EUropean Counter and Alternative Narratives Network

Duration: 01-01-2018 – 31-12-2019
Project number: 595293-CITIZ-1-2017-2-PT-CITIZ-NT

To achieve the objectives of the project, initially, we carried out a study/analysis on subjective interpretations of social reality that hide implicit prejudices that lead to discrimination. At the end of the research, the results were presented and guidelines were prepared for the organisation of local seminars to counter the phenomenon of discrimination, dismantle prejudices and replace hateful narratives with alternative narratives. At the same time, the CAN campaign was launched to allow social workers and youth educators and front line actors to be involved in the fight against intolerance, racism and xenophobia. Subsequently, an international training course for social workers and youth educators was implemented to increase their skills and provide them with tools and techniques to counter radicalism and build alternative narratives. The central phase of the project was dedicated to the realization of the CAN laboratories that have been implemented locally. During these workshops, the participants shared the skills acquired during international training and implemented public laboratories making the use of them. Subsequently, the EU CAN Toolkit has been created to collect practical information to help EU citizens understand and to support the process of integrating immigrants and refugees. Finally, we organized the final conference with the screening of CAN educational videos during the Film Festival and the presentation of the EU CAN Toolkit. The results of the project were published during the conference. In addition to the activities listed above, we have carried out other activities to raise public awareness on the subject. We organised open debates on the role of the youth sector in preventing violent extremism and opened a discussion on the “Charter of education for democratic citizenship and human rights education (EDC / HRE)”. We organised a study visit during the meeting in Portugal to understand the functioning of the migrant centre and to closely examine the cooperation between the voluntary sector and local institutions. We also held an international conference on the theme of “Unaccompanied Foreign Minors” with a specific focus and direct testimonies on the experiences of the reception centre in mediation and intercultural communication. During the meeting in Spain, we participated in the World Refugee Day involving the international participants to join the #WithRefugees petition of the UNHCR. We visited the reception centre for refugees (CAR) in Valencia, conducting interviews with the local CAR project manager, social workers and migrants living within. We held an international conference with open debates on multicultural societies and integration policies of individual EU countries. Furthermore, during the meeting in Greece, we visited the headquarters of the UNHCR in Athens and the headquarters of a migrant reception centre in the capital Athens, where volunteers explained and demonstrated to us the importance of private sector involvement in the humanitarian crisis and the skills needed to provide an immediate response to crises. We organised the twinning ceremony between the partner cities of the project network to mobilise and sensitise citizens on the issues addressed by the project.

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