The aim of the Erasmus+ European project “CULTURE FOR ALL! Living Cultural Diversity” was to give access to cultural youth education measures to all interested young people. With this project the social context should changed in such a way, that everyone can participate, regardless of restrictions, individual peculiarities, social background, gender, religion or different skin color. In our sense of a broad inclusive understanding of diverse society, it is normal to be different.
As people with less opportunities and disabilities still have too little access to international projects with heterogeneous youth groups outside of school, our goal was to open-up concrete opportunities.
There are many reasons for this: project managers and youth workers have doubts or fears about responsibilities in an area that is unknown to them. Or the young people are confronted with barriers that prevent them from participating in a project, as they don’t feel addressed, so that the offer is not relevant for them. The aim of our project and its challenge was to design inclusive and attractive offers for everyone, based on the adaptation of methods, structures, technical standards and accessibility.
The development of inclusive culture makes an important contribution to the innovative change in our European society, which enriches us all and expands the diversity in our cultural landscape. Culture for All! means unhindered access to cultural youth education and openness for all interested people – also for people with disabilities, special needs or fewer opportunities.
This Inclusive, well-established European youth project offered the chance to convey common worlds of experience.
The focus of our inclusive project was on culture (music, art). During our project young people dealed with diversity, respect and solidarity. The project specifically promoted social commitment and assumption of social responsibility, supporting European cultural diversity by reflecting the opinions of the participants themselves.
The first leg of the project was the Advance Planing Meeting, which took place 29-30.5.201 online, due to the Covid19 pandemic. We discussed about the preparation of youth exchange programme with the leaders of the participating organisations, the topics and the specific target group, as well as their needs and wishes.
The youth exchange project took place in Kryoneri Korinthia, Greece, during the period 6-12.6.2021 with young participants from Germany, Greece and Czech Republic. Young people from a wide range of social backgrounds (including marginalized and handicapped youngsters) worked together in the project, dealing with the medium of music, by constructing their own Kalimbas (an indigenous music instrument from Africa, nicknamed a “thumb piano”). It is a compact, portable instrument and the playing is so easy, that everyone can learn how to play. The participants acquired technical skills by constructing their own Kalimba under supervision of the specialized trainer and played it in ensemble with all young participants during the final event in Kryoneri’s amphitheatre, on July 10, 2021.
The objectives of the programme were to dissolve barriers among the participants, created opportunities for experience and learning about topics of inclusion and cultural diversity.
Participants developed communication skills, creativity and innovation, experienced cultural diversity, and learnt new skills as a team, to express their personality.
A training seminar in Berlin followed the youth exchange during the period 21-24.10.2021.
It was aimed at practitioners, youth workers, project managers and educators in the field of international youth work. Visiting also youth structures such as the Municipal Youth Centre “Wildwuchs” in Spandau and discussing with the youth workers working with marginalized youngsters and young refugees has been a highlight of the seminar.
Conceptual and methodological requirements for inclusive international youth projects were presented. The focus was on planning attractive cultural offers taking into account the requirements for special forms of handicapped people and accessibility issues as well. Youth work professionals from Germany, Greece and Czech Republic have been provided with skills and methods aimed at gaining a better understanding of their inclusive work and capacity building possibilities.
The project has been realised in cooperation between the coordinator Elisson gUG (Berlin) and Filoxenia Association (Kryoneri-Korinthia, Greece) and For Family.cz (Bystrice nad Pernstejnem, Czech Republic) as partners.
It has been supported by the European Erasmus+ Programme through the German National Agency Jugend für Europa.