European Planning Meeting Leiden 25th - 29th February 2016 Content Team: Joanna Pankowska (AEGEE-Warszawa/Torun), Romy Cartiere (AEGEE-Amsterdam), Daniela Poddesu (AEGEECagliari). Supported by Anna Gumbau (Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015/16)
An event organised by:
Summary of contents Blablablabla Welcome words........................................................................................................................4 State of mind.............................................................................................................................5 Refugee 101: An academic introduction................................................................................6 Panel discussion 1 - Europe vs the rest. Can European and Global identity coexist? .....7 Panel discussion 2 - Finding solutions to the current migration challenges......................9 Living library............................................................................................................................11 No Hate Speech Movement...................................................................................................13 Debate summary - Open Europe vs Fortress Europe.........................................................14 Debating toolkit.......................................................................................................................16 Policy work introduction.........................................................................................................21 Communication game instructions.......................................................................................23 Workshops...............................................................................................................................26 World CafĂŠ...............................................................................................................................28 Epilogue...................................................................................................................................39
Welcome words Dear AEGEEans, Eight months ago I submitted the topic of refugees in Europe as an EPM topic, to be voted upon at the Agora in Kyïv. At the time, the refugee ´crisis´ had been going on for a while. A crisis at sea. It took quite some time before Europe really became conscious of the severity of the events. At the time of submitting the EPM topic, the same applied to AEGEE as well. The issue had not been spoken of yet, at least not on a European level. However, before the Agora even began, the first reports of AEGEEans feeling the need to address the issue arose. Through mail and facebook the first discussions started popping up, and by the time the Agora started, it was clear that the refugee situation would be the subject of attention for at least a few moments during it. The urge to deal with the situation led to the topic of refugees in Europe being chosen as the EPM topic. Up until the EPM, AEGEE has not been idle. Several locals discussed the topic or organized an activity for refugees, a Policy Officer on Migration has been appointed, and quite a few locals created their own statements regarding the refugee situation. During and after the EPM, AEGEEans have shown to take the matter seriously as well, for instance with the organization of a SU regarding the subject, and even the possibility of a future migration interest group. In this booklet, we have summarized the information and ideas that came up during the EPM. Until now, there has been a great willingness to be active and to keep the topic alive within AEGEE. With this result booklet, we hope to stimulate the continuation of a pro-active and open-minded approach. All in all, keep up the good work! Romy Cartiere on behalf of the Content Team of EPM Leiden 2016
Before the European Planning Meeting... What was the state of minds? • Most of the participants haven’t been in contact with a refugee over the past year and a half. The Living Library before the start of the EPM was the only occasion for some, otherwise they would have had no contact with refugees. • Participants support the idea of a Borderless Europe, but at the same time they do justify the control, and moreover, the border control. • Everyone agreed that Europe needs a new strategy and common actions which are the same for everybody. • 90% of the present AEGEEans felt powerless faced with the refugee crisis. After quite some discussion, they agreed that their voice might be heard and that we should not give up. We agree that we want to do something, but what? This booklet should help you with finding the answer! Based on the opinion of 48 participants present at the workshop “Crossing Lines Refugees and Us” delivered by Aleksandra Mojsova (AEGEE-Skopje) and Maarten de Groot (AEGEE-Amsterdam)
Preparation of participants As an introduction, the participants were given a list of materials to prepare themselves beforehand on the topic of the current refugee situation, with relevant links and basic information. You can find the three presentations here, here and here.
Refugee Crisis 101 An academic introduction
he lecture started with an introduction to the problem of the refugee crisis by Mark Klaassen. The Schengen Area is developing, but it needs harmonization of migration and asylum policies. The countries within the area have different opinions about how this should be done. It would be a risk for the member states to lower their standards of protection. Also, increasing the refugee flow is a challenge. Stefan Kok got more into detail about the past.
Dr. Mark Klaassen is an assistant-professor at the Institute for Immigration Law. He studied Liberal Arts and Sciences at Roosevelt Academy, Political Science at Warwick University and European Law at Leiden University. After his studies, he worked for a year as a policy advisor for the Dutch AdviDuring the former Yugoslavia crisis in 1993, sory Committee on Migration Affairs. The topic of his PhD dissertation is the existence of a right there were over 1,2 million victims in the heart of to family unification.
Europe. This crisis influenced people in Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia as well, countries where people chose to flee to back then. The 1999 Kosovo crisis had similar effects to the countries close to it. In 2009 there was no major crisis close to Europe. A couple of years ago, in 2014, a war burst out in Syria. The war is still going on.
There are many issues which the latest refugee crisis revealed. There is no EU asylum area and there is an uneven distribution of refugees. Countries feel overwhelmed and they close their borders. That is how the proposal to create hotspots started. The identity of the Schengen Area is under pressure. The EU is also under pressure . In some countries there are so many asylum applications, it makes them feel overwhelmed. After a person gets approved for asylum, they can ask for their families Mr. Stefan Kok worked from 2000 to 2010 as a senior to come to the hosting country. This is (international) policy officer and senior strategic analyst called family reunification and can take up for the Dutch Council for Refugees. He was a member of the Board of Editors of a Dutch magazine on refugee to two years. law (Nieuwsbrief Asiel- en Vluchtelingenrecht) and a member of the subcommission on asylum of the Dutch Standing Committee of Experts on international immigration, refugee and criminal law (Meijers Committee). He also held the secretariat of the Advisory Committee on asylum of the Dutch Council for Refugees.
Mr. Klaasen gave some examples of cases of asylum seekers and let the audience decide whether asylum should be granted or not. Concluding, there was a presentation of possible EU policy responses. The EU should start by seeking the root of the problem. People are fleeing to escape from the war in their countries. A common European asylum system should be established with equal distribution of the asylum seekers.
Europe vs the rest. Can the European and Global identity coexist? The first panel discussion of EPM Leiden 2016 aimed to reflect on the meaning of considering ourselves as European citizens and how it affects the relations of Europe with the rest of the world, especially with the refugees who want to come to Europe. The panel was chaired by Stefan Kok from the Institute of Immigration Law, Leiden University.
Refaat Mahassen: “the only difference between you and us is politics”
Refaat Mahassen, Business Administration graduate and Syrian refugee was the first speaker. He shared his experience as a refugee in the Netherlands. ‘I focus on the fact that everytime that someone has to choose to leave the place where he’s living, he lost everything, work, family, friends. So choosing to leave is one of the most difficult things to do, but sometimes there’s no other chance, especially for people coming from countries in conflict. Not always this kind of problems can be bypassed by family reunification, because it is not always possible to bring the rest of the family outside the country.’ He emphasized how difficult it is to build your life from scratch and how difficult it would be for him to go back (if the war ends) and start all over once more.
