"trip was a great experience where the cultures and ideas of different countries came together to discuss and live social inclusion in the true sense of the word." - Ms. Louisa Grech, Equal Partners Foundation
A group of Maltese participated in a Grundtvig Mobility Visit in Cluj-Napoca (Romania). The event was hosted by the Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center during the last week of May. This meeting was the third event within the ‘European Partnership on Adult Education and Mobility for Social Inclusion (EPAEMSI)’ project, co-funded by the European Commission through the Lifelong Learning Programme. The Maltese delegation consisted of Daniel Mifsud, Julian Portelli and Josef Cachia, all from Malta UNESCO Youth Association (MUYA); Louisa Grech, Thomas Buttigieg and Luke Allen from Equal Partners Foundation; Ronald Calleja from National Parents’ Society of Persons with Disability; and Teshai Wayne from Young Women’s Christian Association.
The two-year project aims at using the experience of the seven partner organisations on social inclusion and active participation of adult learners from disadvantaged social groups in order to promote and improve social inclusion through education, in particular non-formal and informal education. The host organisation welcomed adult learners from disadvantaged social groups from Malta, Spain, Poland, Slovenia, Italy and the United Kingdom.
During the meeting in Romania, the participants took part in a series of activities focusing on social inclusion through education. They first participated in workshops on social inclusion and conflict resolution in multi-ethnic environments, which included a presentation by the Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center on their best practices in the field of education for social inclusion. Participants also visited local activities for social inclusion including the visit to Bánffy Castle (a monument being restored involving disadvantaged groups) and to a sample of income generating activities run by disadvantaged people in rural areas. The experience culminated at the Belvedere hotel with a conference on non-formal education for social inclusion. This was followed by an intercultural celebration open to all participants,
local NGOs and members of the public.
For the Maltese participants it was a thoroughly positive learning experience. Ms. Wayne said “It was an eye opening experience. So much to learn...so little time”. Mr. Cachia claimed that he was “impressed by getting to know one of the participants same of my age- from Somalia - who told me about how he had escaped from his country, and travelled to different European countries -sometimes even without a passport, or even crossing borders by foot. He is now living in Slovenia where he has started attending high school, learning English, and finally living in a socially inclusive society.”
Ms. Grech on behalf of the participants from Equal Partners Foundation thought that the “ trip was a great experience where the cultures and ideas of different countries came together to discuss and live social inclusion in the true sense of the word.”
The participation in the project and international mobilities is open to all Maltese residents who directly or indirectly belong to the groups facing possible social exclusion. For further information about next international mobilities, kindly contact Malta UNESCO Youth Association on firstname.lastname@example.org:email@example.com.