young people/children. His specialisation is bilingual/multicultural education. His motivation for working on citizenship and participation issues concerning young people from minorities relates to the fact that through his work he is patently aware of the real problems that face young people from minorities in Iceland and would like to contribute to changing Icelandic society so as to make it better able to cater for their needs. Given the limited opportunities young people from minorities in Iceland, he is specifically interested in themes such as integration and active participation of their minorities. He believes that it is important to offer minority youth opportunities for finding their own niche in the general community. He is a member of the English-speaking minority in Iceland. The project is geographically located in north-western Europe. This project ran from September to November, 1997. Social context/analysis There are very few minority communities in Iceland. Those that exist consist of immigrants who have recently arrived. The society is relatively homogenous and language is an important integrating factor. In a country where less than one per cent of the population comes from a minority background and where there is strong cultural and religious homogeneity, a project which brings together young people from majority and minority backgrounds was both innovative and a social necessity. An important consideration is that within Icelandic society and on the part of the government there is little awareness of the existence of minority communities as an issue of concern or of interest. As regards young people from minorities themselves, they often have difficulties integrating into the school system, feel isolated and have problems of communication/interaction with other young people due to the difficulty of learning Icelandic. This often leads to low self-esteem and low motivation on the part of the minority youth to participate actively and to do well in school. 65

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Description of the project This project involved the organisation and implementation of a series of discussion and activity groups for young members of both the majority and minorities, known as integration groups. The overall aims of the project were: to facilitate the integration of minority youth into Icelandic society, and to bring about their empowerment; to help young people feel part of society and encourage them to think about their futures in Iceland.

Ten participants between the ages of 16 and 20 from Asian, South American, eastern European and Icelandic backgrounds met once a week for four hours.1 Activities included simulation games on subjects such as racism, the problems of minorities in Iceland and other general themes of relevance to the young people's lives. An important aspect of the activities were the regular outings, including one to Hitthusid (the main youth centre in Reykjavik) where the participants were able to enquire about other activities and programmes for young people available in the municipality. Other outings included going to see a film related to the topic of racism (this was extensively discussed at the next weekly meeting). Another proactive event was cooking together and preparing a common multicultural dinner, through which the young people were able to learn more about each other's cultures and traditions. The project was, in essence, an attempt to allow young people from the majority and from minorities to come together, to co-operate in social and intercultural activities and to get to know each other. At a number of meetings the interesting thing was that the young people from the majority were in the minority and this stimulated discussion and reflection in the group. While confronting one's own and others' situations as members of different communities was very important to the success of the activities and the group dynamic, the principle of equality was the fundamental basis of the project. The Icelandic and English languages were used during the activities, thus facilitating the inclusion of those young people whose Icelandic language skills were not sufficiently developed. The project came about because there was a strong need to reach minority youth of this age group. The activities of the Information and Cultural Centre, where Robert works, cater for all age groups, but the young adults were conspicuously absent. While the form of the project remained the same throughout the planning period and even through implementation, a number of changes did occur. In the first place, Robert had hoped for a larger group of young people and the fact of its small size led to difficulties in multiplying the positive results of this pilot project. Recruitment of participants was the main problem, attributable
1. Seven of the ten participants were present throughout the project.


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

to a lack of motivation on the part of the young people to become involved in such a project and a lack of awareness of how to present such a project to the young people on the part of the schools approached for purposes of recruitment. As a result a number of small re-orientations in the approach to the organisation of the project were needed. This, however, did not have any major adverse affects on the actual work with participants once the group was constituted and once the weekly sessions had begun. Dealing with citizenship and participation issues The main pillars of the project methodology were: active participation by all; learning by doing.

This entailed methods that involved not only discussion and reflection, but also activities where the participants were able to contribute directly to the interaction and integration process. An important element was the establishment of a spirit of self-analysis. Participants were encouraged to think in terms of their own development and the overall development of the group dynamic. As such, this involved a process of self-realisation for each participant through reflection and discussion of perceptions and stereotypes regarding minorities living in Iceland and through understanding one's own place in society as a young citizen with something to offer. In order to achieve this, participants were encouraged to discuss and establish common interests, goals and plans. Friendship was an important element, as through the creation of relationships based on mutual respect and equality, deeper understandings of the nature of the relationship between minority and majority youth in general, and particularly in the Icelandic societal context, could be achieved. A number of specific obstacles arose in the implementation of the methodology described above, in particular, motivation on the part of participants, language problems, a lack of status accorded to the project and the clear feeling that the project was sometimes not a major priority for the young people. Robert has attributed these difficulties to the fact that the young people may not have felt comfortable expressing themselves in a group at the beginning. There was also a lack of interest in the issues or the activities on the part of certain participants. However, the main reason was a general lack of self-confidence in expressing feelings, impressions and problems. It must be taken into consideration that certain of these young people have encountered problems and difficulties when involved in previous programmes for integration. An unsuccessful first experience may have put a bias on participating to the full in this project for a number of the participants. Another factor of importance is that many of young people from minority backgrounds come to Iceland with their parents and do not intend to stay. Often, as soon as they are old enough, they go back to their countries of origin. Such young people have little motivation to be integrated into Icelandic society. Finally, the Icelanders who were part of the group did not 67

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always perceive the other (minority) participants as equals. There was a certain ambivalence towards the whole experience on the part of these participants. Results of the project Achievement of the aims and objectives The overarching aim of this project was to help integrate and empower majority and minority youth. Its objectives were: to integrate and empower minority and majority youth by encouraging them to create goals for themselves; to help them to find their place in society; to help them create support networks for themselves; to help them build self-confidence and to become active members of society.

Robert feels that the aim of the project was basically fulfilled. He also feels that the objectives were achieved. Robert has noted that through the workshops and activities, such as the cooking teams, a certain empowerment was achieved by the fact that the young people were able to actively learn from each other and contribute something positive to the group from their culture. This improved their selfconfidence and willingness to participate and, hence, can be understood as empowerment. In addition, the young people were able to learn skills in problem solving through interaction and co-operation through the process of planning and preparing the meal together and through the other activities undertaken in the group. Results with regard to the participants There has been a positive attitude about continuing activities and there exist ideas about organising an activity with an international dimension. Plans are underway, with a network in the process of being established to achieve the follow up. Some participants said that they had gained a lot from the experience. Having said this, these participants were noticeably the strongest in the group. This has led Robert to the reflection that one must continually take into account the personality and characteristics of each participant in assessing the impact of the activities and the results of the project as a whole. The participants visibly learned to co-operate and solve problems together. The group activities were also instrumental in the resolution of a number of the young people's individual and personal problems.

A clear future orientation has arisen from the project. Robert hopes to implement a follow-up project with the young people still involved as a result of 68

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

the project. This would involve the activation of a new group and the repetition of the methodology actively involving the graduates of the last course. Local and other impacts The contact with Hitthusid was very positive for the young people from minority backgrounds, although the Icelandic young people were already aware of the facility. There are possibilities for new co-operation between Robert's organisation and such structures. While the newspapers and other media were contacted, they were not interested in the project. The project has renewed contact with the schools and has drawn attention to the needs of minority youth among education professionals.

Contribution of the LTTC to the successful implementation of the project methodology Intercultural learning In terms of intercultural learning, the techniques that were learned and the resources that were made available to Robert through the LTTC were important to the successful implementation of the project. In interaction and exchange with the participants the knowledge and awareness gained on the methodology and background of intercultural learning through the LTTC were instrumental for Robert to gain a clear understanding of where the participants were coming from. The intercultural learning skills Robert acquired at the LTTC allowed him to understand the importance of diversity in working with groups. Europe The LTTC was instrumental in raising Robert's sensitivity to and awareness of Europe as a concept, region and community, that extends past western Europe alone. In so far as this was achieved, it helped him when comparing Iceland to other countries in Europe and on other continents. Innovation The major innovations of the project as influenced by the LTTC were, firstly, the diversity of the group, secondly, the training methods and techniques used and, thirdly, the emphasis placed on participation. In addition, Robert felt that he personally had had many new experiences and came up with a lot of new ideas for applying the knowledge and techniques learnt at the LTTC. Improved project management Robert's main aim for becoming involved in the LTTC was to gain new youth work skills. As such, he evaluated the contribution of the LTTC to the improvement of his skills in project management very positively. The knowledge gained at the LTTC specifically helped to establish the framework for project planning 69

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and for the identification of aims and objectives. He was better able to stay on track through the preparation and implementation of his project, having concrete aims, objectives, timetables and plans to refer to. These acted as a kind of check against reality. He intends to apply the methods for project planning acquired at the LTTC for planning future projects and in his everyday work. Impact of the project In general, this project has contributed to the identification of working with young people from minorities as a potential priority for a number of organisations and authorities which came into contact with it, or which were directly involved in its organisation/implementation. Organisational questions While in the case of this project organisational support was present at all times, it has had the following impact in terms of the support available for project carriers by their sending organisations undertaking activities aimed at the empowerment of young people from minority backgrounds. The project can be said to have: raised awareness regarding the usefulness of this kind of project work in dealing with the challenges of minority youth work; created contacts and synergies with other organisations of relevance to the integration of minority youth in Icelandic society, which are now more willing to support such work.

In terms of the management of available human resources, the project has contributed to a better focusing and channelling of resources in establishing such projects. In terms of the relationship of such projects and their leaders with the authorities responsible for their support and continuation, the project has demonstrated that, in the first place, such authorities have a sectoral approach to minority youth affairs, and that this has negative effects on co-ordination of the efforts of such projects. It also has an impact on the effectiveness of the work of the authorities. It has also demonstrated the difficulty of fitting such projects into the administrative framework established by the authorities for funding and supporting initiatives in the field of minority youth work. This relates directly to the general lack of flexibility in the funding structures. However, the impact of the project in this field has been to contribute, through awareness raising, to the opening up of such structures to innovative and unconventional projects involving minority youth. Raising the profile of minority youth work This project has contributed to raising the profile of minority youth work in Iceland in the following ways: 70

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

It has demonstrated that there is a need for a more professional approach to minority youth work, both on the part of the authorities responsible, but also on the part of those carrying it out. It has raised awareness that there need to be specially adapted programmes for the promotion of participation of minority youth (children and adults enjoying a higher level of provision and attention). It has had a number of concrete multiplication effects, by involving other organisations and structures and by setting a good example. It has contributed to the process of the creation of a new and more positive/optimistic perception of minority youth work.

Development of participation, citizenship and empowerment of minority youth The project has had the following impacts: Awareness has been raised about the need to address the issues and challenges facing minority youth and the need to work with and for them. It has led to a discussion of the need to adapt the curriculum in schools to the needs of minority youth among educators, although this has not yet filtered to the authorities.