Europe vs the rest. Can the European and Global identity coexist? Bror Jurna, Conflict Studies & Human Rights graduate and representative of the No Hate Speech Movement in the Netherlands, invited us to be careful with managing information, because not the whole truth is shown and often we can just have a partial representation of reality. Dr. Ringo Ossewaarde, Associate Professor in Sociology of Governance at the University of Twente, presented us the situation from a sociologic point of view. According to him all the problems related to the refugee crisis are based on what it means to be European. The real problem with refugees from Syria is that we don’t think about them as European, but neither French or Dutch people were Europeans in origin, they have been included in the concept during history. Refugees in ancient times were considered slaves and barbarians and this historical inheritance makes the European identity feel betrayed by them, giving the chance to the arisal of phobia-based politics. This led to the spread of nationalism, weak or no democracy and so on, questioning the strength of the European identity and the values that it must represent.. According to Emilie Mendes de León (Project for Democratic Union) the only way to solve this crisis is to act together. She would like that the EU could act as one state. We can’t stop the refugee flow, but we could find a way to deal with it as a Union. For this, according to her, the only chance for the EU is to become a Federal Union. The Project for Democratic Union (PDU) is a political think-tank which makes the case for a full political union of the Eurozone.
Finding solutions to the current migration challenges Is there still space for solidarity in Europe? The second panel discussion aimed to provide a space for reflection on the consequences that the migration flow has on several levels. We had guests from three initiatives with a grassroots nature, to inspire AEGEEans to come up with their own initiatives and/or get involved in an existing one. The panel discussion was moderated by Anna Gumbau, Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe. The first speaker was Adina-Loredana Nistor, Vice-President and Researcher at the NGO Issues Without Borders, and a Research Associate at the Public International Law & Policy Group in Amsterdam. Her areas of expertise are cultural studies, human and humanitarian rights and the protection of ethnic minorities. Issues Without Borders is a recently founded association which, among others, is developing a research project on the topic of refugees, with the focus on these points: - Where and why - State legislation in line with international law? - Practical matters - Social life - Subjective approach Another project that they have is â€œRefugee Start Forceâ€?, a website dedicated to refugees, with all the necessary information about the Netherlands. Through the online community refugees are matched with local professionals, organizations and companies, based on professions, skills and expertise. They aim to offer a bespoke service tailored around the needs of individual refugees. The aim of Refugee Start Force is to equip refugees with the contacts and knowledge to realize their professional ambitions.
Finding solutions to the current migration challenges Is there still space for solidarity in Europe? Sophie Schellens (Justice and Peace Netherlands) took us for a trip around Europe analyzing what is actually happening since the start of the refugee crisis. She focused on the principle of non-refoulement established by international law and the respect for human dignity. Values and rights are shifting to a new paradigm. She explained us that solidarity in Europe has three different meanings: firstly, external solidarity, meaning solidarity towards non-European countries; secondly, internal solidarity, meaning towards other EU Member States; and last, but not least, local solidarity, understood as the solidarity towards people living inside its own state borders. Our lasts guests came from the project Kiron University, which provides refugees worldwide the chance to graduate and get an accredited university degree free of charge. It is based in Berlin, but a sponsorship made an office in Brussels near the European Parliament and the NGOs possible. To design their educational system, Kiron University studied which were the main obstacles that refugees face accessing education. They found that there are two main reasons that drive refugees to decide not to study: 1) They canâ€™t enroll in normal courses because they do not have access to the proper paperwork; and 2) Too expensive fees. Because of this, the students can enroll online without any payment but they have to prove their refugee status. In order to remove the second barrier Kiron University uses an innovative combination of online and offline learning to provide accessible, sustainable, and cost-effective education. They reach more than 1.000 students, they have 23 partner universities and 4 degree programmes, which are Business and Economics, Engineering, Computer Science and Social Sciences. The possibility to access all the courses online makes it possible for refugees to study wherever they are. Moreover, Kiron uses courses created and put online by other universities, such as Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and MIT. The courses are certified by the European Credit Transfer System. This make all the degrees internationally recognized. The goal of Kyron University is to create a new education model, which is more accessible, more human centred and more supportive of personal growth. The university provides its students with special language courses, laptops, internet access and even psychological counseling. For example the â€œBuddy programmeâ€?, a programme which puts local students in contact with refugee students, in order to give them help and advice about the place where they are living.
Choose your book and get to know the story! Living libraries function in the same way as any library... except that in a Living Library, people, rather than books, are available for checkout. Why a Living Library? Because in most cases, whether it is by politicians or the media, discussions are held about refugees, but never with them. These are the books we have read during the EPM living library.
Madhat, a 47 year old lab technician from Damascus, Syria. He has been in the Netherlands since 5 months. He has spoken at other AEGEE events before, at a theme evening about refugees organised by AEGEE-Amsterdam. Fleeing from war in Syria, he chose to go to the Netherlands, because the country had always intrigued him. Nienke Verhoeks was studying in Damascus, Syria when the war started. She had to return to her home country, the Netherlands. Now she is involved in different projects and studying the Arabic language. One of them is volunteering for Refugees Welcome Amsterdam at the central station of Amsterdam. Secondly, she is in the board of Wereldkeuken Haarlem. This project organises a dinner every month, where newcomers can cook dishes to honour their countries of origin. The citizens of Haarlem can join the dinner and get familiar with the newcomers. Harrie van Son, in the middle, had been hosting couchsurfers for quite a while, when he received a request from a Syrian. After meeting him and his friends Harrieâ€™s house has turned into a on and off hosting space for Syrian refugees. Among others, Harrie has hosted Rami and Matt, who were also present at the Living Library, and have become good friends since!
In November 2015, Bev Jackson travelled to the Greek island of Lesbos to join Starfish, one of the groups of volunteers helping to receive and care for refugees arriving in boats from Turkey. She wrote about her experiences, which resulted in the book “A Month with Starfish”. “A Month with Starfish” is a largely light-hearted account of a kaleidoscopic world that provided the author with a crash course in human possibilities and her own limitations. Her advice for AEGEEans: “don’t let your lives be governed by fear!”. All the profits of her book are donated to Starfish Foundation.
Amjad Alzoubi (on the right) is a 28-year-old from Daraa, Syria and studied law and political sciences. He attended the living library with his friend Simon Nakse (on the left), 24 years old, who is from Aleppo and studied mechanical engineering.
This link will show you a short inter view with the books, conducted after the Living Library. Would you like to organise your own Living Library? Check out page 29 for instructions!
