Innovation Development meeting: youth work practices on refugee inclusion through Living Libraries

These days, from the 29th of September to the 5th October, the Innovation Development meeting took place in Coma-Ruga hostel Santa Maria del Mar in Catalonia (Spain). The meeting in was hosted by one of the partner-organizations – the Association of Educators in Human Rights, AHEAD.

This meeting was part of the ongoing KA2 Strategic Partnership project “Expressions in Dialogue”, which explores Living Library methodology as tool for inclusion of refugees and migrant in Europe. During spring and summer of 2019, a number of local Living Libraries took place organized by the partner-organizations.

They were:

On the 2nd and 3rd of May – WeOrganisation (in Hague, the Netherlands);

On the 11th of May – House of Europe (Rhodes, Greece);

On the 1st and the 15th of June – AHEAD (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain);

On the 8th of June – Young Effect Association (In Magenta, Italy);

On the 20th of June – by Trajectory@ (Tallinn, Estonia);

On the 12th of July – House of Europe (In Athens, Greece).

After the implementation of the Living Libraries, the representatives of all the teams got together to share their experience, challenges, solutions and talk about the process of preparation, implementation and evaluation of their local events, from perspective of the inclusion of refugees and migrants, who were involved as participants in all the roles within this process.

The work of the local groups depended a lot on teach context, but there were common conclusions and reflections that can make sense for anyone who organizes Living Library with such specific forcus . The participants of the meeting aimed on elaborating some recommendations for the youth work practitioners who would like to implement Living Library with migrants and refugees in order to ensure the inclusive process. The group as well discussed the strategies of how to work with stakeholders  more efficiently, how to make impact on community level and how to disseminate the results of their local actions.

Most of the partners are willing to continue their work in their communities organizing Living Libraries and continue with the prepared catalogue of Human Books, facilitators and librarians. Some follow-up ideas popped-up, as well with the opportunity to apply to Erasmus+ program further on.

The materials about the Project as well as conclusions and recommendations will be shared with the wider public on the web page, which is under construction now. Soon we will happily share it with you.

“Expressions in Dialogue” is a Strategic Partnership of organizations addressing the refugee
cause from diverse realities in Europe to create innovative youth work tools for:
● Supporting the inclusion of young migrants and refugees strengthening the sense of
belonging to the hosting communities.
● Mainstreaming intercultural dialogue and de-construct prejudices through the implementation of Living Library actions.

The meeting in Catalonia  was though for people who were actively involved in the preparation,
implementation and evaluation of the local Living Library event(s) in each partner-country. Each team of 4 people was composed by a balanced group of youth migrants and refugees as well as representatives of the hosting communities. They were as well representing diverse actors of the Living-Library-teams: Human Books, Facilitators, Librarians, Readers and Coordinators to join the meeting.

Trajectory@ NGO is the leading organization of the “Expressions in Dialogue” Project, supported by the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission of the EU.

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