Promotion of intercultural learning In general, Robert has remarked that the Information and Cultural Centre for Foreigners has become aware of the usefulness of the intercultural approach to minority youth work. It is interested in applying intercultural learning techniques in future project work and will even organise a seminar on racism in the near future. Perceptions of minorities The Icelandic participants involved in the project now have a better understanding of the importance of diversity. This has been achieved through their interaction with young people from diverse minority backgrounds and will hopefully have a lasting effect on their attitudes. The authorities on the other hand have not demonstrated any major change in the way they perceive minority youth, despite the fact that their awareness has been significantly raised about the need for an approach better adapted to the needs of such young people. Intercommunity relations In this respect, the project has essentially created mutual respect between the participants and, hence, can be seen to have made a modest contribution to the improvement of intercommunity relations. It has also broadened the participants' perspectives on the issues surrounding inter-community relations, empowering them to become active advocates of better communication and co-operation between individual minority communities and between minority communities and the majority culture. 71

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Minority-majority relations Again, the impact here was at the level of the participants. Their awareness about the issues surrounding minority-majority relations has been raised significantly and they are now better able to understand the role they can play in contributing to the improvement of such relations.


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Project two: Integration by participation We don't just say we can, we do. So can you! Creation of a youth centre for young people from minority backgrounds, a safe space where they could go to meet, socialise and interact with other young people from both minority and majority backgrounds. Mohamed Haji Kella is a member of the Sierra Leonese community living in Finland. During the training course and until December 1997, he was an antiracism co-ordinator and project secretary for Allianssi. In addition, he is a board member for the immigrant advisory committee. He has worked as a volunteer adviser to the immigrant community in the United Kingdom, in particular through the Southwark consortium on community integration. Mohamed is presently studying multicultural social education at the Institute for Social Work in Tampere. He already holds a Bachelors Degree in Economics. For Mohamed, the LTTC has been an important experience. He is especially interested in issues such as the effective integration of minority youth. He believes that it is of the utmost importance to have a positive outlook on minority issues and is especially concerned with the conditions faced by members of minorities. His motivation for initiating his project lies in his understanding of the profound need for an alternative place for young people to meet. The Migrants' Initiative for Employment (through which Mohamed initiated his project) is an umbrella organisation for immigrant associations who wish to avoid a worsening of the situation for minority youth in Finland. These associations represent minorities as diverse as African, eastern European and Asiatic. The project is ongoing and is geographically located in northern Europe. Social context/analysis Finland is a country where the existence of minorities is a relatively new phenomenon. Immigration is the main source of new minority communities. Finnish society is relatively homogeneous. One of the particularities of the Finnish situation is that there have always been communities of traditional minorities in Finland, such as the Swedish minority, the Saami and the Roma communities. Recently, however, these communities have been confronted with the emergence of new minority communities. This has created some conflict and frustrations in inter-minority relations and in minority/majority relations in general. In Finland, there is also a lack of awareness of the existence of minorities and their specific needs on the part of the authorities and the public in general. There are about 11 000 young people from minority backgrounds living in Helsinki and the surrounding areas, most of whom are from the immigrant community. They often come from socially disadvantaged backgrounds and are discriminated against because of race. There is also large-scale unemployment among these young people. Education and social activities provided by the city for these young people do not, in most cases, meet their needs. Due to these factors, a great number of the young people spend their free time in the main railway station and other unsuitable public places. They are exposed to drug abuse and racial and physical violence. They also often feel that they have been rejected by society and, subsequently, have very low self-esteem and feel totally powerless to alleviate their situation. 73

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The experience of the participants in the project has always been that of having been misunderstood and they lack security for the future. Hence, the project was initiated with the following goals in mind: to help address the issues of youth unemployment, racism and xenophobia; to help the authorities and youth workers understand the situation of the young people targeted; to involve the participants in the integration process in Finland and to make a contribution to its achievement.

Description of the project This project involved the creation of a youth centre for young people from minority backgrounds, a safe area where they could go to meet, socialise and interact with other young people from minority backgrounds and from the majority. The main theme of this project was the facilitation of integration of young people from minorities into Finnish society and the encouragement of young people from minority and majority backgrounds to co-operate with each other. Another key aim was to provide the opportunity for the young people to initiate and actively participate in the organisation and overall management of activities of interest to them. The youth centre was established on the principles of the peer group education approach to working with young people, so while the initiative for the creation of the centre came from Mohamed, the actual everyday running and decision making of the centre was the responsibility of a number of the young people themselves. At the time of writing, there were sixty registered members of the club which is housed by the centre. However, activities (such as discos, theatre evenings, discussion groups and other cultural activities where drugs, alcohol and violence are considered socially unacceptable and where peer pressure acts as a kind of deterrent) have been known to attract up to 200 young people at a time. The main target age group of the project is from 16 to 23 years and the young people come from different cultural and ethnic groups, including Russian, Vietnamese, Somali and those from other African origins living in Helsinki and the surrounding areas. The rationale for setting up the project was defined by the social situation of the young people at whom this project is aimed. The young people from minority backgrounds targeted by this project are faced with many difficulties and challenges, among them social problems such as getting involved with drug use or abuse, coping with violence both towards themselves and that which they produce themselves, illiteracy and oral communication problems (difficulty in learning the Finnish language), unemployment and few prospects of finding fulfilling or decently paid work and racism in their everyday life contexts. The social context of the young people involved in the project is worrisome and difficult to handle. In the first place, facilities for the young people to use during their free time are few. Those that do exist are inaccessible for these young people, as they are not well served by public transport. There is a clear lack of facilities to cater for the needs of these young people: hence, the tendency to congregate around the central train station in Helsinki. 74

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Secondly, the young people targeted by the project are exposed to violence in their everyday interaction with members of the majority of their own age group and to other forms of violence, including the problems of gang involvement and fights, drug-related violence and racist attacks, as experienced in the railway station. In addition, the young people are often threatened by skinheads if they try to go to majority-dominated youth centres in Helsinki. Finally, the image of these young people in the community is very poor. The attitude of business in the local area surrounding the railway station is very negative towards them. The lifestyle and aggressive behaviour of the young people who hang out at the station is perceived as a threat to the success of local enterprise and as scaring customers away. At the same time, they are perceived as lazy and unwilling to work, study or become integrated into Finnish society. Such views are widespread, with some even going so far as to say that these young people are a threat to the community. Again, while the project itself has not changed in form or content, the way in which it has been managed has changed considerably since its inception and through its preparation. The issue of how to approach the authorities and to build a solid relationship with them was one of the more difficult elements of the project to manage. It was necessary to adapt the approach to the management of the project to the circumstances and changing context. This included having to work hard on giving the project a profile and image which would be taken seriously both by the young people targeted and by the relevant authorities. The organisation of the project was also a process of professionalisation for Mohamed, one that allowed him to gain in self-confidence for managing projects and important contacts in a more competent way. A very positive experience was the involvement of Allianssi (the national youth council in Finland) in certain aspects of the project. This co-operation entailed the organisation of a highly successful seminar and training course for youth leaders and professionals working with minority youth on the theme of integration and participation. It attracted over ninety professionals from all over Finland. The outcome of the seminar was the raising of awareness in the field of the need for more training. The co-operation with Allianssi is ongoing and is a positive outcome, giving this project a clear influence in national youth policy terms. One of the highlights of the project was the group's trip to Sweden, where they visited a multicultural music centre and a multinational school. One outcome was the setting up of an exchange with the school visited in Sweden. Dealing with citizenship and participation issues As mentioned above, the main pillar of the methodology employed in this project was that of peer group education. This entails the creation of the necessary conditions (by the project leader) for the active involvement of the young people in the management and daily running of the project. As such, Mohamed's role was one of pure facilitation. He acted as a support worker to the 75

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team of young people who had the responsibility for organising the activities of the centre. He also liaised between the governing authorities responsible for overseeing the project and the young people. Essentially, this project was run by young people, for young people and with young people. This approach is new in Finnish youth work practice and represents a clear innovation. In addition, the approach of this project rests strongly on the principle that young people from minority backgrounds cannot be integrated into mainstream society in isolation from young people from the majority. In more detailed terms, the young people were encouraged to become selfreliant and self-managing, by taking each other seriously, learning to listen and by constant reference to their own experiences and problems. The clear aim was to build self-confidence among the young people involved and to allow them to express that through the activities of the centre. Common points of interest were essential to the process of building a strong and mutually supportive group of self-managing young people. In this group, lifestyle was a clear common denominator. It is something that could be relatively easily accessed and expressed and the young people could identify with it. It became a motivation for being involved in the project. Mohamed encountered a number of problems in implementing the approach described above. Of particular concern was the fact that the participants lacked positive role models and that they lacked self-esteem (in this case Mohamed identifies lack of basic language skills as a strong reason for low selfesteem). Participants also come from high context cultures (culture is concentrated within a particular family, tradition, religion). Family structures can be very authoritarian (often the young people's families do not want their children to be outside the home, to mix with young people from other backgrounds). The families do not see the need or importance for the young people to become integrated into mainstream society. In addition, many of the young people fear racism and hence were sceptical when approached by the authorities to become involved in activities aimed at integration. Some of them had previous experience of such programmes which was not positive and which had demotivated them. Finally, there was some reticence about at the beginning. The young people were not used to having to do things for themselves and a common question to begin with was Why do we have to do this? Results of the project Achievement of the aims and objectives The aims of the project were: to facilitate the integration of minority youth into Finnish society through active participation; to help get young people from minorities off the streets of Helsinki; to facilitate the creation of a national and Europe-wide network for minority youth.


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

The objectives of the project were: to encourage minorities to actively initiate and participate in youth activities; to provide a youth centre, which will act as an alternative meeting point for minority youth; to co-ordinate a multidisciplinary team which will provide advice, support, information and points of reference on education, training and unemployment; to train youth leaders and those working with them how to address issues such as racism, xenophobia and all forms of prejudice.

