This project aims at strengthening inclusive local participation through the means of intercultural counselling (individual) and direct support of a group of parents of migrant and bilingual children in a selected Prague district (group counselling). To achieve this goal we will develop the concept of participatory intercultural work, train intercultural workers and provide support to diverse migrant populations in the CR in their civic participation (individual and group counselling).
Prague Libeň/Karlín and other locations, depending on the residence of intercultural workers
Civic and political participation of migrants is barely visible in the CR and there is little to no attention given to this topic. Participation is often viewed as a prerogative of Czech native citizens. Migrants have far fewer opportunities to participate due to lower access to civic education, unfavorable perception of migration and legitimacy of their participation, language barriers, etc. This all leads to little cooperation and dialogue, as well as stereotyping and xenophobia. We chose parents of migrant and bilingual children as a target group at the case study in Prague Libeň/Karlín, since they do not have any organization or initiative that would represent their voices. Cooperation with schools can be very limited and parents are rarely viewed as equal partners in education.
This project targets a wide range of actors, including migrants, refugees, Czech citizens with migrant background, parents of migrant or bilingual kids who are interested in civil society and participation, as well as the local population, civic initiatives, local authorities, schools etc. Another specific target group are intercultural workers who wish to gain knowledge and skills related to participatory intercultural work (intercultural work is partially rooted in social work, intercultural workers provide counselling on various social issues, community interpreting and guidance to migrants, most intercultural workers have migrant background themselves, they speak several languages, have closer ties to local migrant communities and are active in civil society).
1.We will prepare and implement training on participatory intercultural work and develop a handbook that can be used for future trainings (first of its kind in the CR). The training will be created in cooperation with experts using a combination of educational methods. Topics examples: civic/political participation; civil society in the CR; participation methods, etc. Total amount of hours: 60, participants: max. 22.
2.In order to develop this concept further, we will test and methodologically develop participatory intercultural work in a group setting. The sessions will take place in Libeň and Karlín neighborhoods and involve active parents of migrant and bilingual kids that attend local schools and kindergartens. We will hold 8-10 sessions which will prepare the group to implement a project of their choice on the local level. The methodology of the sessions will be later incorporated into the training and the handbook as a case study. Participants: max. 22.
3.Intercultural participatory counselling will be carried out by the graduates at the places of their residence. In case the graduates are not employed anywhere at the moment of the graduation, they will be offered a position at InBaze community center. Selected case studies from graduates' local counselling will be included in the handbook. All graduates will be offered mentoring and support by project coordinators.
Participatory intercultural work will gain its conceptual shape and practical application. Intercultural workers will expand their counselling portfolio to the topic of participation, gaining skills to support active involvement of their clients and strengthening their own participation paths. Migrants, refugees and citizens with migrant background would gain necessary knowledge, social capital and inspiration to take part in civil society in its various manifestations. Local civil society actors and local authorities will take part in intercultural dialog and gain new perspectives. Parents will have an opportunity to take active part in the inclusion of their children in the educational process, becoming active stakeholders, who are able to voice their opinions and act on them.
The project will develop and put into practice participatory intercultural counselling, which will provide guidance and inspiration to diverse migrant populations in the CR and foster active citizenship of intercultural workers. Intercultural workers can also pass on the knowledge and skills they get at the training to their colleagues, local civic initiatives, etc. The group sessions with parents in Libeň and Karlín will give voice to crucial actors of children integration in schools, thus, expanding the discourse on the topic and opening channels for corporation and partnerships. The parents will also gain new information, skills and social capital during the sessions, which can foster their engagement in the future.
Our main team members have long-term experience with intercultural work and share great passion for active citizenship and inclusive participation. Based on our vast experience with counselling, meeting diverse people and listening to their needs and ideas, we came to the conclusion that intercultural work can be a functional tool in fostering participation. We also believe that civic participation can be very beneficial to all, as a way to build social capital, prevent hatred and stereotyping, fostering the feeling of belonging etc. Both team members have personal experience with migration and participation, they live in Prague Libeň and are parents of multilingual children. We also currently coordinate several civic participation projects at InBáze community center.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Personnel costs (project coordinators, trainers fee, handbook writers fee, financial and administrative management, new intercultural workers employed at InBaze) - 29 000 EUR
Promotion, handbook design, proofreading - 800 EUR
Office and space rental costs (training and group sessions) - 1000 EUR
Travel costs and accommodation (out of Prague participants of the training)/coffee breaks - 1800 EUR
Mini grant for local parent group - 400 EUR
Any feedback is very welcome, especially regarding the coherence of our idea. We would love to hear from any user who works towards more inclusive participation practices. We are looking for tips, inspirations and successful tools that foster local inclusive participation.