ICAN: Imagination and Creativity for Active participation and iNclusion of young refugees and immigrants

January 26, 2018

The “Imagination and Creativity for Active participation and iNclusion of young refugees and immigrants – ICAN” was a project that stemmed from the realization that Europe is nowadays facing a refugee and migration crisis without precedent, affecting directly all of the European Union and the wider Europe region. The high numbers of young refugees and immigrants, combined with the intensification of stereotypes (promoted also by the media) and the increased marginalization and intolerance towards certain groups of people (Roma, immigrants, people living in extreme poverty, etc), lead to a negative self-image, mistrust of the society and social vulnerability, especially among the young people that belong to those groups.

We believe that imagination has a great role and value in each one’s life. The creative power of imagination has an important role in the achievement of success in any field. What we imagine with faith and feelings comes into being. It is the important ingredient of creative visualization, positive thinking and affirmations. Imagination and Creativity can give young people what they need in order to regain their optimism, be empowered and become more Active Citizens of the society in which they live.

We believe that youth empowerment through boosting of their creativity and imagination can be beneficial in various ways. Creativity can develop a number of skills and competences, necessary for personal and professional development. In parallel, the participation of young refugees and immigrants in creative activities in the community they are living in, gives the opportunity to the citizens of the city/community/country they are living in to come closer to them and their cultures, get to know and interact with them and break prejudices and stereotypes, becoming more open to diversity.

As professionals in the youth field, we are in a position to respond to the needs of young people, including young refugees and immigrants, using tools and methods that reinforce their imagination and boost their creativity.

The project contained only 1 activity, a mobility of youth workers that took place in Kalamata, Greece, from the 2nd to the 9th of April 2017 (including travel days). In it participated 22 people active in the youth field and 2 trainers from 11 countries, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Norway.

The activities were based on non-formal learning tools and methods, that gave the opportunity to the participants to participate actively in all activities and facilitated the sharing and exchanges between them.

The objectives of the project were the following:

– involve the participants in an interactive process of defining imagination and creativity and their importance for young people

– explore how imagination and creativity can be used as a tool for youth development, focusing on young immigrants and refugees, their active participation in Civil Society Activities and their smooth integration into society

– Promote the exchange of best practices and the transfer of innovation.

– Discover and create tools and methods that support the development of imagination and creativity of the young people

– Enable participants to reflect   on the already successful good practices and develop new ones.

– Share knowledge about the ERASMUS+ programme and create a network for the development of common projects in the near future

Through this project, the participants developed skills and competences in designing creative activities for youth, managing youth groups and counselling youth for taking initiatives and evaluating their work, focusing on working with young immigrants and refugees and on the creation of activities that promote their social integration. These competences are now passed on to the participating organization, building their capacity and improving the services they provide to young people, and especially to young people with fewer opportunities.

During the seminar, we created the module for a workshop on how to build a CV. You can find it here: http://www.ngokane.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/CV_building_workshop.pdf

Check out some photos from this project here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/kane.kalamata/photos/?tab=album&album_id=761925597308589

This project was funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.