The migration phenomenon is often exploited by the right-winged political elite as well as by the media in order to present it as a “crisis” and a threat to the culture and traditions of the respective host countries. Because of this, several obstacles and opposition are damaging the SHARING OF RESPONSIBILITIES and the commitment to adhere to a common European framework with regards to the migration issue.
This is directly undermining the founding principles of the EU and it constitutes what we want to change through this project, by encouraging European youth to collaborate and develop a sense of community. To make matters worse, poor integration is another result of the increasing hostility towards migrants. It becomes harmful not only to migrants themselves but also to the host countries which struggle to take advantage of the human capital that the migrants represent.
To facilitate a more efficient integration process, we want to RAISE AWARENESS AMONG EUROPEAN YOUTH about the migration phenomenon and ENCOURAGE THEM TO INTERACT WITH MIGRANTS in order to PROMOTE MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING as well as an EXCHANGE OF KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS. We believe this to be the first step towards increased tolerance and acceptance of our differences.
The experience led to a launch of a Positive Migration newspaper
~ Our Digital YearBook
📔 During our youth exchange, we prepared a digital yearbook which will remind us of all the faces of our project. It will help us go back in time and it will be a reminder of the good time we once had in Ashford, the UK.
“Migration is an expression of the human aspiration for dignity, safety and a better future. It is part of the social fabric, part of our very make-up as a human family” Ban-Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
Arrival and Day 1: Building up
✨ Here we are, at the beginning of a new adventure, ready to discover, connect, learn and have fun! This is the first day of our Youth Exchange and it was all about getting to know each other and our venue.
🚀 We were introduced to the topic of our project, Migration. We shared our fears, and expectations and how each of us could contribute to the project. We made agreements with each other and set our rules and intentions in order to have a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Day 2 Concepts and Reality
⏺ The second day of our project started with a Morning Circle which is a way of council where participants share about their personal and group status. We were also introduced to the captains of the day where a different group every day facilitates energisers and the recap of the previous day for the rest of the participants! It was our time to shine.
🎯 Today we worked with the concept of group decision-making, debating and negotiation. We got a bit deeper in the project topic by having 3 activities related to migration, stereotypes and perspective.
🇪🇸 During the night we enjoyed activities by the Spanish team which presented their country in a particular way!
Day 3 Stepping into
🔋 We started our day again with fresh energy and the morning circle. Today was the day of role-playing. We learnt a lot about the challenges that migrants face when they are trying to cross borders. Through the role-play, we managed to, at least in a very small percentage, step into the shoes of migrants.
🎭 Afterwards, even if a bit nervous, we managed to deliver great performances using the Theatre of the Oppressed as a method. We worked with different concepts that were reflecting to the reality.
🇷🇴 With the Romanian intercultural night, dancing and laughing, the third day came to an end.
Day 4 Active Citizenship
🌈 Today, our day started a bit differently. We woke up a bit earlier and took a walk to the next town, Ashford. We spoke, interacted and interviewed locals. They spoke to us about their migration story or about stories they know from other people.
📽 We managed to film more people answering and we’ll make short videos out of the interviews. You’ll have the opportunity to watch them soon!
🗞 For the afternoon, we designed a newspaper in which you will be able to read beautiful stories from people that migrated in a country and had an inspiring results.
🇮🇹 With the Italian intercultural night we had a presentation of the regions where the Italian participants are coming from and we tried tasty small plates, the fourth day came to an end.
Day 5 Immersion 1.0
The fifth day of Migration Lab started with the usual morning circle where we shared our thoughts and feelings about yesterday’s activities. It was actually a really interesting conversation, because yesterday was our first outdoors activity and we were very excited about it.
▶ After this a surprise was coming. We had the chance to be the organizers of the next two days’ activities. After lunch break the programme with the activities we created was ready to start.
🎬 The first group to present their workshop chosed as a topic “language barriers and community building”. It was really interestimg and we all enjoyed one of the games, in which we had to cooperate without talking.
🚧 The second acticity had as a topic a trip around Europe. The main porpuse of this activity was to experience the possible racist comments that could be faced when traveling abroad from different nationalities. It was a hard but a very enriching experience.
🇬🇧 With the British intercultural night we had an interactive presentation by the participants from the UK and the fourth day came to an end.
Day 6 Full immersion
6⃣ On the sixth day we all organized the activities together, in groups. The first activity, called “immovable feelings” started at 9:30. The group had to represent feelings and emotions without speaking and the other group had to guess.
📣 The second activity was collaboration between foreign workers and engineers, they had to follow instructions to overcome problems without speaking to each other.
On the third activity, the groups had to perform discriminatory situations or stereotypes through dance, while the viewers had to interpret it.
🕵 The fourth activity, the leading groups assigned us a secret character and put us all behind a line and we had to step ahead after every question, the idea behind was to show the privileges that some people had, at the end several characters were in behind the line because they were less privileged.
🔚 In the end of the day we had a group reflection about the last 2 days.
🇬🇷 Tonight was the last intercultural night. It was organised by the Greek delegation which gave us an idea of the Greek culture and brought us food to try.
Day 7 Closing
🔚 On the 21st of December it was the last day of our youth exchange. It was a full day. A day of creation, a day of emotions. A day of closing.
🇪🇺 The afternoon was dedicated to the closing of the youth exchange and after some practicalities, the participants got to know the big bubble of the Erasmus+ world. We got to know more about what the programmes of the European Union can offer to young people and how we can develop personally and professionally from them.
🎊 At night, we shared our appreciation to each other through an activity and later, we had a farewell party and took part in our oscar ceremony where we got “awarded” for some hidden talents each of us have.
🤜 This was our journey with Migration Lab. The 2nd phase of our project will happen in March 2023 so stay tuned for more info. If you’d also like to participate in one of Abroadship’s projects, check our Facebook page or https://abroadship.org/.