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INSart 3rd partners meeting in Liverpool

The Belgian, French, German, Italian and British partners of the LLP Grundtvig-funded project INSARTmet in Liverpool from the 5th to the 7th of November 2014.

During the meeting, project coordinators and artists exchanged their views on the artistic workshops that were carried out so far. In the last few months, around 40 young people increased their intercultural, linguistic, interpersonal skills and self-confidence, through the use of plastic arts, photography, dance and theatre.

The partners also met some of the young participants of the British workshop and appreciated their artworks.

The project will carry on with training for social workers, artists, trainers and educators that are willing to expand their knowledge in the field of social integration through art..INSART - Logo no scritta 2

For more information please visit our project website: www.insart.eu and our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/insart.projet?ref_type=bookmark , or write to joe joehemington@expandinghorizons.co.uk

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PRoMOTE -New Perspectives through Mobility and Exchange

In May 2014 Anna Bellan joined MEH for 6 month staff exchange through the project "PRoMOTE  -New Perspectives through Mobility and Exchange” funded through Youth in Action 4.3 Youth Support Systems, Support to Youth Workers' Mobility. Anna tells us about her first impressions of Liverpool life and the general experience of MEH. 

“For me it is the perfect opportunity to gain experience in an English speaking country while improving my management skills in European projects.

First and foremost, I have found MEH to be a really stimulating environment

I like the projects that MEH have and the manner in which they work. MEH supports disadvantaged and marginalized people in synergy with other local and international charity organisations. I received a wonderful welcome, all the staff are friendly and helpful, and the work environment is really inspiring.

I support the coordination and implementation of European and local projects (Insart, Bridging the Gap, Talent Match Access Enterprise…), I also develop projects proposals targeting young people from disadvantaged groups and I’m in charge of developing publicity about MEH and its projects.  

Furthermore Liverpool is a city rich in opportunities.

My social and cultural life is rich thanks to the many opportunities in Liverpool: all museums are free and every week there are musical and cultural events which you can participate in and where you can meet people. People here are particularly friendly, perhaps because just a few years ago Liverpool was poorer and the inhabitants could develop solidarity amongst them and they weren’t so individualist as they maybe in a richer country. Thanks to 3 Universities many students come to study here, and this gives Liverpool a wide international community.  

Also... I became sporty – which I have never been before, but now I utilise the many  parks in my adopted city... by running once a week (I don’t know how long it will go on for!).       

To be honest there is also something that I miss in my country, I come from Sicily, a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea… and we have a hot sun. But I can manage this situation, with my new bes and inseparable friend: my dear umbrella!  

So, I take the most from this mobility experience: I learn  a different culture, improve my English and my professional skills whilst changing my habits according to the opportunities  within my new environment… also I contribute to the development of the company with whom I work and I can contribute to fight against some prejudices about my country. It’s a true and complete exchange! I feel so lucky for this opportunity.”

youth in action2

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Europe needs to develop a common strategy against bullying: key message of the 1st Conference of the European Anti-bullying Network

11-12 June, 2014, Athens - More than 500 people across Europe took part in the 1st Conference of the European Anti-bullying Network hosted by the Greek NGO "The Smile of the Child" during a high-level event that was held under the auspices of the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The conference allowed academia, civil society organizations and national and international governmental organizations to discuss on the serious problem of bullying, exchange good practices in the area and present interesting data and studies on this serious problem. The official establishment of the Network will be announced on 13 June, 2014in an effort to promote a common strategy against bullying and coordinate anti-bullying actions and initiatives.

More specifically, thehigh-level Conference was organized in the framework of the European Anti-bullying Network project that was coordinated by "The Smile of the Child" and was implemented in cooperation with 16 organizations across 12 EU Member States under the funding of the Daphne III Programme of the European Commission.

Highlight of this conference was the speech by Dan Olweus, Professor of Psychology, and world leading researcher in the area of bullying, who provided some interestingfactson the phenomenon and some myths andintervention programs to address bullying in schools. He underlined the importance of analyzing cyber bullying in the right context and revealed that most cases of cyber bullying originate in the school setting. According to him,most students are bullied or bully other children in traditional ways, while he provided evidence showing that there has been no systematic increase in cyber bullying despite the common belief."Bullying among children and youth is a serious problem in most countries but by no means an intractable problem. With knowledge and research-based counter-efforts, it is possible to considerably reduce bullying problems, eliminate much personal suffering and make society save large amounts of money" he highlighted.

In his opening address, "The Smile of the Child" Chairperson Costas Yannopoulos presented the continuous work of the Greek organization in the area of bullying prevention and framed the importance of the initiative of the Greek NGO to establish the European Anti-bullying Networkin cooperation with 16 organizations from 12 EU countries.