Combatting hate speech together
No Hate Speech Movement attends the EPM Leiden Bror Jurna and Felix Woudenberg, Dutch representatives of the No Hate Speech Movement of the Council of Europe, were present at the EPM Leiden. This is an initiative of the Joint Council on Youth of the Council of Europe, approved in 2011 and launched by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on the 23rd March 2013 in Strasbourg. The campaign aims at raising awareness and preventing hate speech on and offline. The campaign grew quicky - from the 10 national campaigns of the No Hate Speech Movement that began in 2013, to 38 national campaigns in 2014, including 47 partners all over Europe.
Which targets are more vulnerable to hate speech?
How can AEGEE locals and the NHSM cooperate?
Easy! We can support each other by organising trainings, workshops and expert meetings together and by awareness raising through education and creative youth actions (in film, art, living libraries). The No Hate Speech Movement is also available for you: approach a contact in your country! Contact the representatives here.
Open Europe vs. Fortress Europe The Oxford debate
Discussion promotes mutual understanding and informed citizenship around the world, and organising discussions with young people leads to increased critical thinking and tolerance, enhanced cultural exchange as well as greater academic excellence. Therefore, discussion and debate should be valued as a way to give young people a voice. During the EPM we used a debate form inspired by the Oxford Union School of Debates, in order to hear your opinion on: “Fortress Europe vs. Open Europe”. It was quite heated, especially when the audience was allowed to speak. These are the main points made by the speakers and the audience.
Main points by the speakers defending “Fortress Europe”
1) The current illegal influx of refugees has lead to a public unrest and dissatisfaction in Europe resulting in a rise of nationalism that cannot be ignored. 2) If we want to maintain our Schengen, our free trade and movement, the freedom and prosperity we have obtained, we have to seal off the outside borders for illegal immigration, and instead regulate immigration through organised, established channels. 3) The EU member states, and hopefully also other stable countries and partners, should put satellites of their immigration services, or a type of embassies, in the camps of these partner countries (Jordan and Lebanon), so asylum seekers can be directly admitted to refugee status in an EU country. This way, the EU can take up refugees in a controlled fashion, stop the illegal influx, fight human trafficking and put a stop to dangerous journeys. 4) By strengthening our external borders, our internal cohesion will hopefully stabilise. For the sake of our own stability, we should see the need to listen to concerns, and find a compromise that satisfies the need of our own population while fulfilling our legal and moral duty towards our fellow human beings. 5) We do see that we have to take our responsibilities as united nations. We actually benefit the asylum seekers in the end. I would like to see a big fortress with many clear keys. The keys are provided to those who need them. Position defended by Paul Smits and Jon Roozenbeek
Main points by the speakers defending “Open Europe” 1) There is no way to protect ourselves or anybody against someone who is no afraid today to hurt us. So the best way to keep us safe is to make people not wanting to attack us. 2) We have fought for so long and suffered so much to make our human rights be written down and respected. We should not reverse the situation. 3) Threat others as you wish to be treated. Remember our own history as refugees. 4) Results of existing fortresses: - Restrictive policies and pushing migrants into irregularity and exploitation - Deaths at sea 5) Open borders will: - Take the pressure off of social security systems - Benefit the economy - Help avoid social tension with the prominent claim of asylum seekers exploiting the social security system Position defended by Luca Bisighini and Miguel “Mike” Pérez Tablado
Main points by the audience - If this room (of 325 people) was Europe, how many people of us would be refugees? One. Europe has the capacity to host refugees. - I don’t think the problem is the numbers, but distribution. There is no control. There is a fortress and there should be a gate for people who deserve it. The good will suffer from the bad. - We are Europeans facing a problem. Fascism is becoming a thing. Nationalism is arising. It is a problem. The refugee crisis is a problem. Europe has to face it together. We have to integrate not only the refugees, but also our own people. - Refugees are people. Before we consider them a problem, we should think that they are people who left their countries to survive. We should see them as a problem, but as humans. Greece and Turkey don’t have the resources to help that amount of people.çç - For example, a refugee should not have a cell phone. We are judging people who are coming here because of economic reason. I can go anywhere in Europe to find a job, but a refugee cannot and that is fine because I am European. - In my point of view the fortress Europe seems most like a reality, but we cannot have a fortress without a key.
The Debate Toolkit
by Civic Education Working Group
What and why
What is debate
Debate is defined as “a formal discussion where two opposing sides follow a set of preagreed rules to engage in an oral exchange of different points of view on an issue”.
Civic education & debating
Civic education is learning the competencies, i.e. skills, knowledge and attitudes, required to be an active, democratic and responsible citizen. Its ultimate goal is to educate the population on democratic citizenship and make them aware of their rights and responsibilities. So what does debating have to do with anything? Well, if it increases critical thinking, argumentation, informed citizenship, mutual understanding, tolerance & cultural exchange, and if it empowers youth to let their voice be heard, it has the potential to actually shape active and responsible citizens! In short it can help you to know more and form a better-founded opinion.
The effects of debating
These empowering effects have been proven to be there. Incorporation of debate in education has been shown to improve academic attainment, develop critical thinking, better communication and argumentation skills, and boost aspirations, confidence and cultural awareness. Give it a try and you will see that maybe some of your convictions are based on one-sided information, and that there might be some truth to other beliefs.
Forms of debating
There are plenty of forms and variations you can choose from, and of course you can create your own style. We have outlined two styles here:
“Oxford-Style” debating is a competitive debate format featuring a sharply framed motion(topic) that is proposed by one side(pro) and opposed by another(con). Oxford Style debates follow a formal structure which begins with audience members casting a pre-debate vote on the motion that is either for, against or undecided. Each panelist presents a seven-minute opening statement, after which the moderator/chair takes questions from the audience with inter-panel challenges. Finally, each panelist delivers a two-minute closing argument, and the audience delivers their second (and final) vote for comparison against the first. A winner is declared in an Oxford-Style debate either by the majority of the audience or by which team has swayed more audience members between the vote before the debate and the vote after the debate.
Parliamentary debate is conducted under rules derived from British parliamentary procedure. There are several variations on this type of debate. It features the competition of individuals in a multi-person setting. Speeches are usually between five and seven minutes in duration. In the most used variation, the debate consists of four teams of two speakers, sometimes called factions, with two teams on either side of the case. Since this style is based on parliamentary debate, each faction is considered to be one of two parties in a coalition. They should show how they are different from the other team on their side of the case in order to succeed. All speakers are expected to offer Points of Information (POIs) to their opponents. POIs are particularly important in British Parliamentary style, as it allows the first two teams to maintain their relevance during the course of the debate, and the last two teams to introduce their arguments early in the debate.
