Connecting Cultures - Sustaining Our World: A GCE Approach to Inclusion and Sustainability
The overall aim of this one-year (July 2022 to 2023) project is to support Adult Community Education (ACE) practitioners and migrants/asylum seekers/refugees (primarily living in direct provision centres) to engage in GCE training with a specific focus on the environmental pillar of the SDGs.
The project contributes to the Global Citizenship Strategy 2021-2025 Output 1 – Learners and their Communities and Output 4 – Increasing capacity among educators and practitioners to deliver development education.
Connecting Cultures aims to contribute to the integration efforts of communities, by embedding structural changes using a GCE approach to address the root causes of exclusion.
Activity one of the project was a research project ‘Fostering Integration Through Global Citizenship Education’ which outlines GCE and integration initiatives in Meath.
Activity two: based on the findings, a GCE Train the Trainer course for change and volunteering was developed for ACE practitioners and volunteers migrants/refugees/asylum seekers.
Activity three: will liaise with Meath Volunteer Centre to provide volunteer placements for migrants/refugees/asylum seekers, with community-based bio diversity/environmental/sustainability/climate focused organisations in County Meath.
Activity four will be the production of a ‘lessons learnt’ toolkit for practitioners.
This project specifically contributes towards MP's overall goal to tackle social exclusion in Meath.
15 ACE practitioners will be reached directly and over 150 indirectly through peer led training. The ACE practitioners on the Train the Trainer course, will receive certificates of attendance, which will contribute to their personal and professional development. Participants on this course all from different organisations ie Adult Education, community development, social care, migrant support and advocates and private enterprises that have customers from a variety of backgrounds including people from Ukraine.
- Lone parents
- Older learners
- People and/or their families living with addiction/in recovery
- People experiencing homelessness
- People experiencing rural isolation
- People living in border counties
- People who are unemployed
- People who left school early
- People with disabilities
- People with experience of the prison system
- People with literacy difficulties
- People with mental health challenges
- Refugees and/or people seeking international protection
- Women returning to the workplace
- Young Adults
- Roma Community
- LGBT+ Community
- Traveller Community
Throughout the lifetime of the programme, 45 people from migrant/refugee/asylum seekers, will be directly reached and at least 100 indirectly through experience sharing sessions. Given that the number of refugees from Ukraine has dramatically increased in Meath, it's envisaged that the numbers reached will increase in tandem.
Through the Meath volunteer centre, organisations all over Meath with a focus on bio-diversity, the environment, climate, are supporting the project by facilitating the volunteer placements.
All of the work delivered to date and planned will focus on tackling the root causes of inequality, will discuss the connection between the local and global contexts and will heavily focus on active citizenship through the development of sustainablity focused volunteer placements.
Unique Selling Point
We believe Connecting Cutures - Sustaining Our World is a unique iniative that ties together many of the critical components of GCE and embeds Community Education principles and values throughout.
We believe that this project has the potential to maximise inclusion efforts in County Meath and it supports various stakeholders to ensure a long-term impact.
Activity four will be embodied in a free, reader-friendly toolkit for use by practitioners across the country and indeed for the GCE sector in Ireland to use as a ‘practice guide’ going forward. The development of this toolkit offers an opportunity to share and amplify the voices of those who took part in the various stages of the project and will utilise Participatory Learning Approaches (PLA) as the primary data collection methodology. We hope that the materials we are developing will be unique and of benefit to the wider Community Education provision across Ireland.
The volunteering activity will contribute directly to the capacity and continuity of community and voluntary organisations in Meath, particularly as several facilitators grow vegetable crops, food products (eg honey). The Tús programme is providing a
community garden plot and the crops grown will be for personal consumption and for sale, generating income, therefore bringing real added value that is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
The research was an opportunity for the participants to share their voice and opinion on issues directly affecting them and their communities and discuss potential avenues for action.
The training starting on the 18th of November is envisioned to be a avenue for practitioners in County Meath to increase their understanding of Global Citizenship Education and inclusion and support them in including GCE in their practice.
Likewise, it is hoped that the GCE training for volunteers will be an opportunity for people living in Direct Provision in Meath to build their confidence to become agents for change within their communities.
We are acutely aware of the value of volunteering and how it can contribute to secure meaningful employment based on the experience gained.
Feasibility / Transferability