Association of friends of youth for the Goriška region (MDPM for Goriška region)
Albanians, complex and close, the least integrated community, are living according their internal rules, they can be very solidary between them, but only within the clans. How can we improve more tolerant and solidary coexistence, social inclusion, active citizenship, and above all to enable today's Albanian children a future of equal opportunities? With our project we are determined to remove some obstacles and pave the way for more successful social integration and active citizenship.
Nova Gorica, Goriška region, west Slovenia
Nova Gorica was built after the yr. 1947 and it is inhabited by a lot of immigrants. While workers from former YU republics integrated into society, the Albanian community is socially excluded and often stigmatized. Families have a lot of children, poor or no knowledge of Slovenian language, women are mostly unemployed. The real social victims are children. For example, Albanian families are very difficult to persuade to include children in funded extracurricular activities to improve their social inclusion. We can help Albanian community assimilation without interfering with their culture, reduce stigma and help build a more democratic and open society so that Albanian children will be able to become active citizens, as well give Albanian women possibility to get involved in the society.
Several activities like Workshops, a Participatory Summer Camp for children of different nationalities, Cultural Bazaar, Slovenian language lessons, a common policy and strategy will help opening Albanian community and get them involved more in the local society. Albanian community will be encouraged to articulate more publicly their views and express their opinions about issues in the local society. This will lay a solid foundation for the empowerment of Albanian women and children, break down prejudices on both sides –Albanian and Slovenian and bring together experts and decision-makers to formulate a common policy and strategy dealing with issues of inclusion of (Albanian) minorities. With all this we will do a big step toward stronger democracy and active citizenship in local community
Our target groups are:
- local people (adults and children), the majority of whom don’t know Albanian language, culture and habits and thus often see the Albanian community through prejudice and stereotypes,
- Albanian national community (adults and children), who are the least integrated national community in the Goriška region, and do not very often participate in the local social, cultural and political life and not very often publicly express opinions about common issues.
- Our target are also experts, schoolteachers and decision makers, who are mostly aware of the situation, but are currently not working towards a holistic approach to the issue. They will participate in formulation and implementation of the goals and strategy.
1. Inclusion of representatives of target groups in the project
2. Research-identification of key obstacles, problems and needs:
-Separate workshops and interviews with target groups: local population, Albanian national community, schoolteachers, Albanian and other national cultural associations representatives, experts and local decision-makers
3. Breaking stereotypes and empowering:
-Participatory Youth Camp in for children of different national backgrounds (with many activities and workshops on active citizenship, democracy, stereotypes)
-Public event: Cultural Bazaar of Goriška (presentation of one's own culture, food, customs)
-Slovenian language lessons
-Media work: regular PR+personal stories, interviews
4. Strategy paper with conclusions and recommendation
A year from now we expect to break down some barriers to stigma and prejudice between different local national communities and increase acceptance. We expect the Albanian community to recognize the need and the advantages of becoming more open. We expect to get involved Albanian women and children in empowerment activities, we expect that will be clear to us where the obstacles are and how to proceed further and that institutions will work more coherently and productively. The cherry on the cake, however, would be that our public event ‘Cultural Bazaar' will make everyone so excited to become a regular, annual event.
Europe places great emphasis on the importance of multiculturalism. The EU promotes respect for ethnic differences or specificities as a constitutive element of the community, the protection of minorities is important. Promoting the inclusion of Albanians in public life, cooperation and at the same time breaking down prejudices and stereotypes fulfills one of the fundamental principles of the European idea and, consequently, the democratic principles advocated by the EU. Action at the local level consolidates and builds democratic processes from the bottom up and is the foundation that enables democracy to function at higher levels as well, or to reflect this at the national and EU levels.
As we are active in local area for so many years, we can recognize the problems in the society we are living in as well. We are workers on one hand who a daily working with children and families, who knows problems from this perspective and we are part of the local community on the other hand, so we can feel everything on our skin what’s going on in the local society. For many years now we observe issues regarding Albanian and local community coexistence. The situation is not optimistic and if today’s trends will continue, intolerance, segregation and nationalisms will increase in very nondemocratic dimensions and this is not the society we want to live in.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Personnel costs: 12.500 EUR
External experts (Slovenian language teacher, Sociologyst, Psyhologist, Intercultural dialogue experts, Social Worker): 3.000 EUR
5-days Youth Participatory Camp (25 – 30 children): 7000 EUR
Public event – Cultural bazaar (stalls, sound system …): 2000 EUR
Promotion, advertising, public relations, visual materials: 1000 EUR
Any comments are welcome to improve our idea. Thank you!