The aims were long term, but the indications are positive. Mohamed has achieved the creation of the centre, a meeting place for young people. The young people themselves have begun to initiate activities within the peer group. Social activities were especially popular (music groups, drama, etc.). Dialogue between the administration/authorities and the young people has been achieved to a certain extent, in the sense that they have begun to meet and discuss needs and plans together. As it stands, there is the potential for introducing the European dimension and international issues into the work of the group. Results with regard to the participants The participants visibly gained in self-confidence, especially in regard of the value of participation. The young people now have more trust in the effects that participation and becoming involved can have, especially in terms of their relationship with the authorities responsible for the oversight of the centre. They are much more willing to be active, to do things and to participate in the activities. Their voluntary commitment to their involvement with the centre has been established and has replaced their sense that they were there because there was nothing better to do. A certain level of dialogue has been established between the young people from the majority and their minority counterparts. This was achieved, however, in the wake of a good deal of conflict. Nevertheless, the fact of becoming co-responsible for an activity, of having to co-oper-ate and of becoming colleagues in the activities of the centre has led to the establishment of friendships based on common goals and interests. Finally, there has been a marked improvement of the situation of the young people in terms of drug and alcohol abuse. As a result of their active involvement in the activities of the centre, they are less vulnerable to the dangers of abuse. On the other hand, one of the aims of the project was to deal with issues surrounding unemployment and this has not been achieved yet, although it remains a future priority. For many of the young people, the project represents something of an answer to their problems. Most importantly, the project has provided them with an alternative meeting place and with guidance, so that they may participate in and fully integrate into Finnish society. 77

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Local and other impacts The project has created awareness of (minority) youth problems and integration. It has created an understanding among those involved and those surrounding the project as to how important it is to work with and not for young people from minority backgrounds. One outcome was the high level of involvement of education and youth professionals in a seminar treating the issues of how to work with minority and/or immigrant children and youths. The youth workers who participated in the seminar were particularly motivated by the content. In terms of media interest, there has been a modest response. Mohamed felt it important that the project be publicised, although the press release and other contacts with the media were carried out selectively and with discretion. Some media attention is a good boost to the confidence and the profile of the project, but too much can be counter-productive. Youth work magazines and youth researchers were also informed. Mohamed and some of the young people involved were interviewed on the radio. Finally, a television documentary on the project is under preparation. Contribution of the LTTC to the successful implementation of the project methodology Intercultural learning In terms of intercultural learning, Mohamed was able to gain a clearer understanding of what intercultural education consists of as a result of his involvement in the LTTC. Dealing with difference, both in terms of primary and sub-cultures, necessitates tolerance and acceptance. Mohamed used the skills and techniques learnt on the course in his everyday work with the young people, and in contact with other youth professionals. An important aspect is that the message of intercultural learning is constantly being transmitted to the young people involved through the methodology employed in the project they learned to do things together, and in so far as they developed relationships based on equality and trust, intercultural learning is taking place. A certain level of intercultural understanding has been created within the group. However, there remains a clear need for an improvement in understanding among professionals in the youth and education fields of the rationale for using an intercultural approach and its uses in youth work aiming to integrate minorities and majorities. Europe At the outset, the young people involved in the project all had a very narrow conception of their lives. Life revolved around the family, the home, the railway station and the friends they met there. The project was able to raise the awareness of the young people as to the existence of realities other than their own, but also about European realities and how they can be of relevance to their lives. Clearly, Mohamed was the link between the lives of the young people and a wider reality. The realisation that there was a body in Europe (the Council of Europe) that was interested in young people like them gave the participants quite some pride and confidence. Another aspect was that the European dimension allowed many participants to understand that they 78

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

had similar problems to other young people in Europe and that they could have a voice, through activities like the project. One of the highlights of the project was a trip to Sweden to visit a multicultural school. Clearly, this experience also brought the existence of a European reality more into focus for the young people. The link to the Council of Europe was crucial, but the links created with the National Youth Council in Finland (Allianssi) were also essential. Innovation Peer group education in a multicultural context is new in Finland and on the Finnish youth work scene. While the methodology is somewhat known and understood, the actual techniques and methods of peer group education are not. The contribution of the LTTC, therefore, was to provide Mohamed with both the resources (techniques, methods and approaches) and the training to use them. Such a systematic, step-by-step approach to working with young people is also new, the important aspect being that Mohamed has gained the confidence to try out new approaches and methods. Other innovative aspects include taking theoretical aspects of the issues into consideration when planning the programme, the ability to open up clearer communication channels and a more responsible attitude on the part of the young people themselves, who, for instance, can now fund-raise by themselves. Improved project management Mohamed believes that he has gained a lot of project management skills through the LTTC. The extensive work that was carried out on how to plan a project and how to write a project plan were of particular importance to his work. Other important aspects gained at the LTTC include learning how to involve others, getting a clear vision of the project and of how to achieve it, learning to delegate and share responsibility and learning how to network with other organisations having similar aims. To sum up, he believes that the acquisition of these skills has allowed him to find a better job, through which he has a better position in Finnish society and, thereby, through which he has the possibility to achieve better results for the project. Impact of the project Organisational questions Support for project leaders from sending organisations Mohameds own position was improved The project created interest in youth work The project created the will to offer support and political cover to projects of this kind

Management of human resources The project demonstrated the potential for the effective and successful use of human resources in such a project, through the emphasis placed on the sharing of responsibility among participants 79

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The project demonstrated the value of democratic use of available human resources in such a project, through an approach based on facilitation rather than on obedience to authority The project created the awareness among the participants that they both have power and can use it

Relationship with the authorities The project contributed to improving chances of getting the authorities involved in minority youth issues Minority youth issues have been put on the authorities' agenda, which demonstrates that the project has built bridges between such projects, their carriers and the authorities

Raising the profile of minority youth work The project has contributed to the raising of the profile of minority youth work through its success and because it is an example of what projects for, with and by minority youth can achieve. However, the need exists for a more professional approach to such youth work among those working in the field The project is responsible for the initiation of the publication of a booklet about multicultural youth work and intercultural learning, aimed at youth workers, in conjunction with the ministry of education.

Development of participation, citizenship and empowerment of minority youth The project has created awareness that foreigners have a role to play and can participate in Finnish society, despite their lack of formal citizenship The young people involved in the project have realised that they a special role and can make a contribution to society's improvement The power is in the hands of young people, now that they have the means and skills to organise and manage themselves through democratic decision making

Promotion of intercultural learning Perceptions of minorities The project contributed to the breaking down of stereotypes and prejudices on all sides Created awareness of the need to work together with minorities

Intercommunity relations The project brought together people from different community backgrounds, from the authorities and from different categories of young people. This has contributed to a better understanding of diversity between individuals and to raising the awareness of individuals about the existence of minorities other than their own


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Through confronting the fact that members of the majority often feel threatened by minorities, it was possible to raise the issue of intercommunity relations and to try to tackle it The project created a dialogue on crucial issues such as majority provocation or teasing of young people from minorities.

Minority-majority relations This issue was addressed through the confrontation of prejudice in the group and their collective confrontation of prejudice in the outside world The project created an understanding among participants that there is a need to take a proactive approach to their relationship with people from the majority and that taking revenge on enemies is not the way to achieve acceptance or to be taken seriously In this regard, the project has demonstrated clearly that conflict can open the way for the creation of dialogue and that projects working with young people from minorities will have to deal with conflict in an open and direct way.


Participation and citizenship

Project three: Psychosocial rehabilitation for young refugee children The initiation of activities for young refugee children traumatised by the conflict between North Ossetia and Ingushetia in Russia Lisa Omarkhadhieva works for the Ingush Red Crescent Society and is a philologist by training. She lives and works in a region where the influx of refugees resulting from the conflict in the Russian Republic of North Ossestia has caused huge social and economic problems. Her motivation for initiating her project is that she experiences the situation of the people she works for and with daily. The conflict has had adverse affects on the lives of so many people, and the children in particular. Lisa believes that it is important for the children and young people to learn to have a positive view of their lives in spite of the difficult situation and that through empathy and openness this can be achieved in some measure. This project is geographically located in eastern Europe. Social context/analysis The conflict in Progorodni Raion in North Ossetia broke out in 1992. The conflicting parties are Russian and Chechens. The result of this conflict has been the appearance of over two hundred thousand refugees in the neighbouring republic of Ingushetia. It is interesting to note that the entire population of the Ingush Republic is two hundred and fifty thousand. The war in Chechnya exacerbated the situation considerably. Although up to 70% of the refugees have been repatriated to their places of origin, there remains a significant refugee problem in the Ingush Republic. A siege situation still exists today. The refugees have little freedom of movement. They live in total uncertainty. People trying to return to their homes are often attacked. The refugees remaining have suffered enormously: loss of family homes and relatives, trauma from living in a conflict situation and witnessing the excesses of war. Most have little way of relieving their grief and stress. It is extremely difficult to motivate people to become active to alleviate their own situation. The refugee children are particularly vulnerable. Many have serious psychological and emotional problems as a result of their experiences. Many have lost their parents or families. They experience insomnia, nightmares, apathy and symptoms of depression. Without treatment, these symptoms can deteriorate into more serious psychological problems. Description of the project This project involved the organisation and implementation of activities for refugee children traumatised as a result of the armed conflict in North Ossetia, now living in refugee camps in the neighbouring republic of Ingushetia. The main aim of the project was to assure the psychosocial rehabilitation of children suffering as a result of war and armed conflict. Between seventy and eighty children were involved in the project. Schoolchildren between the ages of six and seventeen were targeted to take part in the activities proposed by the project. These included counselling, discussion 82

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

groups for the older children, play and creative activities. All the activities were aimed at opening up the children, who are very closed, and at helping them to turn their traumatic experiences into positive energies for the future. The activities were also directed at creating the understanding amongst the children that someone wanted and was ready to listen to them, and that they did not have to be afraid of talking about their experiences. The project also involved the organisation of: The provision of counselling and psychological treatment; Organisation of leisure time and sports activities; Counselling for the parents of the children; Counselling for teachers working with children affected by war.

To this end, professionals with special training from different professional spheres were called upon to offer their expertise during the implementation of the project. In particular, Lisa involved teachers, medical doctors and psychologists and therapists. An important aspect of the work was to sensitise the parents to the psychological problems experienced by their children, to help them to understand the resulting behaviour and to help them to learn how to deal with it. As part of the follow-up to this project, Lisa aims to set up a counselling centre for the parents, in an effort to better co-ordinate and concentrate the provision of rehabilitation services to the refugee children. The nature of the project did not change significantly from what was originally planned. However, difficulties were encountered with regard to the scale of the problem being tackled. Lisa's aim had been to reach 300 refugee children and she was able to work with only one city rather than four as initially planned. However, the project is ongoing and the work can be achieved step by step. Lisa remains philosophical about the situation, considering the importance of each child reached, rather than the number of children who cannot benefit from the work of such a project. Dealing with citizenship and participation issues The main pillar of the methodology employed in this project was to channel the energy of the children into positivity. The children were encouraged to speak out and to talk openly of their experiences. Many had difficulty in doing so, however, and a large measure of creativity was needed to find ways together with children to express their experiences and the trauma they had suffered. Another strong element of the methodology was focusing on self-motivation. The existence of general apathy in conflict situations is well documented, as are the attendant feelings of helplessness and worthlessness. Therefore, the activities focused on looking at the situation positively and on demonstrating that together it was possible to achieve positive results. Most of this work was 83

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carried out with the parents, who then also transmit a more active and more positive impression to their children. The children often have behavioural and emotional problems. Another of the important aspects of the methodology focused on dealing with one's own reactions. Aggressive and violent reactions are commonplace under such conditions, and it was important to channel the energies that normally go into such violence in a positive and proactive direction. Finally, conflict resolution was of special importance in the running of this project. Among the parents and the older children affected by the war, there exists huge resentment and hatred for the enemy. The ethnic dimension of this resentment makes it all the harder to deal with. A large part of the work focused on ways to help the parents and the older children to understand that, for example, the birth place of their parents and ancestors is also the birth place of the enemy. Lisa attempted to transmit the message that we live in interdependence, where we are all responsible for our own lives and those of others. Empathy was, therefore, a strong pillar of the methodology. Lisa experienced a number of specific obstacles in the implementation of the methodology. For the children it is particularly difficult to understand what is going on and why they feel and react in the ways that they do. The fact that living conditions are poor and that there exists a general feeling of danger does not help the children to develop. The children have not really had a real childhood and they are often already impregnated with feelings of enmity. On the part of the young people there is much resentment and this makes it extremely difficult to introduce the notion of empathy. The fact that attacks and provocation are ongoing on a daily basis makes the enemy ever present and ever hated. The desire for revenge or what is known in the area as the Caucasus factor is widespread and the political situation only exacerbates this. Suspicion is rife and this tends to sap the little motivation and energy that some people have to continue and survive such difficult situations. Results of the project Achievement of the aims and objectives The aim of the project was to assist the psychological rehabilitation of children suffering as a result of war and armed conflict. The objectives of the project were: to provide psychological consultation; to organise weekly courses for children between the ages of six and seventeen; to organise social, leisure time and sports activities; to organise consultation for parents and teachers about working with children affected by war;


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

to ease the process of psychosocial rehabilitation of children with emotional and psychological problems.

