Working together and sharing knowledge, techniques and skills is fundamental to enhance migrants` and refugees` integration and lead to cultural fusion and innovations in the field of handicrafts.
Handicrafts is an innovative framework for skill-development and a platform for cultural and heritage exchange between migrants and local residents. Handicrafts incorporates traditions, heritage, culture, technical skills, talent and art, hence providing a fertile framework for encouraging intercultural collaboration, learning and dialogue.
The My HandScraft project focuses on unleashing the untapped potential of migrants, whose skills, talents and qualification often stay unacknowledged. Through innovative training and the enhancement of artistic competencies and cultural heritage, the project will upskill and reskill both migrant and local adults in the field of handicrafts.
MyHandScraft key players are adult migrants, local handcrafters and adult educators. Handicrafts will be the medium for migrants and local artisans to collaborate and upskill their artisanal techniques, thus encouraging peer-learning and cultural exchange. Adult educators as well will benefit from innovative learning which will lead to the development of a training programme and methods for their future work with migrant communities.
With a view to pursue the above-mentioned objectives, the first phase of the project has been dedicated to carrying out a needs analysis and skills mapping, with the involvement of 25 migrant and 25 local handcrafters in each of the 5 involved partner countries.
In the meantime, the project consortium has also worked on the development of the MyHandScraft E-learning platform http://myhandscraft.eu/, where all main products of the project and news are being published.
The field-research led to the development of a Field Study Research State of the art Report which is now available for download in the resource section of the platform in English, Italian, Greek, and Lithuanian.
Since September 2019, the consortium has been working on the design of the 3rd project output, the E-Educational programme, starting from the needs and the skills identified through the research. The structure of the E-Educational programme was also used as an outline for the training of trainers hosted by CESIE between 11th and 16th of November 2019.
With the contribution of the trainers, the E-Educational programme has been further developed, and the project partners were ready to launch the local activities, which had to be postponed to the pandemic.
Partners are now recruiting 15 participants per country (10 migrant and 5 local handcrafters) in order to arrange a set of 13 local workshops, starting by the end of September 2020: during the workshops, the three training packages of the e-educational programme will be used to ease interaction among participants with different cultural backgrounds through the use of handicraft:
- Workshop 1-3 (Training Package 1): the first workshop is dedicated to group building activities to create a good work atmosphere; the following two workshops will focus on an assessment of the participants’ initial skills & knowledge (to be compared with the skills and knowledge at the end of the workshops). The two last workshops will consist in sharing participants’ personal stories and interviews;
- Workshop 4-8 (Training Package 2): 4 workshops will be dedicated to the creation of handicraft products through cooperation and exchanges between locals and migrants. The created products will become a symbol of integration between traditions and technics, cultures and people. The handmade creative thinking methodology will allow for a conceptual development of the artefacts, facilitating the sharing of technics and traditions;
- Workshop 9-11 (Training Package 3): duringthese workshops, the participants will be guided in the elaboration of an Action Plan to turn their handicraft skills into potential business ideas, and in the development of a Portfolio to promote their professional profile.
- Workshop 12-13 (Evaluation): during the two final workshops, an evaluation of the training path will be carried out through formal and non-formal methods, such as activities assessing participants’ competences and knowledge at the start and at end of the workshops. This will allow to test and make adjustments to the proposed methods and activities.
Furthermore, a public event took place in Greece in February 2020, the MyHandScraft Forum, with a view to present the outputs produced within the project so far and to present the local workshops to potential participants at local level. The detailed programme of the workshops which will start in mid-September 2020 will be shared before their start at the end of September.
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MyHandScraft is co-funded by Erasmus +: KA2 – Strategic Partnerships for Adult Education aiming to facilitate migrants and refugees` integration and capacity-building.
The project is implemented in 5 EU countries, and it involves 5 organisations as partners:
- Coordinator: CESIE (Italy),
- Dacorum Council for Voluntary Service LTD (UK),
- GrantXpert Consulting LTD (Cyprus),
- Active Citizens Partnership (Greece),
- Social Innovation Fund (Lithuania).