A plenary panel discussion co-organized by "The Smile of the Child" and ILGA-Europe focused on the European policies against bullying. Vaso Artinopoulou, Professor of Criminology at Panteion University in Greece presented the European strategy against bullying developed in the framework of the EU-funded project "European Anti-bullying Network" and highlighted the need of a European approach and response on a European level.

Special Rapporteur on Child Protection in Ireland Shannon Geoffrey contributed his expert input analyzing the human rights standards related to school bullying, while the Head of the LGBT Unit in the Council of Europe Eleni Tsetsekou focused on what the Council of Europe can do towards ensuring a violence-free education in Europe. Frank Pierobon, Head of Equal Opportunities in schools from DG Education and Culture, framed the importance of human rights education as a prerequisite for equality, while Joe Koswic from GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) presented how a global knowledge base on homophobic and transphobic bullying is promoted in the United States.

During the conference, interesting data was also presented showing that Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Greece are the countries with the higher percentage of students being involved in bullying either as victims, bullies and bully-victims among 41 countries across the globe. According to the same study, Sweden is the country with the lowest percentage.

A new poll conducted and presented by BeatBullying shows that more than half (55%) of children in Europe who have been bullied said they became depressed as a result, with over a third saying they harmed themselves (35%) or thought about suicide (38%). The poll of more than 2,000 adults and children from across Europe found that worryingly, 34% of adults thought that bullying is regarded as a ‘normal part of growing up’, and one in six adults (16%) said it is regarded as "character building" by most people in their country.

Studies conducted in Greece show that 6.3% of teenagers have been cyber bullied more than once over the last 4 months, while 40% of teachers believe that the incidents of school violence remain hushed up and 84% of parents that school bullying and violence is on the rise. Equally alarming, professional assistance in Greece is provided to less than 1 in 10 children who experience some sort of violence and victimization.

The conference offered dynamic small group sessions covering wide-range areas in the bullying phenomenon such as cyber-bullying, teen relationships and bullying, prevention projects in schools, teachers’ and students’ perspectives, victimization of children and risk factors for bullying. During the conference participants had the opportunity to attend experiential workshops provided by field workers and professionals, highlighting good practices and educational tools in tackling bullying. These sessions were based on different schools of psychotherapy and techniques such as role playing, expression of feelings and drama therapy and aimed to empower teachers and professionals dealing with bullying incidents.

Photos of this event are available here

See the full agenda of the event here

For further questions please contact: joehemington@expandinghorizons.co.uk

EAN greece

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1st Conference of the European Anti-bullying Network

11-12 June, 2014, Athens - More than 500 people across Europe took part in the 1st Conference of the European Anti-bullying Network hosted by the Greek NGO "The Smile of the Child" during a high-level event that was held under the auspices of the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The conference allowed academia, civil society organizations and national and international governmental organizations to discuss on the serious problem of bullying, exchange good practices in the area and present interesting data and studies on this serious problem. The official establishment of the Network will be announced on 13 June, 2014in an effort to promote a common strategy against bullying and coordinate anti-bullying actions and initiatives.

More specifically, thehigh-level Conference was organized in the framework of the European Anti-bullying Network project that was coordinated by "The Smile of the Child" and was implemented in cooperation with 16 organizations across 12 EU Member States under the funding of the Daphne III Programme of the European Commission.

Highlight of this conference was the speech by Dan Olweus, Professor of Psychology, and world leading researcher in the area of bullying, who provided some interestingfactson the phenomenon and some myths andintervention programs to address bullying in schools. He underlined the importance of analyzing cyber bullying in the right context and revealed that most cases of cyber bullying originate in the school setting. According to him,most students are bullied or bully other children in traditional ways, while he provided evidence showing that there has been no systematic increase in cyber bullying despite the common belief."Bullying among children and youth is a serious problem in most countries but by no means an intractable problem. With knowledge and research-based counter-efforts, it is possible to considerably reduce bullying problems, eliminate much personal suffering and make society save large amounts of money" he highlighted.

In his opening address, "The Smile of the Child" Chairperson Costas Yannopoulos presented the continuous work of the Greek organization in the area of bullying prevention and framed the importance of the initiative of the Greek NGO to establish the European Anti-bullying Networkin cooperation with 16 organizations from 12 EU countries.

A plenary panel discussion co-organized by "The Smile of the Child" and ILGA-Europe focused on the European policies against bullying. Vaso Artinopoulou, Professor of Criminology at Panteion University in Greece presented the European strategy against bullying developed in the framework of the EU-funded project "European Anti-bullying Network" and highlighted the need of a European approach and response on a European level.

