Building Bridges between Different Cultures and Religions

Posted: 2017-09-14
Written by: EU Network
Category: Europe
Tagged: turin torino religion european training europe eu erasmus+ cultures

The migratory flow in the last 50 years, have brought many foreigners to  Europe, coming from different countries, with different cultures and religions, but only the last years have witnessed efforts to facilitate the integration of these masses in the European social fabric.

After a very successful 1st edition of Erasmus+ mobility promoting intercultural dialogue in 2015, where 60 participants gathered in Turin to join the muslin community on the holy month of Ramadan, the project team made decision to organize the next edition and just as summer was ending six young people from Latvia embarked on an Erasmus+ KA1 mobility  "GISR ATAKAFAT II"  in Turin, Italy.

Turin is one of the biggest cities in Italy, filled with culture and history, which made a perfect place for the project to happen.

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The projects objective was to share opinions and experiences about migration, and discuss how each participating country is dealing with newcomers, and also to see how migration has formed Turin to what it is today. Project "GISR ATAKAFAT II"  presented new approaches towards intercultural dialogue and tolerance.

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Practical activities using a pattern different from that traditional in which the foreigner is the only person who exerts the effort to enable the integration process to take place, introduced the culture and customs of the immigrants who live there. This project also opened new topics and discussions that young people rarely think about, and made them look beyond themselves and think about others people’s lives and experiences.

The participants were welcomed with games and pizza, in the hostel where everyone resided, while waiting for everyone to arrive. The hostel was located fairly close to the city center and each participant was given a bus pass so that they could freely travel through the city, since most of the activities were in the center.

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This project included many very interesting and challenging activities, which made the participants step in someone else’s shoes and also a lot of activities that encouraged team building.

There was an activity about media and how much it can influence our opinion on certain topics just by saying things the right way. The participants had to present the same story from different news outlets and that made them think about how on story can be told so many different ways, depending on which side you’re on. Another activity was about conflicts and solving them, some of the participants were asked to act out a scene, while others watched and tried to understand the conflict, as well as to put themselves in the conflict and try to solve it. After the activity the participants had a discussion about the conflict, their views and solutions for it.

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The project also had workshops including Arabic, in which the participants learned basics of the historic language, how to write and read in it. Cooking, which not only included Italian cuisine, but Moroccan also, which was a tasty way to explore another culture.

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The third workshop was photography, from the participants reviews it seemed to be the most challenging, since they had to capture how they are seeing integration between cultures in Turin. Since the topic of the project was migration, the participants had the opportunity to visit a social center in Turin, in which they found out about how Italy and the center itself are dealing and helping migrants who are arriving almost every day. It was an insight on how actually hard it is to be a migrant with no papers, because there are people trying to help you and people trying to get rid of you. It opened new discussions about the participating counties and how their governments and people are dealing with migration.

During the project the participants got to explore Turin and experience the city, through some activities and on their free time also. Turin is a city filled with museums, historical artifacts, and very friendly and helpful people.

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Overall the project opened ways to new ideas, discussions and friendships. It made the participants get out of their comfort zone and talk about topics that are rarely discussed.

The project made the participants look on a wider spectrum about migration in their country and in others, as well as immersing the participants in other cultures through the workshops. It helped a lot of the participants improve their language and social skills, and to be more culturally aware of their counties traditions and others. After this project each participant went home a bit of a different person, with new views, opinions and stories to share, thank you Turin!

Latvian partner for Erasmus+ KA1 mobility  was Non Governmental Organisation ‘’Donum Animus’’

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