Lisa feels that those involved in or reached by the project have begun to consider that there are other ways of dealing with the situation than those practices to date. People have accepted that violence, aggression and hatred can only perpetuate themselves and that a solution cannot come of them. Then have also accepted that there is value in listening to others and that the opinions of those who are different are also valid. However, she reminds herself constantly that this is a very long-term project which cannot solve such deeprooted problems overnight. Results with regard to the participants The participants began to listen to each other and to understand that listening was essential to getting better and becoming less traumatised. The participants were also able to realise that it is possible to actively participate in resolving the situation by making one's own situation better. In a limited way, it has been possible to break down some of the apathy that usually manifested itself in dreaming about the day it would be possible to go home and in refusing to invest energy in improving daily life. Local and other impacts The project has contact with the governmental authorities locally, but they do not support the project financially. The project informs the authorities regularly of the work carried out and about the situation of the refugees, but there is little interest. This said, they are instrumental in assisting the organisation with fact-finding missions in areas still closed and in helping with travel arrangements. In addition, the television news made a short documentary about the pilot nature of the project. Contribution of the LTTC to the successful implementation of the project methodology Intercultural learning The LTTC raised Lisa's awareness about minority issues and the status of minorities in Europe. Her involvement in the LTTC also provided her with access to other youth workers' experience of working with the intercultural approach. Europe The access provided by the LTTC to the Council of Europe has been very positive. It has provided a dimension of support and prestige to the project essential given the political situation of the region. The LTTC has also been instrumental in helping Lisa to feel that her community is not the only one with significant difficulties and that other people have similar problems. The LTTC has offered her the possibility of finding people with whom she could work through those problems and of seeking solutions with others.


Participation and citizenship

Innovation The LTTC has helped Lisa to see the situation of her work and community in a much larger perspective. It has also allowed her to take pride in her community and see the positive sides of her identity. Improved project management Lisa now has more experience and more confidence in setting up, planning and implementing projects of use to the community. She feels she is better able to present the important issues to her community, to be taken seriously and to have an impact. Impact of the project Organisational questions In terms of the support available for carriers of such projects within her organisation, Lisa feels that the experience of the project has been a positive one. People within the organisation seem to have become more active and it is possible to predict that the organisation will be supportive of such projects in the future. In the meantime, Lisa herself goes on with her work and the project follow-up seems to be positively welcomed. In terms of the management of human resources, the project has given people the impetus to become more actively involved in the work of the organisation. However, the project has also clearly demonstrated the lack of qualified personnel, and the issue of motivation remains a difficulty. In terms of relations with the authorities, the project has had little impact, positive or negative. Lisa continues to inform them of the work of the project, but the support received extends only as far as helping occasionally to organise the movement of people and for fact finding. As regards the raising of the profile of minority youth work, the fact that there are so few organisations remains problematic, as this means there are few who practice youth work and even fewer who practice it with minority youth. The regional university will produce its first graduates only this year, and as such, there is a clear lack of all kinds of qualified people teachers, doctors and psychologists. The present situation is not particularly well adapted to the improvement of youth work practice, but the project has raised awareness for the need to co-operate and for individuals to make better their own situations. This has created interest in minority youth work as a means to this end, but it will be many years before this can be translated into a tradition of practice and innovation. In terms of the development of citizenship, participation and empowerment for minority youth, the project has allowed those involved to see that they are able to help themselves. The realisation that they cannot be helped if they do not help themselves first has been important. 86

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Finally, as regards the promotion of intercultural learning, the project has had a number of impacts that have to be read against the fact that the conflict has not been solved and is unlikely to be solved easily. Promotion of intercultural learning Perceptions of minorities The perception of the majority on the part of many minorities in the Russian Federation is that the Russians are warmongers. This is certainly the case in this region. This leads to a somewhat paradoxical situation. In this region, the minority are the refugees and the majority those who lived there before. This creates a confused and sometimes explosive situation. Needless to say, there is much scapegoating and much prejudice. However, the project has been able to raise awareness among the refugees themselves that they can do something for themselves, raise their self-esteem and dignity. As such, it has contributed to improving the perception of minorities. Intercommunity relations The main impact of the project in this regard has been to help people open up to each other. It has offered people who are usually quite closed the possibility of understanding each other's communities. Majority-minority relations As mentioned above, the minority in this region is the refugee community. They feel that they have lost everything, but through the project they have become stronger. They are not willing to let the same tragedy happen again. On the other hand, the majority is the community of people who lived in the region before the refugees came and they feel threatened. All the same, the war is seen as being decided by the Russians in Moscow. The project, in raising the profile and pride of the minority community, has provided the possibility for minority and majority relations to be carried out on a more equal footing.


Participation and citizenship

Project four: Balance in education One-day seminar on the potential and possibility for the introduction of integrated education for able-bodied and disabled people in Hungary Dr Monika Madai is a founding member of the recently established NGO Common Fate Organisation for Disabled and Able-bodied people in Hungary. The organisation is working for the integration of able-bodied young people and those with disabilities in Hungary in every area of life. Among its members there are disabled and able-bodied young people. Most of them have or will obtain a high level education and are, therefore, aware of the importance of the issue of education. Monika is a woman with physical disabilities, having had cerebral palsy since birth. She was educated in a segregated school for children with disabilities, all of whom were isolated from mainstream society during the communist period. Her motivations for being involved in youth work with minorities are to work towards recognition of the needs and requirements of young people with different disabilities for their integration into able-bodied society. The present difficulties lie in involving young people with disabilities in international youth work and the desire to promote integration between able-bodied and disabled young people. Monika has a doctorate in Russian philology, is trained as a journalist, and has a diploma in bookkeeping. She has been one of the editors of a local periodical in her district for the last two years. The project was completed in December 1997. A follow-up seminar took place in February 1998. This project is located geographically in Central Europe. Social context/analysis When speaking of integration we must not forget the issue of education. According to Monika, it is the most important area to be worked on, especially if you are a young person with a disability in Hungary. In Hungary young people with disabilitiies grow up in a very closed system. They do not mix with able-bodied young people. At the same time, youngsters with different disabilities are separated from each other. After education, the young people are pushed out into the real world. This world is one which is unknown to them and is often perceived as dangerous and full of prejudice. For young people with disabilities leaving the segregated school system this is understandable, given the fact that until that point their lives were entirely adapted to the requirements of their disability. The change can come as a shock, both physically and mentally, especially for those between the sensitive ages of 16 and 20. In Hungary, a new educational law was passed recently which now provides for interesting perspectives on integrated education. There is an urgent need in Hungary to discuss integration and the similarities and differences between this law and the reality. The debate on the new law has stimulated interest in the issue of integrated education. The participants in Monika's project and the members of her organisation are young people and education professionals who are not satisfied with the closed dual system situation in Hungary today and who want to be involved in the creation of one society of young people. Young people (able-bodied and with disabilities) should be able to meet in public places. This will not be possible for as long as they do not know how to deal with each other and how to behave under such circumstances. 88

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Description of the project This project involved the organisation of a one-day seminar for Hungarian education professionals, parents, pupils/students and experts from ablebodied and disabled backgrounds (various disabilities were represented including blindness, mental disability, physical disabilities, etc.). The seminar was organised with the purpose of bringing together those concerned with the concept of integrated education at both primary and secondary levels in order to discuss the specific needs of Hungarian mainstream education establishments in dealing with pupils with disabilities. Another aspect of the theme was the discussion of the integration of pupils with disabilities into ablebodied society through education and into the education system generally. The seminar was prepared on the basis of research into the nature and situation of education for pupils with disabilities in Hungary. As such, the focus was on existing integrated educational establishments in Hungary and abroad (as potential examples of good practice). The situation in Hungary, is such that there are very few examples of integrated education. The assessment of these establishments is very mixed. The paradox of integrated education is that intolerance exists on both sides of society able-bodied intolerance towards people with disabilities and vice versa. Hence, the human factor is essential to the potential for success of any initiative entailing integration and/or interaction between able-bodied young people and young people with disabilities. This manifests itself in the problem of trust in order to deal with legacies of the communist past (during which young people with disabilities were hidden in isolated institutions for most of their formative years). It is essential that trust be established between the various partners. This is not always an easy task, given that it will take a generation or more to change stereotyped and prejudicial attitudes on both sides of the community able-bodied and disabled. The question of resources is, of course, of paramount importance and it goes without saying that conditions at integrated schools that exist today could be radically improved. Monikas overall assessment of the situation is that it will take time and training and a generation change for parents, teachers and pupils themselves to become truly open to the concept of integrated education of the able-bodied and those with disabilities alike in Hungary. The seminar also aimed to present positive examples of integrated education and of how it was possible to work together across the barrier/obstacle of disability. In addition, it was important to show that this issue was on the agenda in other countries and that there was a wealth of experience that Hungarian practitioners could draw on in their efforts to reform the education system in favour of the establishment of integrated education in Hungary. Finally, one of the main aims of the organisation of the seminar was to raise the profile of the issues surrounding integrated education and that of The Common Fate Organisation (which was only established two years ago and which needed to gain visibility. This seminar was, in essence, the culmination of all work to date on the part of the organisation and contributed directly to its legitimacy in the eyes of the groups concerned. 89