There are plenty of other styles you could use. Perhaps you want to get inspired by debates you know, such as debate in your city council or parliament. Or perhaps something in the direction of informal and forum debate, as is relatively common from TV shows and politics. A good starting point if you want to explore something else is the Wikipedia page on debate (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate).
Try to mix business with pleasure: Combine the useful with the enjoyable. Think of topics that you think: »» Your members/participants should know more about. Could there be a need to challenge or confirm current views? Would you like to deepen your knowledge? Should your participants attain an attitude towards something? »» Your members/participants would like to talk about. Is it motivating, relevant, exciting enough for your participants? »» You might want to consider topics that AEGEE is working on. Such debates can be relevant for AEGEE’s policy work or challenge the existing assumptions in the organisation. This is not a requirement, as any civic matter matters! Phrase your topic clearly and unambiguously. Your debate should not center on obscure claims of minutia. The exact formulation can vary among the forms of debate and your preference, but try avoid (double) negations in the preposition. A good way to check your proposition is to try to make the negative/opposite form of it and to check if that is indeed the other side of the debate you want to see. An example preposition: University education should be free Opposite check: University education should not be free Sounds like a fair debate to me!
The IDEA website includes a database of possible debate topics and lists the top 100 Debates from their website (ranked by total views). Each topic includes a prompt describing the topic, a list of points for and against, and a bibliography of resources.
Preparation of participants
After choosing a relevant and exciting topic, it is time to prepare. Regardless of whether you have or have not assigned sides to your participants yet, it is advisable for participants to develop both a pro and con case, persuasively supported by evidence and reasoning. As most forms of debate are relatively short, participants usually center their cases on a few quality arguments. Each team, however, should research several arguments on both sides of the issue, so it can adapt its case to the opposing teamâ€™s claims as necessary. Having arguments in direct contradiction with each other will enhance clash in rebuttals and prove to be a great learning experience. Organization of speeches through effective communication and clear outlines is important so any audience or judge, as well as the opposing team can follow each of the arguments and the supporting evidence. Effective persuasion requires credible, unbiased, quality supporting evidence, which may include a mix of facts, statistics, expert quotations, studies, polls; but it may also be real-life examples, anecdotes, analogies, and personal experience. When organising a debate, tell your participants to consult a variety of articles and sources. Mind them that they should not overwhelm their case with evidence; rather, they should select the best evidence to represent their claims. (It may help to search for previous debates on the topic in online debate databases such as http://idebate.org/debatabase and http://www.debate.org/debates/) Concluding: allow some time for your participants to prepare properly.
First condition you have to meet is relevance. You should discuss the problem which is directly related to the topic of discussion (for example, do not talk about Palestinian conflict when the discussion is about International justice implemented after Yugoslavian war). Then you should answer three basic questions. 1) What is the problem and the cause of this problem? 2) Why is your opinion relevant and your arguments valid? 3) What are benefits, gains, constraints or fallacies of such proposition? These questions are fundamental for explanation and justification of your arguments. Of course, you should prepare yourself to face the critical insight to your arguments. But that does not mean that you should not be controversial. On the contrary, you OUGHT TO BE controversial (but, of course, in adequate sense).
Try not to commit logical fallacies.
A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning. Strong arguments are void of logical fallacies, whilst arguments that are weak tend to use logical fallacies to appear stronger than they are. Logical fallacies are like tricks or illusions of thought, and they’re often very sneakily used by politicians and the media to fool people. Don’t be fooled! Coming to recognise and calling out these fallacies, strengthens your critical thinking instantly. Why not print out a poster like the one find on the page yourlogicalfallacyis.com, and make sure your participants learn how to argument properly, like a good philosopher.
Code of Conduct
»» Respect different opinions. They can show you different point of view. »» Don’t judge others by the opinions they have, or are portraying. The most evil points of view might be the most educative. »» Do not insult others. »» Discuss arguments, not personal affairs. »» Do not attack nationality, background, gender or language of anybody. »» Give proper reasons for your comments. »» Avoid obscurity and ambiguity. »» Do not discuss things which are NOT directly related to the topic of discussion. sure your participants learn how to argument properly, like a good philosopher.
Chairing and judging
The chair of the debate makes sure the debaters adhere to the rules of the debate. The chair takes care of the time limits or, in a debate without time limit, makes sure both sides are equally heard. Furthermore the chair decides on points of order made and intervenes in case the code of conduct is not observed. The chair should not interact in the content of the debate in any way after the first debater started their argumentation. There are several ways to judge a debate. This really depends on the form of the debate and what skills you would like to focus on. Judging is usually either done by an audience or by a jury. The chairperson can possibly be judge as well.
If you want to have a jury or judge that evaluates teams on the quality of the arguments, they should focus on the quality of those arguments actually made, not on their own personal beliefs, and not on issues they think a particular side should have covered. Judges should assess to what extent each argument supports the truth or falsehood of the chosen preposition. (Reminder: the pro should prove that the resolution is true, and the con should prove that the resolution in not true.) An easy and effective way to judge is to ask yourself “If I had no prior beliefs about this resolution, would the round as a whole have made me more likely to believe the resolution was true or not true?” However, judges should discount unfair, obscure interpretations that only serve to confuse the opposing team. A judge can also consider the clarity of the communication. Judges weigh arguments only to the extent that they are clearly explained, and they will discount arguments that are too fast, too garbled, or too jargon-laden to be understood by a well-informed citizen. If agreed on beforehand, other aspects can be taken into account as well. In some debate forms and cultures, humour is a very important factor. In other forms, before and after polls are done with the audience and the winner is the team who swayed the most audience members.
After the debate
Now the debate is over we can actually see what it brought to your participants. Many persons will for themselves decide where they actually stand. This is not necessarily on one of the two sides, as the informal talks afterwards allow for people to express their nuanced opinion. Always try to have some space for aftertalks, either organised in your session, or simply over a coffee/drink. If you debated on a topic that is (potentially) relevant for AEGEE, make sure to use this opportunity to discuss with your participants what AEGEE’s position on the topic can be, or what AEGEE can and should do in the field you discussed. Perhaps new ideas for projects or campaigns start in your debate, or old ideas are challenged. Everything is possible!
Positions, policy papers, statements... what’s in it!? It is important to do volunteer work and help individuals but this does not mean you should not go big and strive for changing legislations and current politics. How?
