WORLD REFUGEE DAY
20th June, 2022
During the mobility in Greece the students had the chance to participate in activities which had to do with the “World Refugee Day” commemoration. World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20 and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is na occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.
On Tuesday the 22nd of March, students and teachers visited the Refugees Reception Center (RRC) in Mavrovouni, Mytilene. The supervisor talked to them about the Center services and then they were guided through the facilities by an authorized guide. They were also informed about how refugee children are accepted in the educational system, by the Reception Center Educational Supervisor D. Pavlou. Then all teams gathered in the indoor athletic Centre in Neapoli – Mytilene, where the students had two role play games related to the “zero discrimination day” (1st of March) and the “world refugee day” (20th of June).
After a short discussion concerning the Refugee issue, together with the “Mosaik” supervisor, M. Papadopoulou, all students worked on creating a series of 4 panels, depicting a family of refugees leaving their home and being on their way to a new, safer place. The figures were created by stripes of old clothes, life jackets which were used by refugees, old tents which were hosting refugees and migrant´s families and other materials which were re-used for this purpose. The idea was to think what one thing would one take with him/her if he/she had to leave home in case of emergency. Everyone wrote on a piece of cardboard what this precious thing would be.
Right after the activities, all teams visited PIKPA, a summer camp which was transformed and used by volunteers, to a reception camp. L. Altinoglou, one of the volunteers who founded PIKPA, talked to the group about this community-based space, built on the principles of solidarity, empowerment and active participation. It used to be an environment where people could find dignity, love, safety and respect.
On Thursday, CSI students cooperated with the “Mosaik” support center staff. Mosaik was founded in response to the need for sustainable support structures for refugees and locals and is a beautiful meeting point for refugees and locals to interact and get together right in the center of Mytilini. It offers language classes, educational activities for children, computer classes, guitar lessons, yoga classes, literature workshops, human rights workshops and also provides free psychosocial support and free legal support to refugees through the Lesvos Legal Center which operates in its premises.
At the same time, another group of students were creating digital, collaborative posters for the “World Refugee Day” with the students from Finland, using Canva web app. The posters were then uploaded on a padlet wall (https://padlet.com/agathjo/qj520hqr7k02dnzc) and shared on twinspace.
WORLD DAY OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY
21st May, 2022
We celebrated the World Day of Cultural Diversity in Finland. The students got the task to discuss about their own cultures with mixed groups of students from different project countries. After discussion they created Kahoot and Bamboozle games of the features of different cultures. The games were played by the teams and everyone had the chance to improve their knowledge about each others culture.
Manuela Farinha and Mika Haapalainen
ZERO DISCRIMINATION DAY
1st March, 2022
Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated each year on 1st March to remember the right of everyone to live a full and productive life—and live it with dignity. Zero Discrimination Day highlights how people can become informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and, above all, a movement for change. During the mobility in Greece, on Tuesday 22nd of March, after visiting the Mavrovouni BBC in Mitylene, the students experienced an interesting drama workshop, according to the “It could be me, it could be you” methodologies.
“It could be me, it could be you” is an awareness-raising project on human rights and refugees targeting the educational community at large, using experiential learning, theatre and Educational Drama techniques, implemented by the Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network (TENet-Gr) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in Greece since 2015.
The students took part in an involving workshop guided by drama-in-education specialists. After warming up activities, forming the group, the students were led into the “Take a step forward!” activity. First, they stood in line one next to the other, some role cards were handed out without being shared. Some students received identical cards and listened to the coordinator’s statements: they had to step forward, if one of the statements was true about the role assigned to them, or stay still if it wasn’t. After several statements, participants were asked to stop and look and the rest of the players noticing what they saw, focusing on their feelings and thoughts. The questions were:
Where are the others?
How far have they proceeded compared to me?
How does this make me feel?
Once their roles were revealed, discrimination and differences were pointed out.
Francesca Lainu and Maria Luisa Tonali
INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY
21st February, 2022
21st of February was declared the International Mother Language Day in 1999 by UNESCO. It is celebrated every year around the world to promote cultural and linguistic diversity as well as multilingualism. It is believed that there are 6.500 languages in the world but did you realize every two weeks one language disappears? The idea behind the International Mother Language Day is to protect languages around the world.
Linguists believe that mother tongue is very important in education because children learn best in their first language. Unfortunately. 40 % of children do not have access to education in the language they speak or understand.
Every year there is a different theme chosen by UNESCO. In 2022 it was: “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and Opportunities”. The main focus was on the role of technology in multilingual education and development in teaching and learning quality. (International Mother Language Day – United Nations)
Participants of the Cultural and Social Integration (Re)action project took their time to celebrate the International Mother Language Day in their schools. We each created a table with commonly used expressions in our mother tongues. The results were later shared among the participants during the mobility in Greece (2lst-25th March). In multicultural groups students tried to learn expressions in their partners languages. All students tried to have short dialogues in all five languages i.e. Greek, Polish, Finnish, Italian and Portuguese. As Finnish students were not able to travel to Greece, they participated in the activity through a video conference.
Each school also prepared a booklet containing fun facts of their languages. useful expressions as well as tongue twisters. The material was exchanged in Greek school during language group activities and was going to be displayed in each partner school.
Nelson Mandela once said: ‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.’
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (MARCH, 21st)
To celebrate the International Day for the “Elimination of Racial Discrimination” (21st March), the partners decided to write a collaborative song. In January and February during the online meetings, every group suggested a song they liked and then voted on the tune they considered to be the best. The winner was “Demons” by ImagineDragons. On the notes of this song our students had to write a new version talking about discrimination and racism, how to fight it and live together in peace. In March everygroup wrote a part of the song. In April after the Finnish team recorded an instrumental version and shared with the other partners, all students trained to sing it. In May each partner recorded their students singing the song using the lyrics written by all on the music composed by the Finnish team. The result was “Together you and I, we are CSI”.
COVID19 AND CSI (RE)ACTION
Since Covid-19, our project has been re-modulated, never changing its essence. Reaction is indeed one of our key-words and this is what each team is doing, finding new ways to meet, share and go on.
When the pandemic led to lockdown across the world, our everyday life changed irreversibly. In Education, we had to find new, innovative ways to keep the lessons going, being at the same time away from school, as well as other activities such as our Erasmus CSI program. Distant learning has been used in the past, but never before to such extent. Mobilities were postponed for sometime in the near future, we therefore had to find a way for the students, to start communicating and interacting, to keep their interest undiminished and at the same time to help them proceed with the Program objectives. This was made possible by a series of online meetings, the first of which took place last January (2021) and gave the participants of each team, the opportunity to introduce themselves to the rest of the partners, for the first time since the Program began. From then on, online meetings were the only way toachieve team working on a weekly basis, work on Design Thinking and they were used as a means to carry through with the Program objectives.