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Despite success, a number of problems were encountered that altered the planned outcome of the seminar. For instance, the team had planned to invite a number of western practitioners and other international participants to provide input on their experiences and to offer Hungarian practitioners the opportunity of exchanging with them. This, however, was not possible due to financial pressures and the seminar remained an exclusively Hungarian event, clearly changing the nature of the results achieved. An additional factor with regard to participation was the lack of participants from other towns in Hungary. According to Monika, the seminar could have been longer, as this would have allowed more time to establish the necessary level of trust for the participants from various backgrounds to be more at ease with each other and become more expressive and confident in stating their experiences and/or case. Dealing with citizenship and participation issues The methodology was based on active participation and direct involvement. The idea at the root is that by taking part in such a seminar, those involved would gain an interest in training for participation. Participants were encouraged to speak up, contribute and to assert their opinions and ideas. The idea was that by bringing able-bodied people and those with disabilities together to discuss an issue of common interest and concern, it would be possible to begin to eliminate some of the current isolation and negative stereotypes. An important aspect was the emphasis put on being normal and useful. All present were encouraged to be mutually respectful, with equality as a principle of importance. As far as the methods were concerned, it was important to be creative and to experiment. A simulation game was carried out and while it presented "risk" for the experts (who were not used to active, non-academic methods) they enjoyed it and found it useful. The simulation helped establish elements of the trust mentioned above as so necessary to the process of integration. This allowed the seminar participants to get closer to the real issues of importance, which one cannot always deal with in a very direct manner. The creation of a good atmosphere of respect and equality allowed the participants to build a common dynamic and to debate concepts and difficult issues in a natural and creative way. Clearly the main obstacles were time and uncertainty as to the outcomes of such a unique and unprecedented event. There were some worries as to whether the debate raised by the simulation would raise conflicts that would be difficult to deal with in such a short time or that the team would not have enough experience to manage a given conflict situation. However, this did not arise and the debates, while active and often heated, were fruitful. Two other minor obstacles arose: uncertainty as to the level of knowledge and uncertainty as to the level of motivation of the participants. This meant that it was unclear how successful one of the key exercises could be: planning the ideal school. Some participants did encounter blockages in this exercise, not being able to see past the problems to an ideal vision of integrated education. However, most of the worries were not confirmed in reality and concrete plans were debated and established. 90

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Results of the project Achievement of the aims and objectives The aims of the project were: to empower young people with disabilities (physical, including blindness and deafness, and mental disability) between the ages of 13 and 20 to have a chance to integrate into able-bodied society as equal citizens; to involve able-bodied young people and to train both able-bodied and young people with disabilities to help each other to live together and to communicate with each other; to offer opportunities for Hungarian young people to recognise that, to a large extent, they have common problems, whether they be able-bodied or disabled and that they can and must fight together for a world without prejudice and discrimination; to provide a forum for young people and education specialists working with both able-bodied and young people with disabilities to share experiences about the advantages of integrated education using the advice and experience of experts from western and eastern Europe.

The objectives of the project were: to collect information about and to discuss similarities and differences in special education for young people with different disabilities; to clarify means for changing the very closed special educational system for young people with disabilities, taking into account all previous experience and avoiding the repetition of previous mistakes; to offer concrete information on the situation of disabled, able-bodied and Roma/Gypsy young people through debates and lectures from experts from other countries; to try to construct a rationally reduced budget to give educational institutions an idea of the costs of integrated education.

Except for the involvement of foreign input, basically all objectives were achieved, although the representation of certain disabilities was not achieved (i.e. deaf people were absent, etc.). The aims remain long term, and coincide with the overall aims of the Common Fate organisation. Work to achieve them is ongoing. The project is now being followed up with another seminar and further work on raising the profile of integrated education in Hungary (February, 1998). Results with regard to the participants As far as the team has been able to ascertain so far, most of the participants were very satisfied with the outcome of the seminar. 91

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Monika considers that as the seminar progressed, participants became observably more trusting of each other, and thereby more tolerant. Although there were fewer participants than originally planned, those present were extremely active. The experts were able to exchange information and expertise and create contacts for the future. Monika's organisation was able to recruit potential members. Finally, the Common Fate organisation was able to get in touch with other organisations for people with disabilities and create contacts for future work. Local and other impacts There was no media involvement. Neither was there participation from the relevant authorities in the municipal and national government. However, this was a conscious decision on the part of the team, who wanted to establish a consensus as to aims, objectives and priorities (on the basis of the seminar results) before approaching them. However, the Common Fate organisation was able to get in touch in the Children and Youth Council and to establish co-operation with that body. Contribution of the LTTC to the successful implementation of the project methodology Intercultural learning For Monika, the LTTC gave her the opportunity to learn to experience real life situations with many different kinds of people. As such, it allowed her to be more sensitive to the issue of how the participants with different disabilities would relate to each other and also how the able-bodied participants would relate to them and vice versa. Another aspect was that the LTTC allowed Monika to see that others, in different countries and from different backgrounds, were faced with similar issues and problems in their work with minority youth and participation questions. This offered her both hope and motivation for pursuing an intercultural approach to the seminar. In addition, two important elements of the seminar programme (the simulation game and the workshops on planning the ideal school) were approached in mixed groups, bringing to the fore very different conceptions of the issues at stake and stimulating active debate. Europe Seeing the successes of integrated education in other European countries represents a lot of hope for Monika. It is also important to her work that it is recognised by a European institution such as the Council of Europe, as it offers legitimacy and status to both the activities carried out and to the organisation. In the eyes of participants, this recognition was important, as it allowed them to understand that they are not alone in facing the challenges of citizenship as members of minorities. While there was little concrete input on giving a European dimension to the question of integrated education, due to the absence of experts from other countries, there was an awareness of the need for European support in such efforts and the visibility that it can accord such initiatives. 92

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Innovation The form of the seminar was innovative in the context of running such an event in a former communist country and in the Hungarian context specifically. Even in circles related to education, it is unusual and somewhat unorthodox for such a seminar to be run on the principle of active participation and to use methods such as simulation games. Experts are not accustomed to being involved so directly with other participants (especially young people with disabilities from different backgrounds). Monika attributes this to the persistence of the communist legacies from the past in Hungary, where the question of disability was taboo and those who worked in the field of education for young people with disabilities went unrecognised and unrewarded. The LTTC was instrumental in the choice of methodology and methods for the implementation of this project. Improved project management Monika considers that the project management skills she acquired through the LTTC were very, instrumental in making the project concrete and in identifying objectives. Time, as mentioned above, was an issue and as such the time management skills that were gained through the LTTC allowed Monika to deal with the time pressures of the project as a whole in a more competent way, but especially during the seminar itself. In addition, the project entailed the creation, training and leadership of a team. The LTTC offered her the necessary experience to do this and to identify clear needs and objectives during team meetings and in other organisational activities. Impact of the project Organisational questions Support for project leaders from sending organisations The project created possibilities for multiplication. Leaders of other organisations have become interested in this type of work, and hence it has made a contribution as there is potential for those organisations to support this type of work in the future.

Management of human resources The project has demonstrated a better use of personal contacts, friends and of knowledge of the milieu as being highly important to the organisation and successful implementation of the project. The use of multifunctional teams has made a big difference to the functioning of the project and its implementation. Within the Common Fate organisation, the project has raised awareness of the value of team work for the success of such projects. The project has shown that the team is a means of channelling the will of volunteers to become involved in such work. 93

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Relationship with the authorities The project has contributed to creating a network of trust and information by bringing the different interests (authorities and NGOs) together to discuss the issues and to agree on a common aim. The follow-up of the project is directed at the authorities and as such, the project has demonstrated that they need information and assistance in developing integrated education. The Common Fate organisation can offer such assistance and through the project the authorities have become aware of this. This was a pilot project, whose aim was also to test factors such as the relationship with the authorities. It has shown that there is mutual need and potential for co-operation.

Raising the professional profile of minority youth work The project contributed to the acquisition of skills and experience of the leaders through direct involvement in the planning and implementation of the project. The project also helped some participants to better understand the elements of their work which could be improved. The project has given a number of leaders and participants the necessary confidence to take on further responsibilities and to rise to the challenges of planning integrated education in the future. Some leaders are now in the process of identifying their own training needs in terms of language skills, presentation and public speaking skills and in terms of other skills relevant to working with disabled and ablebodied young people.

Development of participation, citizenship and empowerment of minority youth The project has demonstrated that self-knowledge, the ability to identify one's own training and other needs, the ability to recognise ones own capabilities and one's responsibilities in society are the keys to participation. This conclusion can be understood as valid for both those involved in the organisation of the project and for its participants. Understanding and having concrete references to methods and skills in youth work can be seen as a form of empowerment. The project, in offering leaders and participants the opportunity to learn such things, has contributed to the empowerment of these individuals and the organisations to which they belong. The facilitation of confidence building for both pupils and parents (in integrated education) is an important contribution to the empowerment of those individuals.


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Promotion of intercultural learning Perceptions of minorities No one used to refer to the disabled in Hungary as a minority. The project has raised awareness that the disabled constitute a minority and hence that they have specific needs. As a result it has contributed to the breaking down of stereotypes and prejudices among members of the majority. It has also contributed to the raising of the awareness of people with disabilities themselves about the existence of other minorities and has contributed to the breaking down of stereotypes on their part vis--vis those communities. It has also created the awareness within the disabled community that there is a need to do memory work and to work on its historical position as a minority. It is a question of becoming aware of being part of a minority community that has existed for a long time and that has its collective memories that must be kept alive.

Intercommunity relations Between the disabled and able-bodied communities The feeling of equality that was demonstrated by the project allowed for improved relations between able-bodied and disabled participants in the seminar. This was achieved by showing that the disabled have something to contribute to their own future and to that of the society as a whole. Between pupils and experts The project stressed active participation of each individual on an equal footing within the seminar. Hence, the experts were treated like any other participants and the participants were shown that their opinions were as valid as those of the experts. This contributed to the learning process of the experts, in that it helped them to accept the opinion of younger people and to overcome their tendencies towards superiority. Between the various communities of disabled people The project was an opportunity to train for tolerance and for different people to listen to each other and get to know each other. The identification of common and different needs among pupils with different disabilities was crucial to the creation of tolerance. The simulation game was also an essential factor, as it helped people to become aware of their own prejudices and, hence, to gain a better understanding of each other. The stress that the seminar put on examples of good practice gave the participants the opportunity to perceive their own and others' disabilities in a more positive way. 95

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Project five: Youth integration and culture A health seminar for women from minorities, health workers and representatives of minorities to discuss the specific health care needs of minorities living in Turin and the surrounding areas Sonia Aimiumu is a young Nigerian woman living in Turin in Italy. She works for the Alma Mater, Centro Interculturale della Donne (Women's Centre) in Turin, which promotes the integration of immigrants into the life of the city of Turin, as a mediator for cultural and health issues. By vocation Sonia is a singer and artist, and has studied in the Institute of Arts in Turin for two years. She continues to study music and vocal education as well as business communications. She considers all the issues treated by the LTTC course as relevant to her work, as they contribute to her growing experience and knowledge of dealing with participation of minorities in society. Her motivation for being involved stems from many factors, including the fact that she is from a minority community herself. Her project is geographically located in southern Europe and was completed at the end of December 1997. Social context/analysis Minorities are not highly integrated in the city of Turin. Immigration has created significant communities from North Africa and other African countries such as Nigeria. Participation in the cultural and social life of the city is low. There is a general lack of awareness of civic rights and discrimination is common. A particular problem is the issue of the participation of women from minorities in the public health structures of the city. Many cultural biases exist, in both communities (minority and majority) with regard to women's health and hygiene. Women from minorities have problems accessing information and health care facilities. They have difficulties of communication with the health care professionals, most of whom are from the majority ethnic group. This project addresses such issues and aims to improve minority awareness of Turins cultural, social and health structures among the minority communities resident there. The municipal authorities in Turin can benefit from any positive results achieved as the project is expected to have positive effects on the rate of abortion, HIV-infection, tuberculosis, etc. It has the potential for contributing to the promotion of tolerance among minorities and majorities in the city of Turin. Description of the project This project involved the organisation of a seminar on health education for young women from minority and majority backgrounds in the town of Turin. The themes of the seminar related in particular to women's health, contraception, sexually transmitted disease and the feed of children. The seminar was held at the intercultural centre Alma Terra and involved both the target group (minority and majority women) and representatives (professional and voluntary) of different organisations, associations and sanitary structures in the city of Turin and the surrounding areas. State health representatives were also present. 96

