ASSOCIATION OF FRIENDS OF YOUTH KRŠKO
Through various activities for local and Albanian families we will build a bridge between the two cultures. Also, we will enable Albanian women to learn Slovene to help them perform daily tasks and involve Albanian children in our free-time programs to socialize more with local kids. We will establish a dialogue between Albanian community and local authorities to improve civic cohesion and participation and to build a community of mutual respect and acceptance.
The project will take place in a town named Krško, whitch is in eastern Slovenia.
Within Albanian community, men are employed, women take care of households and children. While men are able to communicate in languages the locals understand, women can communicate only in Albanian. Men have some contact with the community through the work process, women have none. Due to the language barrier, everyday matters are a challenge – also for the locals. Usually, the older children translate. Without proper communication there can not be proper relations. The locals are distancing from them, as they feel that immigrants should make an effort to communicate in our language. Also, there is a stigma of these families as they usually have many children, receive state aid and other help. All this creates tension and non-acceptance on one side and more isolation on the other side.
Albanian women (app. number: 30) – to empower them to gain knowledge for basic communication in Slovene and about our society, culture, educational and health system;
Albanian children (app. number: 50 ) – to give them an opportunity to socialize more with kids outside their community; through women and children, we believe, we will indirectly also reach Albanian men.
Local residents in general ( > 100) – to raise awareness amongst them on multiculturalism and to encourage them to help in the integration process by “opening their hearts and minds”.
The decision-makers on local level (Municipality of Krško) – to establish a dialogue with the Albanian community to tackle the key issues and to prepare a long-term integration strategy on local level.
-promotion of the project and its activities (bilingual leaflets, local media campaign, "street work")
-conducting a survey amongst Albanian women and children to find out about their needs, wishes, difficulties; also, a survey amongst local women and children about their views on the immigrants and about their interest in participating in planned joint activities
-implementation of planned activities, namely: joint monthly gatherings for Albanian and local families on various topics (food, music, dance, crafts…); joint events within primary schools; Slovene language courses; workshops for Albanian families about Slovenian society, especially regarding their rights and duties, opportunities for personal development within our society; learning assistance for children, story hours and other fun activities (creative workshops, sport games, hikes)
-organization of an informal event for representatives of the Albanian community and local decision-makers to initiate first contact and debates
-organized workshop for civil servants on intercultural competencies (knowledge of other cultures, empathy, tolerance of diversity)
-establish a working group for the development of the local migration and integration strategy, composed of local residents, Albanian representatives, and the representatives of Krško municipality
-project evaluation, future
- established dialogue between residents of Albanian origin and local authorities
- more developed intercultural competencies of civil servants in the local community, as they are often the migrant’s first contact
- established working group for the development of the local migration and integration strategy
- increased share of socially included members of Albanian origin, which will increase their sense of belonging
- Albanian women empowered with new knowledge
- children of Albanian origin more included
- strengthened values of interculturalism in society, greater tolerance, and a more positive attitude towards intercultural coexistence in our local community
- open and respectful communication in the local community between people from different social backgrounds
In our community, local residents and Albanian immigrants just live next to each other, there is no connection. There is absence of any engagement on either side, the municipality maintains the status quo. Through including both, locals and Albanians, this project will strengthen citizen participation on local level. Both sides will gain trust in each other and also in the municipality as it will tackle the issues with immigration. Families of Albanian origin will be enabled to communicate in the language of the environment, which will facilitate their integration. They will gain basic knowledge about our culture and society, which is the basis for any involvement and cooperation. Children will acquire various social competences, thus reducing their exclusion and preventing stigmatization
We are a team of experts, who all live and work in this region. We have vast experience in working with families, children, and youth, specifically working with Albanian families and children. Also, we have high levels of expertise in the field of cultural identity and multiculturalism and stakeholder involvement. We believe that integration is a two-way process, but both sides need a little help. We want to help in establishing mutual respect and build a stimulating environment for all.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Employment costs: 25.000,00€
Office costs (rent, electricity, telephone): 1.500,00€
Costs of external services: 2.000,00€
Material costs: 1.500,00€
Costs of education, round tables, materials: 2.500,00€
Other costs (per diems, hall rental): 1.000,00€
Every comment or feedback is important for the project we are preparing. We would like feedback on how to bring the project closer to the wider local community and those who think differently, advice on how to ensure the sustainability of the presented idea and of course, the experience of others.