The first week of August (31/07/16 – 6/08/16) 31 participants from 11 European country’s came together in Benediktbeuern, Germany for the Crossing Borders European youth week. The participants, between the age of 17 and 24 years old, took part in a youth exchange focusing on the topic of migration and the current refugee crisis using experience learning as a key factor. ‘Crossing Borders’ European youth week was a youth exchange organized by Don Bosco Youth-Net (DBYN) on intercultural learning and migration, aiming at introducing local volunteers to international youth work.
The main objective of ‘Crossing Borders’ was to train the intercultural competences of volunteers active in local Don Bosco youth centers, enabling them to work in intercultural settings within their local communities. Using a variety of educational methods (experience learning, outdoor education, ...) to initiate an intercultural learning process Don Bosco Youth-Net (DBYN) hopes to multiply the learning experience of the participants in their local communities, promoting international learning opportunities amongst their peers. Another objective of the ‘Crossing Borders’ European youth week was to raise awareness on the theme of migration, with a special focus on how migration impacts young refugees.
For the Crossing Borders European Youth week a setting was created where the participants could learn more about intercultural learning and migration in an informal way. During multiple sessions outdoor education (educational hike, Canoe trip Kochelsee and Munich City challenge) was integrated using a variety of learning methods and assignments to challenge their intercultural communication skills, perspective on migration and to create a platform to compare and discuss (national) experiences on the topic with others from all over Europe. During the Crossing Borders European youth week the participants also had the opportunity to visit an actual refugee project in Munich city center. The visit of “Project Hope” at the Don Bosco Salesianum started with a presentation about their refugee project and was followed by a visit of the project location. This gave the participants the chance to see the living conditions of the refugees staying at the Salesianum and to learn more about the background and stories of certain residents. After visiting the project there was a city challenge organized giving them the opportunity to work around the subject in a different setting. For the remaining sessions the participants worked around the topic in various ways, from group discussions, debates, workshops to more theoretical sessions regarding for example the cultural iceberg model (intercultural communication).
The Crossing Borders European Youth week was part of DBYN’s ‘Don Bosco 4 Refugees’ (DB4R) project. DB4R consists of 3 activities which are focused on the theme of migration. Through these 3 activities the participants will be developing a campaign which aims to advocacy for the rights of young refugees in Europe. DB4R is co-funded by the Council of Europe through its European Youth Foundation.
On this blog we are posting extra resources on Don Bosco, DBYN, Human Rights, Migration & Refugees, Campaigns, Intercultural learning, Active citizenship, and specific resources linked to the different activities in the DB4R project.