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The rationale behind the organisation of such a seminar corresponds to the needs of the target group. They are immigrants (both male and female, even if most participants are female) who lack information on health issues, and who are faced with particular health problems. They face intolerance and discrimination in dealing with health professionals and need further knowledge of intercultural communication. One of the reasons for this situation is that the doctors who deal with these women are invariably from the majority. It is clear that individual women approach personal and family health care in different ways, often culturally bound. Many of the doctors from majority backgrounds are insensitive to the cultural needs of minority women with regard to health questions. As such, an important consideration is that the doctors and patients cannot open dialogue about patients specific needs or on how to improve the general level of health among minority women. While the focus of the project was the provision of information and knowledge about relevant and necessary health issues which would enable participants to care for their own and their families' health independently, a further aim of the project is to establish increased intercultural understanding between people from minorities and those from majorities living in Turin and the surrounding areas. Originally the project had been planned to involve a campaign involving intercultural activities, but the primary need was in the area of health so the form of the project was changed to that of a seminar. In the overall framework of the project, the seminar is seen as the preparatory phase for a future health education campaign, which will be organised on the basis of the results of the seminar. The seminar itself incorporated the evaluations of the experiences and results of a number of womens health projects which have taken place in Turin. Dealing with citizenship and participation issues While the basic and essential information was transmitted through lectures, the main strategy of the methodology was to learn from each others experience. The seminar worked on the difficulties and needs, in health terms, of the people present and through this hoped to promote intercultural understanding between the different groups represented. While intercultural activities are another area of Sonias work, she chose not to apply creative methods in this context. This seminar was aimed at bringing together those responsible for change in health care management in the city of Turin and those working for or representing minorities. This was an important step in the achievement of change for women from minorities as regards their treatment and the way they are perceived by the majority health care community. Sonia faced a number of obstacles in the implementation of the project including, in particular, difficulties in the relationship between the doctors and those health workers representative of the women from minorities concerned and a lack of awareness of the need for certain health care issues to be addressed specifically by and for women from minorities. Another aspect centred on difficulties of communication with health authorities, which was exacerbated by cultural biases, perceptions and stereotypes. 97

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Results of the project Achievement of the aims and objectives The aims of the project were as follows: To extend and develop local health care services and integration in Turin; To inform minorities of their existing rights in Turin (i.e. social rights, health rights); To develop integration among minorities and majorities through cultural activities.

The objectives of the project were: To inform minorities about their existing rights in Turin; To inform minorities about health issues, prevention and social services in Turin.

The seminar contributed to raising awareness about health care issues among minority women and to improving the access of minority women to health care and information on health issues. The involvement of the public health services contributed to encouraging the health care structures in Turin to take the specific situation of women from minorities into account in their day-today management of health care in the city. These public services have also become more aware of the existence of health care issues of specific interest or concern to minority women. Results with regard to the participants The participants appreciated the fact that the seminar dealt not only with health care issues, but also with the issue of intercultural understanding. The main problems in this respect have been between individual doctors and women from minorities themselves. The seminar was an opportunity for those working on behalf of and with women from minorities on health care issues to discuss these problems openly with the representatives of public health structures and to raise their awareness of the existence of this problem. Local and other impacts The participation of two of the large hospitals in Turin made a noticeable impact, because it offered the possibility for the public health structures to become involved in an initiative which would potentially facilitate their dealings with individual women from minorities, especially with those working on their behalf or in their communities. The participation of public health structures raised awareness in the health care community about the specific nature of health issues as they relate to women from minorities. To all intents and purposes, the seminar opened a doorway for minority representatives to access the authorities responsible for the health care of minorities in Turin. 98

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Contribution of the LTTC to the successful implementation of the project methodology Intercultural learning With regard to intercultural learning, the LTTC has allowed Sonia to acquire new knowledge and tools that she can share with others working in her field. This new knowledge has contributed to her success in encouraging dialogue between the majority health care community, minority representatives and individual minority patients. The work on intercultural learning completed during the LTTC has raised her own awareness of the importance of culture in creating dialogue between the majority and minorities. She has become more aware of the cultural identities of others and how this relates to their attitudes and perceptions of health care issues. She believes she has now a broader understanding of cultural expression and how this relates to her work in the field of the promotion of health care among minorities in Turin. Finally, the knowledge she has gained in the field of intercultural learning has contributed to another aspect of her work, namely the organisation of intercultural activities for people from minority and majority backgrounds in the municipality of Turin. Europe According to Sonia, her project was given more attention and was generally taken more seriously because of the fact that it was organised in the framework of and supported by a European-level institution. While the seminar essentially dealt with issues of local concern, and therefore did not include any direct input on health care realities of minorities in other European countries, the LTTC was able to provide Sonia with the means for contextualising her own work in terms of other European realities. Practically, however, some reference was made to a European Union programme for the promotion of women's participation called Now. Innovation One main aspect of innovation in this project was its methodology. In other words, the fact of dealing with intercultural issues in the context of the promotion of health care for women from minorities is a completely new way of going about the improvement of the situation of minorities at municipal level in Turin. Another aspect of innovation is that Sonia is herself a member of a minority. That a member of a minority should propose and carry through such a project within the context of municipal development programmes in Turin is also very recent. Finally, new interest in the culturally bound nature of minority women's attitudes to health care issues at municipal level was created by the approach taken to the project. Improved project management Sonia has identified the following project management skills that she feels have been improved through her involvement in the LTTC: 99

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increased openness to taking up contacts and co-operating with other organisations; improved teamwork; higher confidence in presenting the project and her work to others; more efficient in her work within her organisation.

Impact of the project Organisational questions Support for project leaders from sending organisations: This project had a positive effect on the support that Sonias organisation is willing to offer to those carrying out projects in minority youth work which have a European dimension. The influence of her involvement in the LTTC is clear from the improved attitude of the organisation and others surrounding the project. The fact that the Council of Europe is involved has created a certain interest and status around the project that the organisation wishes both to preserve and to repeat.

Management of human resources The project has proved influential in the creation of new womens groups; The issue of the need for training has been clearly put on the agenda and It is something on which the organisation now places an important emphasis (also training at international level); A number of young women have become more active in the association and are to be trained.

Relationship with the authorities The project has demonstrated the unstable nature of the political context of such projects in Italy. A change of government would immediately mean a change of both priorities within the municipal authorities and a change of staff to suit the new political context. It has demonstrated that such projects rely heavily on a favourable political situation for financial and other support and, hence, their success depends very much on factors which are out of the control of the organisers. It has demonstrated that this situation cannot be influenced by even highly ambitious projects such as this one, and that those carrying out projects must be realistic in this regard. The conclusion to be drawn from the above is that the relationship with given authorities is crucial to the success of such projects and must not be underestimated at any moment in the planning and implementation.


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Raising the professional profile of minority youth work The project has created a better understanding of how to limit the amount of work a given youth worker can take on at one time and the fact that realism in terms of managing one's time and other budgets can lead to more effective and professional youth work. The spin-offs of the project relate directly to training new workers and activists. All forms of training contribute to the necessary process of professionalisation in the field of minority youth work.

Development of participation, citizenship and empowerment of minority youth The project has facilitated the creation of trust and support within the minority community and vis--vis the majority community. The project has demonstrated to the authorities and establishment that minorities are able to do and do things for themselves. The follow-up (2nd seminar) will facilitate the observation of the effects of this pilot in terms of participation and empowerment of the minorities involved, given that these are processes that can only truly be influenced and goals that can only truly be achieved in the long term.

Promotion of intercultural learning Perceptions of minorities The project has been able to positively alter the attitude of the medical establishment and individual doctors to the people from minority communities that they treat. The project has created a better understanding in the medical establishment of the attitude of women from minorities to health issues and, as such, their specific needs.

Intercommunity relations The project has created the possibility for people from different backgrounds (both minority and majority) to dialogue on the issues from the perspective of their own concerns and experiences. This has made it possible for the establishment of a more open communication between the individuals concerned.

Minority-majority relations The project has contributed to the creation of a better understanding between those involved, has created awareness of the issue of the need to improve minority-majority relations in the health care system in Turin and has created more willingness among those involved to co-operate and work together across their minority or majority affiliation. 101

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Project six: Human rights for the Roma minority A series of human rights education seminars for young members of the Roma community in Bulgaria, to help them better defend the rights of their communities and to train trainers Ivan Ivanov is a member of the Bulgarian Roma community. He works for an organisation called the Human Rights Project (HRP), Bulgaria, which attempts to inform Roma people of their human rights and of how to defend them. They are also involved in the fight against police brutality, and institutional discrimination against Roma people in Bulgaria. Ivan originally studied medicine and has practised medicine for seven years. He now studies law and acts as a legal consultant to the Roma community organisations he works for. He is also a member of the youth section of the United Roma Union. His motivation for becoming involved in this kind of work stems from the fact that he comes from a minority community, and that he has experienced first-hand the need among Roma in Bulgaria for education about their fundamental human rights. Ivan's project is an integral part of the HRP's strategy for fulfilling its primary aim, which is that of protecting the human rights of Roma people living in Bulgaria. It began in June, 1997 and is ongoing. It is geographically located in south-eastern Europe. Social context/analysis According to the HRP, the evidence suggests that human rights abuses and violations against members of the Roma community are widespread in Bulgaria. However, most members of the Roma community are not aware of their fundamental human rights and of the legal tools that are at their disposal under the law for seeking redress in the event of violation. Bulgarian public opinion in general and the police in particular consider the Roma community as a criminal element in society. This opinion is strengthened by the media and their hate-speech policy towards the Roma minority. The brutal abuse of human rights in Bulgaria is commonplace, with the police themselves carrying out indiscriminate actions in Roma areas. Being largely unaware of their rights, Roma people do not know to whom to address their complaints of abuse or how to react to and interact with the authorities. The main reason for this is that there is widespread fear in the community of reprisal and further discrimination. The authorities exploit the ignorance of the Roma people vis--vis their rights and the situation is further complicated by the fact that many of the perpetrators of these crimes are either members of the police forces or of mafia type groups. Another major problem is that people have little or no confidence in the judicial system and, thereby, have little desire to pursue complaints in court. Paradoxically, some of the victims tend to justify the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers. A common outcome of incidents of police brutality 102

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is that the police officer apologises for his rude behaviour orally in order to offset the possibility that the victim might issue a complaint to the relevant authorities. Often, the victim will accept this apology and give up any form of legal action. Intercommunity relations are, therefore, strained. The Roma minority has a kind of complex and has little or no trust in the majority, the authorities or the police. Few believe that human rights apply to them in equal measures as to members of the majority. This has led to isolation and marginalisation. Other social problems, such as unemployment and exclusion, are attendant on this situation. Description of the project The need of human rights education among members of the Roma minority in Bulgaria is apparent. This project set about organising training seminars and information sessions for Roma youth on fundamental human rights. The main aim was to provide the young people with a sound basis of knowledge about their individual and community's rights, so as to be better able to counter police brutality and the social isolation that affects their everyday living conditions in Bulgaria. Closely related was the goal of training multipliers who would be able to inform their communities about and train other young people in human rights. Training seminars and information sessions were organised in five different cities across Bulgaria between June and November 1997. The young people invited to participate are all members of the Roma communities living in these cities. They are aged between 18 and 35 years. The organisers targeted young people who were interested in the themes of human rights and human rights defence, and who showed an interest in contributing to the improvement of the situation of the Roma community in Bulgaria. Representatives of Roma community organisations, volunteers and activists also participated in the seminars. The training carried out with the participants involved active sessions on the following themes: knowing your rights and those of your community under international and national law; how to react when a human rights abuse has taken place; first aid and basic medical expertise; the procedures for filing a claim for the redress of human rights abuse.