Special Rapporteur on Child Protection in Ireland Shannon Geoffrey contributed his expert input analyzing the human rights standards related to school bullying, while the Head of the LGBT Unit in the Council of Europe Eleni Tsetsekou focused on what the Council of Europe can do towards ensuring a violence-free education in Europe. Frank Pierobon, Head of Equal Opportunities in schools from DG Education and Culture, framed the importance of human rights education as a prerequisite for equality, while Joe Koswic from GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) presented how a global knowledge base on homophobic and transphobic bullying is promoted in the United States.

During the conference, interesting data was also presented showing that Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Greece are the countries with the higher percentage of students being involved in bullying either as victims, bullies and bully-victims among 41 countries across the globe. According to the same study, Sweden is the country with the lowest percentage.

A new poll conducted and presented by BeatBullying shows that more than half (55%) of children in Europe who have been bullied said they became depressed as a result, with over a third saying they harmed themselves (35%) or thought about suicide (38%). The poll of more than 2,000 adults and children from across Europe found that worryingly, 34% of adults thought that bullying is regarded as a ‘normal part of growing up’, and one in six adults (16%) said it is regarded as "character building" by most people in their country.

Studies conducted in Greece show that 6.3% of teenagers have been cyber bullied more than once over the last 4 months, while 40% of teachers believe that the incidents of school violence remain hushed up and 84% of parents that school bullying and violence is on the rise. Equally alarming, professional assistance in Greece is provided to less than 1 in 10 children who experience some sort of violence and victimization.

The conference offered dynamic small group sessions covering wide-range areas in the bullying phenomenon such as cyber-bullying, teen relationships and bullying, prevention projects in schools, teachers’ and students’ perspectives, victimization of children and risk factors for bullying. During the conference participants had the opportunity to attend experiential workshops provided by field wEAN greeceorkers and professionals, highlighting good practices and educational tools in tackling bullying. These sessions were based on different schools of psychotherapy and techniques such as role playing, expression of feelings and drama therapy and aimed to empower teachers and professionals dealing with bullying incidents. 

For further questions please contact: JoeHemington@expandinghorizons.co.uk

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YALIM - The Story of a Mobility Experience in Palermo Italy

Youth Support System - Sub action 4.3– Support to Youth Workers’ Mobility

YALIM - Youth Active Learning in Moving

Adam Robson voluntary youth worker for Merseyside Expanding Horizons shares his experience of spending 6 months in Italy as part of a youth worker mobility project, YALIM Youth Active Learning in Moving". 

A six month placement at Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo Danilo Dolci (CSC) in Palermo, Italy gave me the chance to live and experience another cultural and working environment, enriching my social skills and adaptability and giving me the opportunity to grow professionally.

The chaos of Palermo due to the noise, traffic and behavior of the local people (they use to shout everywhere without any concerns) was at first a culture shock but then suddenly became part of my daily life, involving me and making me feel comfortable and welcome in my new surroundings.

Although the staff and working atmosphere of CSC was similar to my working context as part of my activities were focused on EU projects, I had the chance to work at local level getting in contact with the local community and getting to understand the different cultures.As a multicultural city, Palermo is home to people coming from different countries and from different social contexts and backgrounds. These different communities live together in the city centre with its upsides and disadvantages.

The activities and projects carried out by CSC enabled me to communicate with and know more about these people from different cultural backgrounds, for example the Leonardo da Vinci TOI project “Interpreter training as Stepping Stone to work” targeted at immigrants.

The open desk and centre created by the Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo Danilo Dolci in collaboration with local partners within the project “Inventare il Futuro” funded by APQ – Regione Sicilia, allowed me to stay directly in contact with the local young people living in a disadvantaged area of the city, planning and participating to local workshops targeted at them. For example, I actively participated at the info desk for the promotion of mobility for young people funded by EU programmes such as the Youth in Action Programme, using myself as an example and sharing my experiences with others. This info desk along with the workshops I participated in aimed to increase the activeness and self esteem of young people living in this disadvantaged area of the city.

I participated in Reciprocal Maieutic Laboratories, delivered by staff of CSC in local schools within the ‘Sustain’ project and local activities in general aimed to promote this approach. This allowed me to experiment and further my understanding of this non formal education methodology and increase my knowledge in several thematic topics including as legality, citizenship, sustainable development and my self esteem.

Within the project ‘GIVE’ I learned about vocational education and about the Sicilian rural context, which I could also discover during my free time.

My 4.3 experience at CSC in Palermo exceeded my expectations and I acquired knowledge and social skills that will be useful for my future career goals.  I plan to spread my experience and encourage other people to do the same experience as me.

To download the YALIM good practices click here

To read about Italian Youth Worker Irene La Pera's 4.3 experience in Liverpool click here

For more information about the Youth in Action Programme 2007-2013 please click here

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