Messenger Blog

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BE THE MESSENGER TOOLKIT

We are happy to present to you the “ Be the Messenger”  toolkit , which you can download here: Be the Messenger Toolkit

The publication was created with the intention to serve two goals:

  1. To provide the reader with insights on how multiculturalism and diversity appreciation is promoted among youth and the general society in the four Visegrad countries from the perspective of four youth NGOs from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.

The section “Multiculturalism in the V4 countries” aims to provide this information.

  1. To provide the reader with possible workshop scenarios on multiculturalism which will help youth ( 14-17) to become responsible, diversity valuing open-minded members of a society, who want to promote those values among their peers.

The section on “Workshop Scenarios” is divided in four sub-sections which are divided based on the four Anti-biased educations goals (DermanSparks & ABC Task Force, 1989)[1] which aim to offer youth the tools for countering the toxins of racism, sexism, classism, and all the other ‘-isms’ on themselves and on their behavior towards others. Each sub-section, which deals with a specific goal, is providing workshop scenario examples provided by each of the project partners.

[1] Derman-Sparks, L., & ABC Task Force. (1989). Anti-bias curriculum: Tools for empowering young children. Washington, DC: NAEYC

 

Dodano: 1 grudnia 2016 r.

Looking back_ Be the Messenger _ Workshop

Having the opportunity to meet with NGO representatives from all four Visegrad countries(V4) in Lodz, Poland, from the 17th till the 21st of October gave us the possibility to not only learn about the organizations but also to have a dialogue on the current problems in the various countries and the status quo on supporting as a NGO a diversity appreciating civil society.

In all the four Visegrad countries, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland the majority of the population is against taking in refugees, moreover, far-right political groups and anti-Semitic rhetoric are on the rise, which are not silenced by the ruling party. Taking also into consideration that the societies structure are one of the most homogeneous in the whole of Europe, one could conclude that this causes the general public to be more prone to nationalistic propaganda. Nonetheless, even Poland, being the least diverse of the four Visegrad countries, does not necessarily mean that is more xenophobic than the other countries, maybe it also depends on how strong the NGO sector and the society as such is to counteract on nationalistic trends.  The representative of all NGOs from the V4 countries agreed that the NGO sector is strong in their countries as there are many needs, and that people have to be active themselves to counteract on nationalistic and xenophobic rhetoric which is prevailing.

During our workshop we learned about excellent examples which allow to foster the process of helping youth to become responsible, diversity valuing open-minded members of a society. Our partner in this project, the Marek Edelman Dialogue Center in Lodz which hosted out workshop meeting, is providing possibilities for youth to not only learn about the Holocaust by visiting the Center and taking part in various ceremonies commemorating the survivors of the ghetto in Lodz but also by providing workshops in schools. Workshops on multiculturalism, diversity appreciation  which the Centers trainers always try to connect to the past , the II World War, which so tragically effected millions of people. Having learned about the Centers initiative the Messenger Club, target towards youth from Lodz, who spread the word about the Holocaust, by for example creating rap songs,  we started to discuss on how to connect the Holocaust to our goal of wanting youth to be anti-biased towards diversity, act against discrimination and promote tolerance. One good example, which was mentioned by one of our partners and showcases this connection to the here and now is by asking the participants to do the following:

Think of all words and write them down that you connect with the II World War or the Holocaust.

Than think of the present and cross out all the words which are not actual today anymore.

Unfortunately, you won’t find many words to cross out as all that was actual years ago is still happening today.

The above example is making clear how the present is connected to the past and how it is possible to use examples from the past to make youth understand on what can happen when xenophobic thinking becomes dominant and accepted.

We were also able to deepen this very visible connection in Lodz between the past and the present by meeting with a representative of the Jewish Community in Lodz and by participating in a city walk which showed us the hidden beauty of a city, which is long gone but which many inhabitants of Lodz discovered again and proudly promote. Promote, by organizing many initiatives which allow citizens to come together and explore their city, helping also schools to introduce the rich multicultural past to their youth.