Another aspect of this project was the organisation of information meetings between the HRP and volunteers working on behalf of the Roma community in a number of different cities in Bulgaria. These information meetings aimed at ascertaining the true situation of those Roma communities and assuring mutual information about and constant monitoring of human rights abuses. The discussions which took place with the volunteers (again, young people from the local Roma community) were led by representatives of the 103

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legal department of the HRP and dealt with similar issues to those outlined above. Of special importance were the discussions on immediate countermeasures that can be taken in cases of human rights abuse. In addition, the young people were informed about their rights and about strategies for their defence, as described in the major international documents. Finally, the representatives of the HRP provided input on actual cases of human rights abuse in Bulgaria and of the follow-up actions that are necessary in order to seek redress. While the project has, to date, focused on areas of Bulgaria where there is a high incidence of human rights abuse, Ivan and the HRP believe it is important to establish preventive action as well as actions to counter extant human rights abuses. Hence, the project will be extended to areas of Bulgaria which, to date, have shown a low incidence of human rights violations, but where Roma communities would benefit from knowledge of their human rights. Dealing with citizenship and participation issues In the running of the training seminars, Ivan chose to use a mixed approach involving lectures and discussions. The focus was on the creation of dialogue and, therefore, interactive methods were chosen. An example is the screening of a film about individual cases of human rights abuse, entitled I am a Gypsy and I am guilty, which was debated extensively afterwards. On the one hand, it was important to create a wider understanding among participants of the complexities surrounding human rights abuse. It was also important to demonstrate that ethnic motivations are not the only ones directing human rights violations. On the other hand, it was also important not to create stereotypes or to reinforce existing prejudices about the majority among the participants. The project is ongoing, and as such, the methodology is developing with time and further experience. Ivan now intends to use a more active methodology (encouragement of learning by doing) and more creative methods (such as simulations and role games) in order to foster better understanding between police officers and victims. A number of obstacles were encountered in the implementation of the methodology of the project. In particular, the young people from Roma backgrounds did not believe that the training the HRP offers would have any effect. According to Ivan, this is due to the political and legal history of Bulgaria. Another problem is that young people have little trust in the authorities or in authority in general and little confidence in themselves. The young people are eager to see results, but these can only be long term and it is sometimes difficult for them to remain motivated. An additional factor is that some of the young people are very closed and have a very narrow view of life. 104

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Results of the project Achievement of the aims and objectives The aims of this project are as follows: To transfer basic knowledge about fundamental human rights to Roma youth; To prevent the racist violence of the police and people with right-wing attitudes towards Roma people in Bulgaria.

The objectives of this project were as follows: To provide the possibility for contacts between Roma people and the Bulgarian legislative system for dealing with abuses of human rights; To provide monitoring of human rights, especially those of the young trainees; To publish information about police brutality and its victims. To help Roma young people: to get more information about human rights, to get practical skills regarding how to react in different cases/situations of abuse, to get particular or specific skills to teach other young people about human rights. The project was organised with the following specific goals in mind: By providing education about basic human rights the project would have an impact on activating young Roma people to participate in dealing with important problems of concern to them, such as: police brutality; racist attacks against Roma people; violence towards ethnic minorities. The project would provide the community with the means for the establishment of a mechanism for fighting against the violation of the human rights of the Roma minority in Bulgaria.

To all intents and purposes, the objectives of the project have been fulfilled. However, Ivan is very realistic about what such a short-term pilot project (six months duration) can achieve. One cannot change institutional and legal discrimination against the Roma overnight. Nor can one change the attitudes of the general public easily. Stereotypes on both sides (majority and Roma) are difficult to break down. For these reasons, Ivan believes that the aims of the project have only been achieved in part. However, a follow-up project is planned and Ivan is presently in the process of fund raising in order to continue this work. 105

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Results with regard to the participants The young people involved in the information meetings have shown interest in human rights and many of them have started to collaborate with the HRP. These young people act as a monitoring network, informing the HRP of new cases of human rights violations and related problems. They play an important and active role in their local communities by encouraging victims of abuse to speak out and to seek legal redress. As a result of their activity, trust has increased. Local and other impacts The project has had a positive effect on the relationship between some local police stations, the national police authorities and the Roma community. There have been no major effects on the attitudes of the media with regard to the Roma community, however, and there continues to be a lot of hate speech, written violence and propaganda against Roma in the press and other media. This is still to be addressed. An indirect effect of the project has been the creation of contact with the Council of Europe's confidence-building measures programme. Ivan hopes to be able to capitalise on those contacts in the context of the follow up to the present project. Contribution of the LTTC to the successful implementation of the project methodology Intercultural learning According to Ivan, the results of the work on intercultural learning completed during the LTTC translated into very practical elements of his work with the Roma minority. An intercultural approach was achieved through working on such issues as equality and citizenship. Through education for tolerance, it was possible to create an understanding among the participants that, in the first place, not all members of the majority hold Romaphobic attitudes or abuse human rights. It was also possible to create awareness among participants about the existence of other minorities and that they are equal. This may have interesting knock-on effects within the Roma community. Another contribution of the LTTC in this respect is that Ivan feels himself better able to co-operate and network with people from other backgrounds, countries and cultures. He feels this to be a significant asset in the development of his work with the Roma minority. Europe The very nature of this project and its focus on human rights lends itself to the inclusion of a European dimension. During the training seminars, the various international documents and human rights protection structures were referred to and studied in some depth. In addition, the involvement of and co-operation with the Council of Europe's confidence-building measures programme created a tangible link to a European reality. In addition, the HRP has 106

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many European-level contacts and co-operates with a number of Europeanlevel organs such as the Roma Rights Centre (Budapest), the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation, the Helsinki Watch Group and Amnesty International. Innovation For Ivan, and hence for the project as a whole, one major contribution of the course relates to the role of evaluation in project management. The emphasis placed on the role and timing of evaluation during the LTTC raised Ivans own awareness with regard to its importance, but also offered him workable tools which he was subsequently able to employ in the organisation and implementation of this project. Another innovative aspect was the use of conflict management and resolution methods during the project. Such methods are relatively unfamiliar to those working with the Roma community on human rights and citizenship questions. The experience of this project has been that they are extremely effective in dealing with conflict (between the Roma minority and the authorities, for instance) in an open and constructive way. Ivan considers this a step in the right direction for dealing with such sensitive issues in a more proactive and effective way in the future, within both the Roma and majority communities. Improved project management Ivan is confident that as a result of his participation in the LTTC, he has become more capable in defining the aims and objectives of his project work, and hence, that he is more capable of implementing them. He has noticed an improvement in his time management skills and he considers that he now has a better understanding of the planning process involved in setting up and running a project. An important aspect, as mentioned above, is the role that evaluation has come to play in his project work. He has also gained skills in teamwork, considering that he is now better able to achieve a certain distance and solve conflicts that may arise among team members in a more objective way.


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Project seven: Video caf A video project with a group of young people from different minority backgrounds living in Offenbach and having little opportunity to express themselves through the media. Cihad Taskin is a youth worker specialising in Mediapedagogics. He worked at Jugendbildungswerk until the end of December, 1997, in Offenbach. He is a member of the Turkish community living in Germany. He studied social pedagogics, specialised in media pedagogics and began working in 1996. He is particularly interested in widening the view of young people and in dealing with ethnic and regional interpretations. Through his work he would like to contribute to breaking down stereotypes. The fact that the young people he works with have little or no contact with the social reality of the town they live in was one of the motivations for him to initiate his project. As related to the context of his work at Jugendbildungswerk, the project was initiated to also allow the organisation to understand more about the social behaviour of young people and how intercultural learning affects multicultural groups. The project is geographically located in western Europe. Social context/analysis In Offenbach Migrants make up nearly 30% of the population of Offenbach. In some schools up to 70% of the class are migrant young people. The political, social and cultural participation of migrants is very poor. There is much ignorance of the multicultural reality in both communities (i.e. majority and minority). Spaces where young people from immigrant backgrounds can come together and spend their leisure time are almost non-existent.

The young people Coming from traditional families of different ethnic and religious origins (including Greek, Turkish, North African, Yugoslav, Somali, Bangladeshi, German, Italian and Iranian), the young people involved in the project are often faced with challenges to their identity in their everyday lives. Many have difficulties finding work, or are experiencing problems in school. They are vulnerable to drug abuse and many have difficulties in establishing a sexual identity which cannot conform to the wishes of their families. They are confronted with prejudice and are often aware that people avoid them and that they are perceived as strange or as a threat when they hang out in the street. Other common problems among these young people include: discipline, confronting traditional and modern lifestyles, religious questions, and conflicts with social workers. Having few opportunities to express themselves, these young people are only visible to the wider community in a negative light. This project is, in essence, an attempt to break down this perception and to help the young people to come to an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of their being perceived in this manner (prejudice, fear, ignorance). 108

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Description of the project This project involved the creation of a group of some twenty young people from different minority backgrounds who would make a video documentation of life as they perceive it in their local neighbourhood in Offenbach in Germany. The preparation of the project involved the creation of the group, training the group in the technical and aesthetic aspects of making videos, contacts with social workers and the youth section of the local police, working on group dynamics and the process of personal development entailed by working actively together towards a common aim. The aim of this project was to give the young people involved the opportunity to express themselves through a medium other than the spoken language and to be understood by a wider public. The constitution of the group involved getting in touch with the young people, and building individual relationships with them using an informal approach. Only then was the video project proposed. The first meetings of the group involved getting to know each other. This part of the process was important as between the members of the different minority groups tensions and provocation sometimes arose. The participants received training in the use of video and the group sessions were used to identify the theme and content of the proposed film. The use of the medium of video was very important to the aim of the project. Through the use of such a medium, the young people were able to observe themselves from a different perspective and to reflect on their own behaviour, conflicts and problems. Through the use of film, the young people were put in the position of having to reflect critically on why they do certain things and how others perceive them. Another important aim was that the young people be offered the opportunity to do something active for themselves, having few opportunities for interesting leisure time activities outside the youth centre, which is not open every day. As it is, most of these young people meet on the street. Some of the issues addressed by the project are as follows: Using the youth centre as a place where young people from migrant backgrounds can work together on projects; Getting in touch with the city in which you live; Learning about the social, cultural and government institutions; Using the youth centre as a resource; Learning about qualities such as commitment, loyalty, continuity and idealism.