You can do it on your own but it will probably not be very effective. When using a name of organisation, first make sure you have the right to represent it. AEGEE-Europe uses two kinds of advocacy; representation in the main European institutions by the Board of Directors, Pool of Representatives and others represent the Network with external players. Policy paper: is the main policy document where the opinion of the whole association is reflected based on a thorough research and consultation with the network. Reaction, articles, statement and other documents: reactions are pieces published in response to a concrete situation that must be published rapidly based on the main principles of the organisations and without a big need for consultation. And article or a statement give the chance to explain better a concrete position of the organization developing a concrete topic linked to the core values of the association. Usually those are linked to present situations and do not need ratification by the General Assembly.
Policy and position papers - how do we consult?
»» Validity - what we put in a paper is something that a group of people are supposed to agree. If you present something to the General Asembly for ratification then policy/position paper become valid and produce effects on the entire network. A policy paper adopted by an local will regard only the antenna and its members, but not AEGEE-Europe, at least not directly. In the second case the statement could be presented, but there’s no reason to approved it. The case could be that the antenna ask for the approval and the recognition of the statement in the network. »» Consultations could be online and offline. Usually online tools are the most used ones. Making consultation only with online tools it’s not effective as face to face consultations. Furthermore, offline consultations are more expensive. The new EUth platform will allow members to discuss the documents, suggest changes and in general to consult the network in a more structured way than now. »» Every document approved by Agora, no matter if it is about the personal opinion of who’s presenting it or the result of a proper consultation, once it gets approved, it becomes the network’s opinion.
1) Research - Other Policy Papers - Consultation - Drafting - Academic information 2) Consultation - On-line and off-line - Use the results of the consultations and what you learn doing your research a presentation of the situation in AEGEE 3) Approval – presentation and vote during General Assembly In short, the goals of a policy paper are.. - Organize and outline the organizational viewpoint - Informal influence stakeholder - Present some solution Current state of art: - Policy paper on Migration is being written by Luca Bisighini and will be approved at Spring Agora Bergamo 2016 - Each Working Group writes an position paper on their topic (Civic Education; Youth Mobility; Spreading Europtimism, Youth Employment) - Local’s Policy papers – AEGEE-Aachen, AEGEE-Utrecht, AEGEE-Brescia, AEGEE-Udine You can find all of AEGEE-Europe’s current positions in the website. For more information about policy work, contact the Comité Directeur at email@example.com!
The communication game Instructions
By Floor Hendriks (Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology in Leiden) and Revijara Oosterhuis (Projectmanager and Coordinator Stichting LOS - Meldpunt Vreemdelingendetentie).
Communication is essential in day to day life. Most of our communication goes through written, or spoken language. However, not everybody is able to understand that language. Furthermore, not everyone is used to the rules, or culture, of their (new) society. This is true for most refugees (and migrants). The goal of the game is to give the participants an understanding of what it is like to go through life without speaking the language and without knowing the rules and culture of the people around them. Thus, what it is like to be a refugee/migrant. This goal is achieved by dividing the participants into groups and having them believe they are all playing the same card game, with the same rules, while the rules are different for each group. The participants will have to move between groups, but are not allowed to speak. This will create a lot of confusion! After the game, several questions are asked to trigger the participants into a discussion about refugees/migrants and communication.
What do we need?
»» 6 tables with 4 to 8 chairs (the same number of chairs per table) and their own, visible number (1 to 6) »» 32 cards per table »» The following cards are used - 7,8,9,10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace »» 6 A4’s with on each a different card game explained (1 per table) – the card games can be found in here! »» Some paper for each table »» 6 pens, 1 per table »» A stopwatch »» 1 or 2 helpers Number of participants 24 to 48 (could be less with less tables)
How to play?
Divide the participants equally in 6 groups of 4 to 8 people (the same number of people per group). Preferably the participants do not know each other. If they do, the ones that know each other well should not be in the same group. Place each group at a table. Make sure the tables are a considerable distance away from each other. All the groups are given some time to look at the game rules on their table. Do a test round. Every group can play a round of their game, in order to learn it. Tell everyone table 1 is the winning table, and table 7 is the losing table. Goal for the participants, move up to table 1 (if not already there). Tell them that after each round, from each group, the winner of the game goes one table down (example: from 5 to 4), and the loser goes one table up (example: from 6 to 7). Is it a tie? Then the winner/loser is decided by a game of rock/paper/scissors. At each table, one of the participants takes score (and plays as well). Paper and pen are meant for this. Start the first round. As of now, everyone has to be COMPLETELY SILENT. That is where the helpers come in handy. They go around and make sure no one is communicating through sound. That includes whispering! After the first round, the game rules are taken off the table. Play more or less 6 rounds (to make sure the game does not take too long, you can use the stopwatch and set a strict time for each round, instead of having the participants play out each round completely).
How do you feel? Possible reactions: - Confused - Stuck - Frustrated Why do you think we played this game? How do you connect this to migration/refugees? Possible reactions: - Every table was like a different culture or country (or class in society) - Afraid of breaking the rules - Not knowing the rules - It’s hard to be in the losing group - It’s easy to be in the winning group - Feeling bonded to your original table, because you understand it Is the way you behave at the table the same as you behave with actual refugees/ migrants? Possible reactions: - If I was a refugee, I would not try to fit in, it’s too frustrating - You understand how important communication is. You get only a hunch that another group is different, but you would really like to hear about it.
Summary of workshops The integral part of all of those workshops was brainstorming about ideas for initiatives which you can find in the next section of this booklet. Language barriers – just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t exist! Katharina Jiménez Weese, Erifyli Evangelou and Elena Panagopoulou, on behalf of the Language Interest Group Refugees are facing many barriers when arriving in a new country. The language barrier is one of them. This workshop was raising awareness about how important language is when it comes to integrating refugees into the European communities. The stories they confess Danae Matakou, Elena Panagopoulou, Evrim Emiroglu, Lia Tuska and Zeynep Eda Alpsoy, on behalf of the Democracy in Practice Project Team “Have you met someone who’s life is influenced by the refugee crisis? Have you heard their story? Have you thought about what their feelings are? Who have they met during their journey? During this workshop we had a chance to discover the stories they confess. Integration issues and refugees Marco Mato and Gabriella van Oudenhove, on behalf of the Action Agenda Coordination Committee (ACT) The integration of refugees into the European society is the first and main step to solve most of the problems created between different cultures. We talked about how this has been done in other countries, especially in Turkey, and also about some regions where we find examples of good politics concerning integration. Crossing Lines - Refugees and Us Aleksandra Mojsova & Maarten de Groot, on behalf of the Your Vision for EUrope Project During this workshop we took a step back and discussed how the refugee crisis affects us personally and emotionally, how it changes our perception of values that we as AEGEE hold high, such as a ‘borderless Europe’, and how it may affect our faith in the future of the European project. Why the West fears Islam Brenda Gisela Holz, AEGEE-Heidelberg and Karls-Ruprecht-University, Department for Religious Studies There have been waves of refugees arriving in Europe before the current refugee “crisis” but what is different this time? Most refugees fleeing to the EU are coming from Asia and Africa and most of them are Muslims. What does this mean - especially in the process of integration? What role does religion play and why are we, more often than not, discussing violence when talking about Islam? In this workshop we have discussed the role of religion in the process of integration as well as the ostensible relation between violence and religion.