We moreover learned about the indicatives of the organization EduKabe in schools which aim to prevent hate speech and discrimination. We learned about the open library organized by the Center of Dialogue and the organization Ośrodek and on how we could organize it in our countries.

Summing up, the workshop meeting allowed us to increase not only our own horizons but also learn and think of ways on how we could influence youth to become tolerant diversity appreciating citizens who want to promote those values among their peers.

 

By Urszula Puchalska

FAIR

Dodano: 28 października 2016 r.

Is Slovakia multicultural?

What are we talking about when we describe multiculturalism in Slovakia? Should we pinpoint the diversity in the society, the political approach to diversity management in the society or is it the multicultural education in schools? Well, you could talk about all of them – multiculturalism might stand for existence of different cultures on a territory at a certain time point, communication among different cultures, political programme of building coexistence and cooperation of cultures or an ideal state of cultural coexistence[1]. Therefore, in order to get “the whole picture”, we try to describe the ethnic diversity, political approach as well as approach to multicultural education in Slovakia.

Traces of cultural diversity throughout Slovak history

Slovakia is more known for its emigration history than for being a “melting pot” of cultures. But the historical background of the country was ideal starting point of accommodating different ethnic groups – Slovakia was namely part of a multi-ethnic empire.  So through centuries different ethnicities found their way to current Slovak territory – e.g. Hungarians due to the common empire since the 10th century, Jewish community was established for the first time in Bratislava in the 13th century, Germans were invited to settle down from the 13th/ 14th century, Ruthenians (Rusyns) lived in the common/ close areas. But these are just few examples of the different ethnicities who shared together the area of historical Upper Hungary (Horné Uhorsko). “Slovak culture” was thus mutually shaped under the influence of people of different ethnicities.

In 1910 Slovaks represented 57,6% of inhabitants, in 1921 it was over 65%. Nowadays, there are more than 80% people with Slovak citizenship living in Slovakia. But there are not only the national minorities, who settled down in Slovakia in the course of time – Cubans studied, Vietnamese and Chinese came as entrepreneurs and stayed during communism in Slovakia, Afghans and people from former Yugoslavia fled conflicts in the nineties and early beginning of 21st century and decided to settle down due to different reasons, migration from South Korea is connected to high-skilled migrants concerning Korean investments into quickly developing automobile industry and electrical engineering. Although new minorities (people not officially recognized as national minorities, people with migration background, foreigners) are rather small in number, there is quite a diversity among people born abroad or with different citizenship (coming from Austria, Bulgaria, China, France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, UK, United States, Vietnam, other).

Including cultural diversity into the current discourse

Despite the diverse population, Slovakia is very much clinging to the principle of ethnicity – and the internalization of this principle shows also the representative survey of 14 – 15 years old pupils in 2009 – almost half of the pupils (48,7%) assigned Slovakia the statute of country of Slovaks (not of people of various cultures).[2] So what about the 20% of inhabitants who do not possess the Slovak nationality? Well, first, the securitisation of the minority discourse on the political level has contributed to the tensions in the society – and served as a political tool. One of the striking points Is also current shift from negative perception of ethnic diversity to pinpointing the religious “otherness” instead. So basically, on the political level, the concept of cultural diversity has been mostly presented negatively – concerning Hungarians and Roma inhabitants in the past (from time to time even nowadays) and migrants, refugees and Muslims nowadays.

So could we consider Slovakia as country applying multicultural model of integration policy in Slovakia? Well, in 2009 Slovak Republic in the Concept of integration of foreigners in the Slovak Republic admitted that it will focus on integration model which is based on mutual adaptation in the integration process, where foreigners contribute to the formation of common culture and the majority population respects them and supports the diversity.[3] However, the reality of this statement remains bit questionable due to the political discourse.