Dealing with citizenship and participation issues The main pillar of the methodology was mediapedagogics. The important thing was to transmit to the participants the message that there exist many 109

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ways of communicating that are neither verbal nor aggressive/defensive. Through the medium of film the participants were encouraged to step back from the problems of everyday life and to perceive realities from another perspective and to realise that communication of a more proactive nature is possible with one's peers and one's environment. Active participation was important. Participants were encouraged to contribute in an active manner and, in order to facilitate personal development issues and self-esteem, were approached in a step by step way, with the group encouraged to build trust. This also entailed the realisation on the part of participants that they formed part of a whole entity, the group, and this necessitated some reflection on the nature of group dynamics and communication. Self-evaluation and personal reflection were stressed. Another aspect of this approach was to offer the young people the opportunity to make themselves visible to the outside world and to their peers in a positive manner. Finally, one of the most important elements was to focus on the process of learning entailed by such a project and not unduly to stress the product of the work that the young people actually completed. This relieved any potential stress and pressure that the participants may have felt to perform. The whole process was meant to open up alternatives for the young people and to offer them new perspectives on what they were capable of achieving together. The main issues raised by the young people during the work in the group were as follows: Talking about difficulties such as the opening hours of the youth centre, the young people realised that they have recreational/leisure time needs and that they are interested in becoming more involved and active, whether this be in terms of personal and/or professional development or in terms of contributing to the community life of their neighbourhood. Looking for opportunities, alternatives and the possibility of doing something different or out of the ordinary. Looking for role models in whom to put their trust and confidence. Problems in school, especially in dealing with their teachers. The feeling that they are discriminated against by the teachers. However, through discussion it was possible to bring them to the realisation that such problems are not one-sided and that responsibility for them lies with the teachers but also with them. In some, although a minority, it was a question of learning not to use racism as an excuse for their own lack of discipline and behaviour. Learning about new perspectives and views on problems and breaking down the one-way thinking of the young people.

The main obstacles to the implementation of this methodology included the very narrow and unidirectional thinking of some of the participants. While motivation was not a problem, discipline in the group was, and this sometimes impeded getting down to work. Clearly some communication problems were entailed in the process of the filming of the video, which necessitated interviews 110

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with people in the street. This can be understood in terms of problems of selfconfidence in expression among participants, although in the context of the work inside the group confidence was not really an obstacle. Cihad's role in the group, given his professional commitments, was occasionally somewhat impeded by the fact that he had to constantly move back and forwards between the project work and his daily professional responsibilities in the youth service (JBW) where he worked. Time and the general lack of time were obvious problems. Results of the project Achievement of the aims and objectives The aims of the project were: to empower young men from minorities in confronting traditional values living within multicultural society. to increase the self-confidence of young people from minorities. to improve the image of young migrant men in society. to open opportunities to participate in citizenship.

The objectives of the project were: to create the possibility for young migrant men to deal with or be in contact with the police in a neutral way. to create the possibility of reacting to social conflicts (neighbourhood, police, shop, disco, etc.) in a reflective way through work on video. to give young migrant men the opportunity to express themselves through a medium (i.e. video) other than verbal communication. to provide training for young migrant men on how to make oneself visible as a member of a minority and as a migrant man. to give the young migrant men the opportunity of having a creative experience in a safe place.

Basically the aims were achieved. The young people were very impressed with the film they made and their own production. They felt that it was an achievement and that it was something they could be proud of. They were also able to see that there are alternative ways of achieving their desires and goals and that they can have access to the things they want. Another positive result was that the participants began to think about the political dimension of participation, including the importance of proactive visibility and taking an active part in the life of Offenbach, their local community and their peer group. Finally, an important dimension was that of the achievement of personal autonomy. While working on the video project, they could reflect on alternative professional paths and become more decisive and independent in their choices at school or in terms of vocational training. Education was an important theme, and its value was raised in the perceptions of certain participants. 111

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Results with regard to the participants The participants were able to get in touch with each other and to get to know each other better, both personally and culturally. They were able to reflect on their desires and goals in terms of leisure time activities and on their personal concerns and goals. Culturally, the participants gained in awareness, are now more interested in cultural activities, and are interested in what they can do in the youth centre. More importantly, they became aware of the fact that culture is an important influence on behaviour, both directly and indirectly. Finally, the project helped participants to raise questions about themselves and about their immediate environment. Local and other impacts On the part of the social workers themselves, the project created interest in the needs of this group of young people. Cihad himself was able to learn to deal more effectively with the social workers responsible for these young people. An article about the project appeared in the local newspaper, which was positive. In addition, the film was shown on a local television station. Another positive outcome was that the local welfare authority became more aware of the existence of the social situation of these young people and the challenges they face. A higher level of interest was created in the local neighbourhood. This was manifested in a more open attitude by the local people with regard to the young people. Local people seemed to better understand the nature of the desires and goals of the young people and what they wanted to express. These impacts can be seen as a first step in the right direction to breaking down the negative perception of these young people in their local communities and on the part of the authorities. Contribution of the LTTC to the successful implementation of the project methodology Intercultural learning Cihad has already worked extensively in the field of Intercultural learning and he had already envisaged an intercultural approach for the project in applying initially to the LTTC. Having said this, the contribution of the LTTC was to confirm his belief in the intercultural approach and in his ability to work in an intercultural context. Finally, he was also able to reuse the skills he learned and to reproduce techniques, methods, exercises and games in his work with the young people. Europe The LTTC provided a wider context for the participants to relate to. Cihad's involvement and the existence of a wider context/reality for his work facilitated the breaking down of the narrow life view some of the young people. For Cihad, as a project carrier, it opened doors and facilitated contacts for this and future projects. It also offered him perspectives on how other people, in different professional and social contexts work in general and with intercultural 112

Training for minority youth projects in Europe

learning specifically. The link to Europe facilitated the introduction of a certain political dimension into the work with the young people and allowed them to begin to approach the notion of political dynamics, a notion which they were able to apply to their position in society. Innovation In terms of working with the participants, the major innovation in this project was the focus on process rather than product. In the context of previous initiatives to work with minority young people in Offenbach, such an approach was new and somewhat unorthodox. The European context was also new and opened up perspectives unknown to both the young people and the professionals working with them before. As such, the contact with the LTTC is considered as having created the potential for partnership at the international level. For Cihad, it has widened his practical understanding of European youth work and has facilitated his role as a multiplier. Improved project management The LTTC helped Cihad to conceptualise the project more effectively. However, time management remained a problem. Impact of the project Organisational questions Support for project leaders from sending organisations: This project has demonstrated that there is a willingness on the part of the organisation and others related to this work to support such projects; It has created greater awareness of the need for integration and, hence, the need for such activities for young people from minorities; A spin-off from the project is the possibility that a media action group will be created. This demonstrates that the project has had a concrete impact on the attitude of the organisation to this kind of youth work.

Management of human resources Cihad worked alone on this project. This can be attributed to the general lack of adequate human resources available within the organisation and for this kind of work; This has demonstrated the need for training and a change of approach to the way in which the organisation allocates tasks.

Relationship with the authorities As mentioned above, the police were very interested in the potential for working in a proactive way with these young people. However, in the case of this project, the young people themselves did not want to involve the police; 113

Participation and citizenship

Having said this, the level of interest in the relevant police sections is high and they would be willing to become involved in such a project in the future.

Raising the professional profile of minority youth work This project has contributed to raising the professional standards of those associated with it through the fact that it necessitated a certain confrontation of ideologies and opinions among the various professionals; It created a type of conflict which led to the confrontation of long-held assumptions about how to work with minority youth; It has contributed to the raising of the value attributed to working together to solve problems, because it necessitate that decisions be taken after dialogue and consultation.

Development of participation, citizenship and empowerment of minority youth The project has contributed to the empowerment of the young people involved by acknowledging the potential for conflict inherent in the group and by dealing with it openly and directly. This has led to the young people understanding the primacy of culture in their own process of empowerment and that realising the role of culture is a key to achieving participation; The project has demonstrated that group integration is possible among very diverse individuals. This has facilitated the young people in building their self-esteem; The project has demonstrated that different and very diverse young people from minorities can be faced with the same or very similar problems. This has created solidarity and trust which can be seen as supportive of empowerment and participation; On the professional level, the project has shown that tensions between professionals and their target groups must be solved in order ensure maximum participation of the young people; The project has shown that sometimes it is harder to work effectively for and with minorities if you are from that background yourself, at the same time as demonstrating that the young people gain confidence and empowerment through the fact that their youth worker is from a minority.

Promotion of intercultural learning Cihad has already worked extensively with intercultural learning concepts and while he is convinced of his understanding of this work and that his work is based on an intercultural approach, the project was able to offer him some new ways of looking at the issue of intercultural learning and its practice.


Training for minority youth projects in Europe

Perceptions of minorities The project had a positive effect, in that it improved the image of the minority youth in their own neighbourhood; However, it is not clear that this positive effect has been achieved with regard to the perceptions social workers have of the young people.

Intercommunity relations While special problems between the minority communities represented in the project were not very prominent, they were of course implicitly treated by the work of the project; The creation and deepening of individual friendships has created a better understanding between the people involved in the project, which cannot but have a knock-on effect in their families and communities, however minor it may be; The project was a safe place where the young people could test the limits of each other's tolerance and, hence, the project has contributed to the improvement of attitudes of the young people to people from different communities; The fact that in this project the young people were taken seriously by the project leader but also by each other has also facilitated a more open relationship between those individuals involved in the project and by implication between their communities.

Minority-majority relations The project initiated and facilitated reflection and discussion about the issue of minority-majority relations; However, it has also demonstrated the extent to which young people from minorities lack the skills and tools to manage their relationships with others, especially those from the dominant culture; The project has been able to counter the feeling of powerlessness among the young people from minorities who were involved in the project, by taking a more proactive and positive approach to how to relate to people from the majority; This question is inextricably bound to the combined problems of fear, insecurity and ignorance in both communities regarding the other.


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