Syrian refugees are being reduced to objects of the news, to statistics, to 'things'. But can an integration program that has lost its human dimension be successful? And can we call such program democratic?
In the early February 2016 I traveled to Eastern Germany to visit a civic network centre Stassfurt Initiativ e.V., which has democratic and participatory principles at its core. Centre was founded by a social entrepreneur Anette Pekrul in 2014. Refugees are not only on the receiving side - they are encouraged to self-organize. Syrians helping in the centre offer assistance with the translations, trauma workshops for children, guitar lessons or free 'shop' with clothes, dishes etc. At the moment the centre supports about 70 refugees.
The whole initiative wouldn't be possible without a hard work of Anette. But what makes this place different from others is that she has created a space for three young Syrians to take the responsibility for running the centre's activities: for Alaa (34), Lubna (25) and her husband Moe (32), who arrived in Germany in September 2015.
I shadowed them in the centre and recorded this interview with them, reflecting on their life in Syria, journey to Germany, their work in Stassfurt and their views on the refugee situation. I hope this interview will help us to build bridges between communities, to bring us closer to each other. As Moe says, we do not know what they've been through. So let's be kind.
With Calayne you can actually join a virtual tour around local manufacturers. Plus! Ladies, does any of your favourite accessory brands give you the opportunity to co-create your bag? And does any of your bags charge your phone and have a light inside so you can find all you need?
To find out more, connect to Calayne on Facebook and visit their websites.
Eduardo is a Brazilian coach, facilitator and public speaker. Last June, after 11 years in Europe, he returned to Brazil with a youth leadership program that has been a great success in some of the most renowned universities in the world.
He joined us in Rio de Janeiro, during our first Edu on Tour gathering in Affero Lab. He also invited us to Toastmaster's meeting and we've met again in Reboot, a sharing economy festival in Urca, close to Sugar Loaf.Finally, he participated in our round table at our last event in São Paulo and connected to Felipe from BRASPA and others from our network.
Connect to Eduardo via Facebook or Linkedin.
I've recieved this beautiful letter from Emma, friend of Alys Mendus, as part of the preparation of Edu on Tour Brazil 2014. She kindly agree I can share it with you on my blog, too.
I think if I had to pick one thing, the first thing that captured my attention and made me take a closer look at Montessori Education, it would be the emphasis on the development of the whole child. At the turn of the 19th/20th Century Maria Montessori wrote about how the almost exclusive emphasis on the intellectual development of the child in traditional education was failing both the child and society. It seems to me that, sadly, not much has changed! In contrast, Montessori’s own unshakeable belief that the physical, social and emotional development of the child are equally as important as the intellectual, can be clearly seen in the educational practices she created. One hundred years on, parents the world over still share with Maria Montessori the desire to prepare a balanced child for the world in which we live.
Alys is a teacher passionate about making radical changes in Education that impact everyone in society. She comes from North of England and she has just started a funded PhD in (international) alternative education, social inequality and democracy. As well as teaching in state schools from Early years to 16 her background is in Steiner Waldorf, Forest Schools, Outdoor Education, Special Needs and working with families (Home Educators and Parent and Child groups).
For her MA she researched alternatives to rewards and punishments, the traditional approach in the UK, investigating intrinsic motivation and new ways to communicate.
Check out article written by Alys published in the Other Education journal.
We've met through Edu on Tour, program organised by NGO presente! and did a series of interviews for the Edu on Tour online course "Bringing on the Education (R)evolution!", introducing the alternatives to the traditional education. Enjoy!
How would you like to spend your holidays this summer? How about to spice up your sightseeing with distributing food to homeless who in turn will guide you through the narrow streets of Lisbon? Or would you prefer teaching disabled kids to sail along the sunny coasts of Portugal? Rita recently launched socially driven travel agency called ImpacTrip and invites you to visit her beautiful homeland. Get inspired by ImpacTrip vision:
Connect with Rita on Facebook or visit ImpacTrip websites.
KANABULEMU ORPHANAGE HOME is a charitable organisation located near the Victoria lake in Uganda.
I've connected with a founder Segirinya Godfrey through our mutual Facebook friend, Anette with who I did interview earlier this year.
KOH is committed to help orphans to get on their own feet: The vulnerable, disadvantaged, less privileged children on the street.
The orphanage is financed from the donations and have plans to expand and build a school on a land which the founder bought himself. If you are interested in finding out more about the organisation and help them to realise their dreams, do not hesitate to get in touch with Kanabulemu orphanage through their websites or Facebook.
Caindo no Brasil: We have incredible examples of educational creative solutions all over the country
Caio Dib was one of the speakers in the first Edu Hackathon I visited in São Paulo and he became one of my inspirations which lead me to decision to organise Edu Hackathon myself.
Caio is educator-enthusiast who left his carrier of journalist behind and started mapping innovative methods used in Brazilian schools, unknown to other researchers. His finding are going to be published in a book this August. Watch out!
On top of that, he runs various projects with youngsters and work as a consultant in the educational field.
Follow Caio on Twitter and on Facebook.
Giorgi, founder of Georgian NGO Droni: From Street Music festival to a collaboration space for youth
Giorgi is a founder of Youth Association DRONI, a non-governmental organization in Georgia. DRONI offers all kind of activities to young people, including IT workshops, musical festivals and football matches. Through series of events and workshops Droni also highlights question of human rights of internally displaced people after the conflict in South Ossetia in 2008.
To find out more, connect with DRONI on Facebook.