Moreover, not only politicians create impression of Slovakia as an inhospitable country with restrictive migration policies. Already in 2009 the research on attitudes towards foreigners and migration[4] manifested that Slovaks do not perceive cultural diversity as beneficial or natural and do not accept foreigners or cultural diversity in general. Now in 2016, the perception on foreigners has not changed much – the survey conducted last year regarding refugees showed that more than 55% of inhabitants were against receiving refugees. Viewing the “outside world” through stereotypical lenses might be also connected to the types of channels which people trust and follow most – media. Summarized and underlined – politicians in Slovakia do not promote cultural diversity and openness towards migration (the exception and the opposite is probably just the president) publicly, which is featured also in the media (although there are several initiatives going on “under cover” – scholarships for refugees, relocationprogrammes etc.) These patterns are then replicated in the public, well nothing to wonder about, as people do consider the information presented by politicians and media as reliable. And that influences also the success of the policies to be implemented.

Children are very much influenced by mass media as well as social media. In 2009 survey showed that If pupils learn about minorities, foreigners, migration or diversity in general, they tend to perceive the cultural diversity more positively.[5] Today, in 2016, the answer to the question might look completely different. In the era of media, schools lose their position as a main actor shaping pupils´ attitudes. But still, basically, having Multicultural education in schools as a cross-sectional tool should have an impact – achieving tolerance and respect towards the fact of cultural diversity and getting to know other cultures are also two of the targets for Multicultural education in schools. In Slovakia, there is a relative freedom in the inclusion and teaching of Multicultural education – some of the schools provide for students a separate subject, some schools teach multicultural education in various subjects. The schools might also consider whether they approach teaching Multicultural education through culturally standard approach (learning about cultures) or through transcultural approach (learning about identities). Last but not least, more than 80% of pupils consider learning from people from other cultures as beneficial – as they can learn from them that, what they would not learn otherwise. The question is then how to increase diversity if the public is a priori against taking in people (refugees mainly) and politicians support the negative course of the discourse?

Nadacia-Milana-Simecku-LOGO

 

[1] Mistrík, E.. (2006). Pojmy. In: Šoltésová, K. Multu-kulti na školách: Metodická príručka pre multikultúrnu výchovu. Bratislava: Nadácia Milana Šimečku.

[2] Gallová – Kriglerová, E.  – Kadlečíková, J. a kol. (2009). Kultúrna rozmanitosť.  a jej vnímanie žiakmi základných škôl na Slovensku. Bratislava: Nadácia otvorenej spoločnosti.

[3] Koncepcia integrácie cudzincov v Slovenskej republike. 2009.

[4] Vašečka, M. (2009). Postoje verejnosti k cudzincom a zahraničnej migrácii v Slovenskej republike. Bratislava: IOM.

[5] Gallová – Kriglerová, E.  – Kadlečíková, J. a kol. (2009). Kultúrna rozmanitosť.  a jej vnímanie žiakmi základných škôl na Slovensku. Bratislava: Nadácia otvorenej spoločnosti.

Dodano: 28 października 2016 r.

Multicultural Education from the Polish Perspective

In Poland as in the whole of Europe, it is important that teachers, all generally educators, take advantage of the natural energy of youth, by making use of teaching methods which allow to reach the educational goals. This can be reached through an informal approach and modern educational methods that foster more effective learning by doing and experiencing, which are essential elements to allow for activation.

Animators, teachers and educators in Poland and abroad are often puzzled over attractive ways of imparting knowledge both in the teaching of science and humanistic topics but also in education for democracy, tolerance, respect for human rights and the promotion of diversity and intercultural dialogue (in particular the prevention of violent radicalization of young people).