Refugees Employability Sebastiaan Rood, on behalf of the Youth Employablity Working Group With three AEGEE panelists, we eleborated on the possibilities of education, employment and training for young refugees in their respective countries. How is the fit between the needs and the supply? Where can we find a misfit? And how can that misfit be tackled? After their introduction, we tried to classify where this misfit between our countries do overlap or differ. YOUth & Mobility in Europe - A common future? Youth Mobility Working Group This workshop was trying to answer two questions: are we aware of the problems connected to Youth Mobility? Is the refugee crisis affecting Youth Mobility in Europe?! European education, refugee education, civic education Civic Education Working Group During the workshop we have discussed what role civic education (or its lack) plays in the crisis. We looked at the problem from two perspectives - education of Europeans and refugees. We Are Here! In the Netherlands there are over 10.000 people who have not been granted asylum, but can also not return to their ‘home’ country. Their situation is explained in the documentary OUTLAWED which we have watched during the EPM. They are not recognized as an inhabitant in the Netherlands and therefore don’t have the same rights as Dutch citizens. This means for instance that they do not have aright to shelter, food or education. During the workshops participants had a chance to met Osman and Khalid, who find themselves in this limbo. It was a lecture with space for dialogue. Both speaker told their stories about not having an official status in the Netherlands and are therefore not being allowed to work. To publish their cookbook, they had to find a loophole in the law. Freedom of expression, be allowed to produce printed matters. Legally speaking they are allowed to publish this, but the minister of culture does not know how to handle the situation. The system does not work, the lecturers gave some examples: Somalian man is placed with only Somalians and all kinds of different locations for 7 years. Then you decide whether to give the residence permit and expect the person to integrate within 2 years.
Make your ideas happen! These are the ideas that came from you during the World Café on the second day of the EPM! We ordered them and worked some of them out (a bit) further, to give you and your local a quick start. Ideas that came up during the workshops have been integrated as well. You will find here ideas for campaigns that AEGEE members can initiate, as well as initiatives that AEGEE-Europe can start or support, ideas for AEGEE locals to organise your own events, and even single initiatives that YOU as an individual can launch! The “World Café” is a structured conversational process intended to facilitate open and intimate discussion, and link ideas within a larger group to access the “collective intelligence” or collective wisdom in the room. Participants move between a series of tables where they continue the discussion in response to a set of questions, which are predetermined and focused on the specific goals of each World Café. SOURCE: Wikipedia
Ideas for campaigns Living/Human Library campaign – in order to shut down stereotypes and prejudices: encourage people to meet refugees before judging them The Living Library on Thursday before the EPM, was called a success by the participants ánd the ‘books’. Do you want to create dialogue between refugees (and those involved in the refugee crisis) and your members/local community? Organize a Living Library! A way to organize a Living, or Human Library, is through http://humanlibrary.org/ You apply through a form, and if accepted, you are allowed to use the trademark Human Library, which may give your event more publicity and attention. Here you can find a webinar on organising a Human Library. Of course you can also organize a Living Library without the Human Library trademark and still apply the same methods presented in their webinar. Here is a guide in pdf.
Topics for campaigns In order to make a successful campaign, a very important aspect is to have a very clear message that we want to deliver, and focus on a specific topic. Which topics can we focus our campaigns on? »» Multiculturality > bridge among people (dialogue) »» Human rights »» Awareness about violations of human rights in refugee camps »» Humanitarian... before national interests »» Demonstrations and awareness against Schengen border controls in AEGEE border locals. An example of this is the Young Federalists’ campaign #Don’t touch my Schengen
Ideas for AEGEE-Europe initiatives One of our ideas is to start a project to audit and observe refugee camps, in order to compare the state of camps and report anything wrong or not complying to the basic human needs. Another idea is to release a documentary made by AEGEE reporters from every AEGEE country: the state of refugees in different countries, combined with a new edition of the Europe on Track project. We can also share the ideas of locals on Intranet (MyAEGEE in the future), and publish a list of external initiatives that AEGEE can join. Another way AEGEE-Europe can support is by suggesting a structure for locals to follow in order to foster dialogue between local communities and refugees. We can also promote free language courses, or even do advocacy and aim for a European standard. Moreover, we could find ways to get a free membership for refugees, and get refugees to reach out to AEGEE and the other way around, through presentations for instance. Last but not least, we can promote European/International nights further - just bearing in mind to keep the amount of alcoholic drinks limited.
Ideas for local activities Inform the local population: Projection of movies and documentaries Host a screening yourself!
On The Bride’s Side A Palestinian poet and an Italian journalist meet five Palestinians and Syrians in Milan who entered Europe via the Italian island of Lampedusa after fleeing the war in Syria. They decide to help them complete their journey to Sweden – and hopefully avoid getting themselves arrested as traffickers – by faking a wedding. This film is screened mostly in Italy, but in other European countries as well. You can go to a planned screening or you can organise a screening of the film. See the link above for the planned screenings or fill the form to get a copy of the movie and host a screening.
Short films - available online via the following links
The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained (06:16 - Sep 17, 2015) People of Nowhere: Short, Powerful Film Captures the Human Dimension of the Syrian Refugee Crisis (01:58, November) We Walk Together: a Syrian refugee family’s journey to the heart of Europe (17:07 - Sep 10, 2015) Syrian refugee crisis: ‘we left one war for another’ (21:27 - Jan 14, 2014) Freezing and Fighting for Aid: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon (17:50 - Feb 26, 2015) Syria’s Lost Generation: The Plight of the Youngest Refugees (15:00 - Jan 24, 2014) Death at sea: Syrian migrants film their perilous voyage to Europe (08:18 - Oct 21, 2014)
Mid-length / long films
Available online Without a Home: Delivering Aid to Refugees in Europe (52:11 - Oct 18, 2015) Refugees: Journey through Europe (From Syria to Serbia) (46:52 - Nov 28, 2015) Not available online* 13 Powerful Films about Refugees You Need To See * except Into the Fire - The Hidden Victims of Austerity in Greece Mediterranea (2015) - Two men make the dangerous journey from Africa to Italy for a better life, but then face hostility and violence in this shocking look at the life-anddeath struggle of refugees.
