"Open up the borders of our minds"


Project contractors: ISI

Source of funding: Erasmus+

This project is a training course, directly linked to current challenges: the growing number of migrants and refugees in European countries in recent months. This counts especially for partner organizations in this project, coming from countries with high intensity of flow of migrants and refugees. This often at local and national level, is a prerequisite for number of conflicts, negative attitudes and even violence related to the newcomers.
The main aim of the project is to build and expand competence of youth workers and youth leaders in the field of human rights, tolerance, empathy and acceptance of diversity in relation to increased migration and refugee flows to countries participating in the project. The project would contribute to create a similar positive attitude of the local communities in the respective countries.

In addition, the project aims to:
- work for building a more tolerant society
- to provide a perspective on the dimensions and causes of migration and challenges in front of refugees by raising participants’ awareness on the current situation.
- to train participants on the successful way to work on conflict based on migration and refugee flow
- to provide tools for transfer of acquired competences from participants, back in the local communities.
- to work for higher level of cooperation between European NGOs working in the field of non-formal learning, mobility and tolerance
Length of the project: 5 months

Partner’s countries:
- Bulgaria - ISI
- Greece - TricalAct
- Italy – TDM 2000
- Hungary - EKMK – IFI PONT
- Turkey - EGEDER
- Spain - Xeracion Valencia

Number of participants: 27 youth workers and leaders (approx.4 per project partner)

Length of Training course: 5 days
Brief description: The focus of the training course is on youth workers who could support local communities in order to change their mindset and attitudes towards refugees, especially in countries where number of migrants is growing rapidly for the past years. Therefore this training course would support the integration processes in the project partner countries where often attitudes and behaviors related to intolerance and hostility among the population are visible and detected. On the other hand mass media often enforces the process of creating stereotypical thinking and prejudices. As result of this complex process, human rights of migrants are neglected and sometimes directly abused. 
Project partner countries are the European states where migrants usually approach first in order to receive protection in Europe. This is the reason the countries mention above to be the project partner countries for this project. Often migrants face hostile attitude or behavior (and sometimes verbal and physical violence) from the local population, mostly because local communities don’t have full information and do not understand migrants’ problems.  There is common understanding that “migrants and refugees are a threat for us”, which often enforces negative reactions. Therefore, it is needed to put efforts in raising awareness on migrants’ problems and also to foster the level of tolerance, empathy and common knowledge on human rights issues, especially among young people who are living in the local communities in these countries. Being part of this project  youth workers and young people could easily retranslate the developed competences, and gained knowledge and attitudes among their local communities and community members.

Project phases:
1. Pre-Tc phase – collection of data about the status quo in each project partner country and preparing an overall presentation. Getting familiar with the current situation on local, national and European level.
2. Training course  - a 5-days long educational activity, where using the methods of non-formal education experienced team of trainers will invite participants and will provide them with time and space to present, discuss and to build up their own understanding about the topic. The participants will be invited at the end of the training course to think of their own ideas, initiatives, action plans or campaign activities to be elaborated and put into practice in the local realities after they come back home from the training course.
3. 45 days mentoring phase – applying ideas developed during the training course under the mentorship of the trainers’ team, who is going to deliver support to the participants and answering their questions, requests and supporting and motivating their pro-active behavior.
4. Evaluation of the conducted residential activities and the project at total.