In Poland we have a dramatic increase in the number of young people manifesting extreme nationalist views with at the same time societal acceptance for it. This type of behavior among young people is increasingly not only seen in  football stadiums. Xenophobic behavior among young people we can observe in trams, cafes and school. In Lodz there are min. 10 secondary schools, attended by children with migrant background from Ukraine, India, China, Lebanon and Syria. However, we observe a large number of young people who exhibit a passive attitude in relation to manifestations of intolerance or aggression, disrespect for human rights and fundamental democratic values. Alone in 2016 there were two reported attacks of racist background. The last one was the beating of a 25-year-old Muslim woman, a student of the Technical University of Lodz, who was attacked in the city center. Beaten, because she was wearing a hijab. No one observed nor reacted to the event.  What is known is that the attackers were young people. Representatives of other nationalities, particularly of color, say they do not feel safe in Lodz. According to statistics this problem is apparent in most large Polish cities, e.g. Warsaw, Lodz, Poznan, Wroclaw and Bialystok.

The number of prosecutions initiated based on attacks with racist background amounted to 1,365 cases in 2014, a year earlier – 835. In 2015 and 2016 the numbers increased slightly. In comparison, in 2010 there were only 182 cases.  Surly, an increasing number of foreigners are also coming to Poland, but this  growth does not explain why Poles slander someone because of his/her skin color or origin.

Hate speech also grows in strength on the Internet, especially among young people, who are natives in the interdisciplinary world of new technology and new media. The migration crisis, the media hype about further attacks in major European cities definitely contribute to the radicalization of views and actions of more than one adult Pole, and especially young people, who  are just in the process of shaping their worldview by comparing different authorities and sources of information.

This is why it is so important that those who work every day with the youth and teachers are able to choose, in an appropriate manner to the age  and experience of the youth, the methods to teach and talk about tolerance and multiculturalism. Hence, this is how the idea came up for a transnational workshop in a multicultural group of people working with youth from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, allowing to develop and promote just such methods. As the organizers of this event we chose for this meeting especially the city – Lodz, which was once in Poland the largest melting pot of different cultures: German, Polish, Russian and Jewish.

The multicultural heritage of Lodz is evident in its architecture, history and memorials, such as the cemeteries. It is here that we want to discuss about why it is important to preserve and promote diversity in European cities and on how to talk about it with young people.

By Izabella Prystasz

 FAIR

In Polish:

W Polsce, jak i w całej Europie w procesie wychowawczo-edukacyjnym ważne jest aby nauczyciel lub edukator wykorzystywał naturalną aktywność młodzieży, stosując odpowiednie do założonego celu metody nauczania. Podejście nieformalne i nowoczesne narzędzia edukacyjne mają sprzyjać bardziej efektywnemu uczeniu się poprzez działanie i przeżywanie, które są podstawowymi elementami każdej metody aktywizującej. Animatorzy, nauczyciele i edukatorzy w Polsce i za granicą głowią się nad atrakcyjnym sposobem przekazywania wiedzy zarówno w nauczaniu przedmiotów ścisłych, humanistycznych ale też w edukacji na rzecz demokracji, tolerancji, poszanowania praw człowieka czy promowania różnorodności i dialogu międzykulturowego (w szczególności zapobieganie gwałtownej radykalizacji postaw młodych ludzi).