A Speakers’ Corner is an area where open-air public speaking, debate and discussion are allowed. The original and most noted is in the northeast corner of Hyde Park in London, England. Speakers here may talk on any subject, as long as the police consider their speeches lawful, although this right is not restricted to Speakers’ Corner only. Contrary to popular belief, there is no immunity from the law, nor are any subjects proscribed, but in practice the police tend to be tolerant and therefore intervene only when they receive a complaint. On some occasions in the past, they have intervened on grounds of profanity.’ [Source: Wikipedia]
Switching tables/Run + Dine with refugees
Together with one cooking buddy, enjoy three courses in three places – yours and two other teams’. You and your friend will prepare either a starter, a main dish or a dessert for yourselves and four international guests and spend the rest of the evening on a culinary journey. Not necessarily limited to students. Match one local citizen to one refugee! This way you’ll not only get to make more than 10 new friends – you’ll probably also get to know amazing food from all over the world!
1) Find a local cooperation partner which can help you to get into contact with the refugees. For example a Syrian student group. Find someone to help you with the language barrier. Refugee Projects and Refugee Volunteer Map. 2) Country/cooking evening to present ones countries 3) Writing articles/columns in local papers (or student papers) to inform about activities and projects, as well as about the current situation (e.g. with interviews or testimonials) 4) Break the isolation, bonding, interact Helping and supporting an organisation that organizes cultural activities (e.g. theatre/ sports events, native cuisine) which will be shown in public. Bridge the gap between locals and refugees. 5) Tandem projects [See page 38] 6) Board game events 7) Buddy programs for school (personal introduction to culture), evening exchanges at each other’s families
Ideas for your own, single person initiatives Offer a refugee a job If you have the ability to employ someone, you might want to consult with an organization that brings refugees and employers together. An example of such an organization is Refugee Start Force, a Dutch initiative that aims to give refugees a shortcut into the Dutch society, by matching people based on profession and professional expertises. Is there no such organization in your proximity, but you live or work in an area where quite a few refugees are living, then setting up a comparable initiative might be a fruitful idea! Do not hesitate to contact Refugee Start Force for advice. One thing to keep in mind is that in most countries refugees who have not been granted asylum yet are not legally allowed to work. Even voluntary work is not always allowed, although there are usually less restrictions. Check what the possibilities are beforehand, to avoid disappointment and problems with the authorities for you and the refugee later on. Do you want to take a more extensive look at the integration of refugees in the labour market? The European Parliament has published a study on Labour Market Integration of refugees. Strategies and policies are illustrated by examples and good practices from various Member States based upon evidence or expert assessment. Information provided by Melissa Carreres Candela, member of AEGEE-Alicante and Network Commissioner. Respect their culture â€“ mutually A big part of respect is understanding. In order to understand another culture it is key to know what their customs are. In some cultures for instance, it is rude to eat all the food the host provided for you, because it would indicate that you think they have not provided enough, while in other cultures it is extremely rude not to finish your plate. To avoid these little misunderstandings, which could be in the way of mutual respect, citizens have to approach each other and experience each otherâ€™s habits. One way of getting to know each other and each otherâ€™s culture, is through games. 32 32
The games in the links below are mostly meant for people of the same culture to understand what it is like to be a person from another culture in their society. Passages - An awareness game confronting the plight of refugees Online simulation game about being a refugee For a younger crowd Find many exercises and simulations related to culture here More multicultural, cross-cultural & intercultural games & activities Cultural Bias in Intelligence Testing Cross-cultural Have You Ever game World Meal - Spread Awareness Most of the â€˜gamesâ€™ in the links below are meant to be played by people from different cultural backgrounds. You can check them here and here. Last but not least, take a look at the following presentation. Although it is meant for communication at work, the presentation could be modified and used in relation to refugees. Teach the local languages Although learning the local language from professional teachers is often most effective, access to professional language education might not be available. There are different ways to provide language courses for refugees who do not have access to it. Set up your own academy! Even though language courses might not be available for refugees, it is possible to set up an initiative that bundles professional teachers together in a volunteer based language academy. An example of such an initiative is We Are Here Academy. Although not restricted to learning the local language, this initiative could be an inspiration.
Teach the language yourself! This can be a bit of a challenge, but not impossible, and it can mean a lot to those who have no other possibilities. Luckily, there is quite some material available online which can help you teach your local language. Foreign Language Teaching Methods Wikibooks: How to Teach a Language wikiHow: How to Teach Adults a Foreign Language The 16 Best Resources for Teaching a Foreign Language Teaching a local language from scratch can be a lot of effort and might not fit next to your personal schedule. A fun, casual and effective way to help someone learn your local language is by being their language buddy! You can shape this relationship as you like, taking the wishes of your buddy in account as well. Being a buddy usually involves regular meetings (for example, once every 10 days) with a social aspect. Most important is of course speaking the local language together. Crucial as well is a click between you and your buddy, otherwise the meetings will become uncomfortable in the long run and it will make it less effective. It helps if your buddy already speaks the local language a bit, to make at least a basic conversation possible. Finding a buddy can go through an existing buddy programme, or through your own initiative (e.g. social media or direct environment). Tandem project Tandem learning is a communicative as well as an intercultural approach as it gives the opportunity to both learners to gain more insight into each otherâ€™s culture by direct communication. See page 38 for more information.
Other ideas Go around for material donations Even though a lot of material is needed to help refugees in any way, there is nothing more ironic than donated material that is of no good use. Sorting through huge piles of inadequate material, e.g. torn clothes or high heels, and sending this material away (because most NGOs do not want to waste anything either) can be a big strain on organizations that are already limited in staff, time and resources. Therefore, make sure the material you gather is actually needed by whoever it is donated to. Many NGOâ€™s communicate whether they need material and if so, what kind of material. Do under no circumstance donate material that is broken or dirty! It can also be worthwhile to contact an NGO and set up a cooperation with them. In that way you can assure that all parties are satisfied. Local or citizen initiatives are usually even easier to reach, through facebook for instance, and often happy to cooperate. Organize a meeting (at the university) in order to coordinate which (student) organizations would like to be active in relation to the subject of refugees and in which way they would like to be active. Joining forces with another (student) organization or local/ citizen initiative can lead to fruitful cooperations! A few simple examples: Would you like to organize a sports event for refugees? > cooperate with a student sports association. Would you like to organize (tandem) lessons about your language for refugees? > cooperate with the language study association, or with (the students of) the Faculty of Languages. Would you like to create a network of buddies who can help refugees with legal matters? > cooperate with the law study association, or with (the students of) the Faculty of Law. Organize a debate on a local TV show A frequently used form of debate/discussion, is the panel discussion. This type of discussion is also fit for television. Here are a few useful links for planning a panel discussion: 1 and 2. It is best to select an additional person not participating in the panel discussion, to serve as a moderator. Ideally, she should already have experience moderating panels. Select someone who understands the topic well enough to follow the discussion, and who is skilled in social situations.
