The aim of the project ‘Social Activities for Integration and Learning’ (SAIL) is to broaden the view of the students involved, regarding the social integration of refugees, migrants and immigrants in the European cultural mosaic. Furthermore the aim of the project is to involve students in planning, developing and reflecting on a set of actions that go beyond the boundaries of their familiar context and to have them search their zone of proximal development. In the ever-changing European society, the four schools feel the need of a project which considers understanding and appreciation of people with different backgrounds than ours as well as proposing possible proactive and feasible solutions for dealing with all the problems relating integration. The partnership will offer opportunities for the students to deal with the topic of integration and learning and the ways these subjects are dealt with in the different countries that are involved. The policies regarding integration differ between the participating countries within this project, which, when treated in this project, will deepen their learning about it. Main objectives of the SAIL-project are creating a social dialogue across nations, despite language barriers, entrepreneurial learning as a means for integration and solidarity between peers, across generation gaps and language difficulties. Therefore the exchange program is a fundamental aspect of SAIL.
During the project, the students will explore the specific situation concerning the integration of refugees and immigrants in each region and will discuss the possible solutions that they come up with. The students will gain insight their personal perception and the perception of the community towards the integration of the target group in their direct environment by self-reflection and interviews with locals. Furthermore they will visit local governments and other stakeholders. A portfolio will be a tool to safeguard the continuation of the project. The portfolio which contains the results and conclusions of the field work, a comparative analysis of the different case studies with findings of products, services or activities for the target group will be used to measure results. Self-assessment, peer-to-peer evaluation and professional feedback will be used as evaluation mechanisms.
As long term goals of the SAIL-project we hope to encourage students to take part in society using the power of collective effort for the common good and therefore to stimulate the social welfare of their community and the society in general. For the partner schools it is essential to promote a sense of European citizenship amongst the participating students and teachers. With this sense they gain an open view in working together with people of different cultural and ethnic background and will understand that different communities can come up with different solutions to the same theme. Finally a long term goal of the SAIL-project will be the empowerment of the students and teachers to recognize and act on social inclusion in their future careers and personal lives.Project outcome
SAIL (Social Activities for Inclusion and Learning) has been a project on the social inclusion of refugees and migrants in the European cultural mosaic. SAIL focused on developing partnerships through social and learning activities in order to promote inclusion of migrants and refugees. The SAIL-project builds on previous projects on inclusion carried out by the four partner schools. As there are four schools from different countries across Europe there have been several hundred participants each year in the project, including students, staff, migrants, refugees, policy makers and social organisations. Main objectives were creating a social dialogue across nations, solidarity between peers and overcome language difficulties.
We have created a project in which students learn to understand and appreciate other students and peers with a different cultural background. A needs-analysis was carried out by students by doing field research. The field research included site-visits, interviews with professionals, politicians and surveys to understand the state of inclusion in the different countries. A comparative analysis was made as a start-up for investigating, analyzing and discussing on possibilities for further inclusion during several debates. The conclusion of the final debate in Belgium was that migrants would like to interact more with their European peers. The needs brought up in the field research were used to create a product and activities for the target group. The accumulated experiences were shared in a promotional exhibition. The exhibition contained for example videos, posters, stories of personal objects and clay figures representing emotions of migrants.
The project provided a number of benefits for students, teachers, schools and their extended communities. Students got a better insight in the needs of migrants and inclusion policies among the various European countries. Their research and presentation skills were enhanced as well as their social skills. They learned to use debating and argumentative skills to find workable solutions in, sometimes, controversial matters. Planning and creative skills were necessary to disseminate all the work in a promotional exhibition. Methodologies employed in the above activities emphasized teamwork and collaboration across borders with their European peers as the target group. The project has had a positive impact on the active social involvement of students.
We also hope that students will develop a more active citizenship with a better appreciation for minority groups. Students are encouraged to stimulate the social welfare of their community and the society in general. They gained an open view in working together with people of different cultural and ethnic background.