W Polsce drastycznie wzrosła liczba młodych ludzi przejawiających poglądy skrajnie nacjonalistyczne przy społecznym przyzwoleniu na to. Taka młodzież jest coraz częściej widoczna nie tylko na stadionach. Przejawy ksenofobii wśród młodych ludzi zauważamy w tramwajach, kawiarniach, szkole. W Łodzi jest min. 10 szkół ponadgimnazjalnych, w których uczą się dzieci imigrantów zarobkowych z Ukrainy, Indii, Chin, Libanu i Syrii. Z drugiej strony zauważalna jest duża liczba młodzieży, którzy przejawiają postawę bierną w stosunku do przejawów braku tolerancji, czy agresji, nieposzanowania praw człowieka i podstawowych wartości demokratycznych. W samym 2016 roku doszło do dwóch odnotowanych napadów na tle rasistowskim. Ostatni to pobicie 25-letniej muzułmanki, studentki Politechniki Łódzkiej, która została napadnięta w centrum miasta. Pobito ją za to, że nosiła hidżab. Nikt z obserwatorów zdarzenia nie zareagował. Napastnikami były również osoby młode. Przedstawiciele innych narodowości, w szczególności o innym kolorze skóry mówią, że nie czują się bezpiecznie w Łodzi. Jak wynika ze statystyk problem dotyczy w większości dużych miast tj. Warszawa, Łódź, Poznań, Wrocław, Białystok. Liczba postępowań prokuratorskich wszczętych z powodu ataków na tle rasowym wynosiła w 2014 roku 1365 spraw, rok wcześniej 835. W 2015 roku i w 2016 roku liczby te nieznacznie wzrosły. A w 2010 roku było ich jedynie 182. Owszem, nad Wisłę przybywa coraz większa liczba obcokrajowców, jednak nawet ich wzrost nie tłumaczy tego, że Polacy szkalują kogoś z powodu koloru skóry czy pochodzenia.

Rośnie w siłę również mowa nienawiści w Internecie, szczególnie wśród młodych ludzi, którzy stają się interdyscyplinarnymi tubylcami w świecie nowych technologii i nowych mediów. Kryzys migracyjny, medialny szum na temat kolejnych zamachów w dużych miastach europejskich na pewno przyczyniają się do radykalizacji poglądów i działań niejednego dorosłego Polaka, a szczególnie młodego człowieka, który kształtuje dopiero swój światopogląd zestawiając ze sobą różne autorytety i źródła informacji.

Dlatego tak ważne jest, aby osoby pracujące na co dzień z młodzieżą i nauczyciele potrafili w sposób odpowiedni do wieku wychowanka i jego doświadczeń dobrać metody nauki i mówienia o tolerancji oraz multikulturowości. Stąd też pojawił się pomysł na międzynarodowe warsztaty multikulturowe w gronie osób pracujących z młodzieżą z Czech, Słowacji, Węgier i Polski organizowane w celu wypracowania takich właśnie metod. Jako organizatorzy wybraliśmy na to spotkanie szczególne miasto – Łódź, które niegdyś było największym w Polsce tyglem różnych kultur: niemieckiej, polskiej, rosyjskiej i żydowskiej. Wielokulturowość Łodzi widoczna jest w jej architekturze, historii i miejscach pamięci, takich jak cmentarze. To tutaj właśnie chcemy rozmawiać o tym dlaczego warto zachować różnorodność w miastach europejskich i w jaki sposób rozmawiać o tym z młodzieżą.

 

Dodano: 16 października 2016 r.

BLOG „BE THE MESSENGER”

BLOG „BE THE MESSENGER”


This blog is created with the intention to provide the reader with insights on how multiculturalism and diversity appreciation is promoted among youth and the general society in the four Visegrad countries from the perspective of four youth NGOs from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.

The information below are meant for youth workers, teachers, volunteers and everyone else who wants to gain insight on this subject.

The articles represent the individual views of the writers and not general views of any institution.

The blog is part of the project “ Be the Messenger” financed by the Visegrad fund. The coordinator of this project is the foundation FAIR (Fundacja Aktywnych Inicjatyw Rozwoj). Partners to this project are EDUcentrum, Cultural View International Assosiation, and the Milan Simecka Foundation.

 

Project Coordinator:

Urszula Puchalska; puchalskau@gmail.com

Project finansed by:

visegrad_fund_logo_blue

 

 

Project Partners:

LOGO PODPIS BW napisNadacia-Milana-Simecku-LOGO12931130_1732123920364751_8530262559975804017_n (1)edu-centrum

 

Dodano: 14 października 2016 r.

Multiculturalism in Hungary

Hungary due to its central location and historical events have always been a country where cultures meet. Nowadays Hungary is the home of approximately 640 000 people with non-Hungarian cultural backgrounds.[1] There are 13 nations recognized by the Hungarian law: Bulgarian, Greek, Croatian, Polish, German, Armenian, Romany, Romanian, Rusyns, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian and Ukraine.[2] Beside the relatively big number of people from various cultures[3] the country can rather be considered as a homogenous country than a multicultural if we compare the numbers to other European countries.

In the Middle Ages, Magyars settled into the Pannonian Basin mixing with Pannonian Avars and Slavic tribes. In territories where Magyars were the majority other communities easily assimilated into the culture of settlers. During the medieval period other ethnic groups settled to the Pannonian Basin such as Germans, Italians and tribes from Eastern Europe. Only those cultures could remain that lived in isolated territories since others were culturally dominated by the Magyars.

After the Turkish Invasion there were people forced to settle (mainly from the Swabian Circle) and a large number of people migrated to the country in the hope of a better life (mostly Germans, Serbians, Bunjevcys, Sokcis, Chatolic Bosniaks, Croatians, Romand and Slovakians). Small amount of people migrated such as Greeks, Bulgarians and Armenians but they could easily assimilate to the Hungarian culture. Nowadays, there are ethnic minorities that take pride in their treasures and  they manage to preserve their traditions, for instance Germans and Croatians living in Western Transdanubia.

There are approximately 80 000 Jews who actively practice their religion but 200 000 people in total who have Jewish roots. In the XIX. Century more than 1 million moved into the country and many of them assimilated to the Hungarian Catholic culture. Holocaust and the Jews living in Hungary are still politically sensitive and important issues that divides the Hungarian public opinion.

Roma is the biggest ethnic group of Hungary. Assimilation of Roman people is an ongoing problem that the government, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations try to solve. The fact that 90% of the Roman people living in Hungary have the Hungarian language as their native language is a sign of the integration process. Northern Hungary accommodates the most Roman people and the region is considered to be one of the poorest region of the country.

The most significant efforts to make Hungary a more multicultural nation are made within the non-governmental sector. Associations established by members of nations living in Hungary are actively working on preserve their cultural heritages and keep up their traditions. For example the Association of Bulgarians in Hungary was established in 1914 and highly active till nowadays by organizing events that present the Bulgarian culture to the public.

Not only those nations have their ambassadors in Hungary that are represented by large number of people in the country but other and smaller groups, too. The Sacndinavian House Foundation, for example, holds language trainings for Hungarians who are interested in learning one of the Scandinavian languages and organizes events where the two culture can meet through social interactions and/or through exhibiting various forms of art from Scandinavia or letting people inspired by the Scandinavian culture to present their work.

Besides those associations that help people to find their roots or get more knowledge about another culture, there are organizations that fight for equality and help people to integrate to the Hungarian culture.

Young people willing to take part in the multiculturalization of the country can mostly contribute by volunteering in one of the NGOs that deals with international projects such as youth exchanges and voluntary programs. The support of these activities is mostly done by the European Commission.

Recently the migration crisis is the most politically important topic related to multiculturalism in Hungary. Menedék is one of the most active associations that work on the current issue of migrants arriving to the country. The association help them with various difficulties from establishing acceptable living conditions to educating the Hungarian citizens to be more open to them.

Since the non-governmental sector seems to be the most effective in developing a more multicultural society, the involvement of young people in the work of the organizations is essential. Due to globalization and political issues, people have to be more open to cultural differences. Youngsters should be more educated about multiculturalism in the future, through both, formal and non-formal education practices.

Ctrrl+V is aimed to promote globalization and the integration of young people through non-formal education and art related activities.

Zsuzsanna Bodi

12931130_1732123920364751_8530262559975804017_n (1)

[1] Data from the Population Census made by the Hungarian Statistical Office in 2011

 

[2] The New Fundamental Law of Hungary, 2011

 

[3] 7% of people stated themselves to be non-Hungarian but the estimations show that probably the number is between 8 and 10%.