Stimulating good news about refugees on tabloids or local TV If there are any examples of feel good stories from your personal experience or that of others, try contacting a local newspaper or broadcasting channel. Stories that work best are those that happen on a regular basis, so they can shoot their own material, otherwise the story is probably not that interesting for them to publish. This is an example of a story that became viral. Other ideas are to organise cooking nights for refugees, for them to see what the most popular items, spices, etc. are in our (European) countries. You can also invite refugees to come and talk at high schools, organise cycling classes for refugees, repair (donated) bikes together or create a tool online that shows where there are enough volunteers and where not. Menstruation cup Women who are living in a refugee camp, have a lack of hygiene, especially when they have their menstruation. That is why it is very important to develop a collection campaign in order to get as many menstrual cups as possible to give women the opportunity to have a safe and healthy menstruation. Take a refugee in your home Waiting for months in a refugee shelter can render asylum seekers hopeless and bored. Living in a house with locals generally gives a refugee an accelerated start in life. It stimulates learning the local language, provides them a chance to build independence and gives a more positive perspective on life in their new country. This is not something to do without consideration. Best would be to go through an organization that matches refugees looking for such a home with local residents. These match ups are usually not permanent, but range from a period of three weeks to a year. Gathering free tickets From time to time there are publicity stunts by amusement parks, zooâ€™s, theatres, etc. A common problem for asylum seekers is boredom. A day out can brighten up someone considerably. This is of course also a great initiative for children! If you are not in contact with refugees personally, contact a NGO to donate the tickets to. Are you yourself working at an amusement park, zoo, theatre or another venue for a day out? If you receive free tickets from your job, you can consider donating them. Ask your colleagues if they would like to donate (a part of) their tickets too. If you do not receive tickets from your employer, but you think they would be open to helping refugees, you may pitch the idea to them. Movie night A social event that is suitable for everyone, language barrier or not. Preferably pick a movie in the local language and play it with English/Farsi/Arab/ Tigrinya subtitles. Open up or organize workshops about job hunting Applying for a job and surviving a job interview, these are things that can be extra challenging when done in a foreign country. Is your local organizing a workshop about job hunting? Either about applying for a job (CV, motivation letter, etc.), or how to look good at an interview > consider opening up the event for refugees. Organizing such a workshop especially for refugees is of course also a possibility.
City tour You can set up a migration committee/working group in your local and organize a city tour especially for refugees. However, instead of telling (only) about historical sites and such, tell about what kind of shops they can find, where the general practitioner is, where people go to hang out, etc. Organize a SU or event with the theme of migration/refugees, or try to integrate a meeting with refugees in the event. How about to invite refugees to hold a guest lecture, or an exposition of photos made by refugees on their journey?
Tandem projects A tandem is a bicycle designed for two riders both involved in getting forward. We have taken this word into our method of learning by exchanging languages with our motto: â€œIn order to understand each other better I help you to learn and you help me to learn.â€? Tandem is therefore the bicycle among various language learning approaches - it is cheap, individual and ecological. It is a communicative as well as an intercultural approach as it gives the opportunity to both learners to gain more insight into each otherâ€™s culture by direct communication. Tandem is the most active way of learning for everyone who wants to learn creatively, have fun and get new experience at the same time. There are two types of tandem: 1. The one-to-one- tandem, in a totally autonomous way. 2. The bi-national tandem class which supports an autonomous way of learning. Tandem is a method applicable to all ages, from children to seniors. Tandem can be used in many ways: in nursery schools, primary and secondary schools, in vocational training institutions, in youth organizations, in universities and colleges, in teacher training colleges, in adult education, in Trade Union training within companies and immigrant centres.
Tandem works... In the country of either of the groups taking part in a bi-national Tandem course, or together in a third country, in a cross-border way or on the Internet. Thematic tandem ideas: The universal tandem of languages, the culture exchange oriented tandem, the professional tandem, the multilingual ‘Babylonia-Tandem’, the antiracist ‘Intercultural-Tandem’, cross-border Mugaz Gain and e-Tandem on the Internet. Tandem, as one form of autonomous learning, offers flexibility of content: Conversation, narration, reading, professional skills (phoning, translating, interpreting), leisure time activities, cross-culture differences . . . Goals and fields of work: Its goals are to improve understanding between peoples and promote intercultural exchange by means of pilot courses, documentation and diffusion of materials, teacher training and international project networks, especially in the areas of: 1) German and other widely used languages: development of self-instruction materials for elementary and intermediate levels and teacher training courses in cooperation with the Goethe Institute; testing of new course methods, especially ‘German by Exchange’; distribution of “German as a foreign language” material. 2) Basque and other minority languages: development of self-instruction materials and consulting for the setting up of self access centres; training for learning techniques and teacher training for ‘ikastola’s and ‘euskaltegi’s; training for the use of the data base for cross-border exchange programmes ‘Mugaz Gain’ between North and South Basque Country - useful also in other border areas. 3) Training programmes: research registry and material bank; offers for language teachers about such topics as news forms of learning, study techniques, memo techniques, reading comprehension, intercultural communication, autonomous learning, multilingualism; language learning by exchange in presence of the partners or via Email; support of the “International TANDEM Conference” in collaboration with academic institutions.
Epilogue Shortly after the EPM, I became a volunteer in the Havenstraat Center in Amsterdam. Coming there I had a chance to observe volunteer groups and individuals coming to perform different types of activities. I was petrified to see that some of those people, with undoubtedly good motives, were so focused on their task that it became more important than the people they were doing those tasks for. From this experience I gained understanding on how important it is to always treat people individually. No matter what actions you will decide to take, please keep in mind that it should never be a group of volunteers approaching a group of refugees. It is very important to keep in mind that each person is different and nobody wants to be perceived just as a refugee but as a complex human being with its individual story. So be a friend! Cooking together, helping each other out by providing information, learning each other’s languages, movie nights and many other of the ideas mentioned as recommendation in this booklet can be organized with institutional help or you can just perform them with your friends like you do on a daily basis. It reminded me of the Starfish Foundation story which I have heard from one of our guest speakers during the Living Library: A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement. She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!” The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!” – Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley I encourage you to make a difference to at least one starfish by becoming a friend. Joanna Pankowska On behalf of the Content Team of EPM Leiden 2016
European Planning Meeting 2016 Organised by:
Special thanks to EPM Leidenâ€™s partners: