SKILLS 4 FREEDOM
Artistic paths to develop the professional skills of prisoners
Today, in the 28 EU countries, there are about 650,000 prisoners. Only 1 out of 5 of them is involved in any kind of activity and just 3% of them are working for external entities. Unemployment, the lack of tailored training paths and the loss of identity and sense of belonging to the civil community indeed determine a still too high level of recidivism among the most unprivileged individuals.
Moving from these figures and from the realization that all around Europe it has become quite usual to implement artistic (and more specifically theatrical) activities in penitentiary institutions to help inmates along their rehabilitation process, the project deals with the lack of structured models for the validation and certification of the transversal and specific skills that can be acquired through such activities and that could be helpful also once out of jail.
Skills for Freedom would like to fulfill specific needs for:
1- Acknowledgement of the transversal and specific (artistic) professional skills developed by prisoners in order to improve social reintegration.
2- Highlighting the social work that artistic companies carry out in penitentiary institutions.
3- Creating an innovative network system of socio-economic agents and labor market public offices so to improve the employability of ex-prisoners.
OPEN THE DOOR TO EUROPE
Unemployment affects many people in every country-member of the European Union, although in a varying degree depending on a country. But in all of them, without exception, youth is the hardest hit segment of the population. Free mobility within Europe does not necessarily ease the problem, as migrants often encounter additional barriers to employment like the lack of language skills or cultural differences.
“Open the Door to Europe” (Project number: 2014-1-ESO-1-KA204-004738) is the initiative called to address these issues. Co-funded by Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, the Project has the following objectives in reaching this goal:
1-Improve the quality of adult education and training by promoting the access of the parties involved in adult education – both teachers/trainers and students – to innovative teaching tools and learning materials.
2-Provide teachers with the necessary tools to improve the foreign language competence of the target audiences, which are:
2.1- young people, both unemployed in search of a job and university graduates in search of a better job in multinational companies;
2.2- newly arrived immigrants in the need of social and labour inclusion; and
2.3- academic and administrative staff seeking a higher position in their jobs.
Foster the cooperation between organisations active in the field of adult non-formal and informal education and civil society from different European countries. We have pulled together robust resources and created a platform capable of supporting the Project of such scale. It consists of:
1- Game-based language courses in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Bulgarian, Latvian, Polish, and Turkish based on job relevant linguistic materials within social/daily life situations.
2- Methodology and teaching tools/workshops for teachers helping them refine their teaching skills within the adult education system.
3- “Melting Pot”, or an e-chat portal for students, connecting them with native speakers of the language they are learning.
4- Resource Library for teachers and students consisting of linguistic materials, intercultural information, and employment resources sections.
a Tale of 2 Futures
The Surefoot Effect from the UK, Dom Spain from Spain and Ziniu Kodas from Lithuania, have secured €180,000 worth of funding for an Erasmus+ 3-year long project with a focus on communicating solutions to energy issues and climate change at the local, European and national levels.
The project is divided into three parts. The first part aims to adapt the Carbon Conversations programme that has been successfully rolled-out in the UK over the last 7 years, encouraging participants to explore their values, emotions and identity as a way to reduce their carbon footprint. The programme will be adapted to the cultural contexts of Spain and Lithuania and new guides in both Spanish and Lithuanian will be produced.
The second part will focus on documenting projects and personal actions that are saving energy and carbon emissions around Europe and a few other industrialised countries such as the United States and Australia through writing, photography and other media. These projects will then be displayed in an online open interactive platform for anyone to access them.
The third part of the project will see the development of a programme to encourage individuals and organisations to replicate some of the stories available in the platform.
The Erasmus+ evaluators have praised the project proposal for having the ability to address the objectives and priorities set out in the programme guide “to design and implement effective provision for enhancing basic skills and key competencies and inclusive education, training and youth”, as well as for targeting educators to develop “new pedagogical approaches to train people in climate change and energy use”.