Dodano: 14 października 2016 r.

MULTICULTURALISM IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

General overview of cultural plurality in the Czech Republic

Multiculturalism is a concept that has different interpretations but the key attributes comprise acceptance of multiple cultures and their traditions in one society. At present, around 465 000 foreigners live in the Czech Republic, 4.4% of the total population of 10.5 million. In comparison to other European countries, the Czech society is thus rather homogenous. The most numerous foreign communities include the people of Ukrainian, Slovak, Vietnamese and Russian origin.

Czech schools and multiculturalism

Multicultural education is a part of the formal curricula taught at primary and secondary schools as well as at grammar schools (gymnasiums) and VET schools. General guidelines on how to integrate multicultural education to the teaching practice are set by the Educational Programme Frameworks, general conceptual documents which define the structure of each stage of the education. Each school, then, elaborates its own “School Educational Programme” that determines how the multiculturalism will be taught to pupils and students. Multicultural education can be an integral part of different subjects (e.g. social science) or it can take a form of an autonomous subject itself or it can be taught through projects, workshops, seminars or courses. Most frequently, topics related to multicultural education are taught across all the subjects in classes whose topic can be related to multiculturalism.

The main aim of multicultural education is to enable young people to learn about diversity of different cultures, traditions and values and to become better aware of their own identity. This should help them to develop their sense of tolerance, solidarity and justice and be able to understand and respect the rapidly increasing socio-cultural diversity.

Non-governmental sector and multiculturalism

The non-governmental sector is considered as a more progressive in terms of supporting and offering diverse initiatives and activities promoting multicultural education in the Czech Republic. There are several NGOs who promote and protect human rights and support social integration and multiculturalism through different educational and public awareness activities. The best known in this respect is the Czech NGO “Člověk v tísni” (People in Need). A wide range of educational and cultural activities is also provided by “Multikulturní centrum Praha” (Multicultural Centre Praha) which also offers public services such a library for people interested in multicultural topics. Multiculturalism is also addressed by “global development education”. A number of NGOs such as Adra or Jack and Jill provide extracurricular educational activities for schools in this particular area.

When formal meets non-formal

The cooperation between formal and non-formal sectors is an efficient and fruitful approach to multicultural education, which is, unfortunately, not very common. However, there are several examples of successful initiatives that clearly show that schools and NGOs can mutually benefit from each other. The project “Varianty” (Variants) launched by the NGO People in Need introduced principles of intercultural education into all levels of the education system. This project provides information and methodological support, training courses, teaching materials, consultation and assistance to schools and educators in the areas of inclusive and intercultural education. Another project called “CzechKid” which was implemented by the “Tolerance a občanská společnost” (Tolerance and Civic Society) focused on educating of teachers and youth in the field of tackling stereotypes and prejudices towards different cultures.

Challenges to be met

The current migration crisis in Europe concerns all European countries. Despite the fact that the Czech Republic serves mostly as a transit place for migrants and asylum seekers, the migration crisis – and the attempts to cope with it – represents a very important political and cultural issue, which is discussed throughout the whole society. As a result, there is a need for raising awareness of multiculturalism, developing strategies for social inclusion and supporting diversity, tolerance, and democratic values. This need has to be addressed not only by the governments but also by local communities who directly face the challenges. The first step is an open unbiased and unpretentious discussion on the nature, potential, opportunities and limits and risks of multiculturalism especially with young people who have to cope with the fast changes in the current society.

 

Authors: Zdenka Havrlikova & Lukas Nevrkla (EDUcentrum)

 

 EDUcentrum is a non-profit organisation that strives to support innovative forms and approaches to education, inclusion, employability and entrepreneurship based on cross-sectoral cooperation.

Follow us on our website and Facebook page:

http://www.educentrum.eu

https://www.facebook.com/educentrum2011/

 edu-centrum

Dodano: 10 października 2016 r.