This project is the follow up of “’Black to the Future- A Sankofa approach to the exchange of youth work practice‘. The project is a 24 months strategic partnership and intergenerational project for youth workers from the African Diaspora in Swansea (Wales), Rotterdam, Munich and Lisbon. The project is based on the principles of Sankofa which in the Twi language of Ghana translates as ‘go back and get it’. Through a series of study visits/ work shadowing activities and dialogue sessions, the project will acknowledge the development of youth work practices with African Diaspora communities in these 4 cities.It will explore earlier learning and knowledge, alongside contemporary models to enhance the current skills and competence of younger youth workers. The project methodologies draw on a number of interrelated processes from both global North and South which reflect the ways of supporting young people in communities which will also have a level of familiarity to some of the youth workers on the programme, including : Informal Education; Sankofa; Ubuntu and The U Process (Theory U). Some of the principles of the benefits of intergenerational working will also be reflected in this project such as: – the development of the capacity of communities – promoting social inclusion – the importance of preparing the generations – challenging stereotypes and ageism. The project will seek to deliver the following outcomes: – A programme of at least 8 national intergenerational sessions in home countries and 4 x 5 day transnational intergenerational study-visits and work shadowing opportunities for a total of 20 youth workers /managers aged 21+.

• Increased skills, knowledge, competence levels and overall quality of work with African Diaspora youth (including migrants, refugees and asylum seekers) Introducing youth workers to African and other creative non formal educational principles and processes such as ‘Ubuntu’, ‘Sankofa’, ‘World Café’, ‘Open Space Technology’ and practical tools such as ‘Digital Mapping’

• Recording and mapping (using audio digital media / mapping tools) the history of youth work with African Diaspora young people in three cities and the informal educational and cultural practices which have been developed

• Develop digital toolkit with case studies to share with African Diaspora youth workers and managers.

• Enable other transnational youth workers and their groups contribute to and access this learning through the use of technology

• Help youth workers better understand the changing nature of European African Diaspora identity and help promote European integration.

The preparatory transnational meeting …

The first transnational meeting for the “Black to the Future II : Sankofa approach to youth work in the African Diaspora community” took place in London, UK from 17th to 19th May 2019. Ubele Initiative hosted us in their new urban ganden office in London.

The main aim of the preparatory meeting is to talk and agree with the partners on the project plan, budget, action plan and book keeping. The main agendas of the transnational meeting are the following.

  1. Getting to know each other
  2. Updates on the organization’s profile and sharing of good practices
  3. Recap of the Black to the Future project I (the first version)
  4. Presentation of the Black to the Future project  II (the new project)
  5. Discussion on the strategic partnership between the Youth Works in the African Diaspora
  6. Planning the main activities of the project
  7. And other businesses…

The main outcomes of the preparatory meeting were the following.

We have agreed on the budget and budget distribution with regards to the project. We have also outlines the main risks to the project and agreed to define the main tasks and delivery dates to minimize the risks.

With regards to the strategic partnership, we have agreed to register the new network of “Youth Work in the African Diaspora Community”. The network will have the main purpose of creating synergies and exchange of good practices between the African Diaspora Youth Work Communities around Europe. It will also serve as a mechanism to advocate for our interests and raise the resources we will need for our work.

At the end we have defined and scheduled the main international activities of the project and agreed to build our national teams of intergenerational group to facilitate the exchange of experiences in the youth work between the new and older generations.

The first exchange visit in Munich …

The Munich exchange visit is a combination of study visit, training sessions, work shadowing and production of contents for the digital/audio mapping. The youth workers visited the variety of African Diaspora youth spaces, events, activities, projects and good practices and documented them as interviews and blogs to be submitted to the project manager that will integrate them into the digital map. The activity also integrated training sessions to increase the skills and competence of youth workers by introducing them to African and other creative non-formal educational principles and processes such as ‘Ubuntu’, ‘Sankofa’, ‘World Café’, ‘Open Space Technology’ and practical tools such as ‘Digital Mapping’.

The participants of the event were youth workers, municipality representatives and other actors from the African Diaspora communities.

We have achieved the following goals in the 5 days of exchange to develop our capacities and competencies.

• We offered a programme of national and transnational intergenerational training and study-visits for 22 youth workers / managers aged 21+ which provides an opportunity to share early as well as contemporary youth work practices.

• We increased the skills, knowledge, competence levels and overall quality of work with African Diaspora youth (including migrants, refugees and asylum seekers), through the intergenerational sharing of youth work practices.

• We increased the skills and competence of youth workers by introducing them to African and other creative non-formal educational principles and processes such as ‘Ubuntu’, ‘Sankofa’, ‘World Café’, ‘Open Space Technology’ and practical tools such as ‘Digital Mapping’.

• We recorded and mapped (using audio digital media / mapping tools) the history of youth work and best practices within the African Diaspora in four cities and the informal educational and cultural practices which have been developed.

• We empowered the youth workers to better understand the changing nature of European African Diaspora identity and help promote European integration and true sense of belongingness.

The expected results of the project is the improvement of skills and competencies of the participants as well as the development of the exchange of good youth work practices via the digital/audio mapping. These actions all focus on the black communities in the selected city Munich, Germany.

The second exchange visit in Rotterdam, NL …

The second exchange visit took place in Rotterdam, netherlands.

The main objectives of the exchange were more or less similar to the one that took place in Munich.

To map the youth work activities and programs that focus on the integration of migrant young people in the community. In the mapping process we have interviewed the respective representatives of wide-ranging initiatives and programs who presented their work for us.
We have exchanged youth work practices in the African Diaspora. Through a world cafe method, we the African Diaspora organization representatives presented and discussed the varieties of good and bad practices that we have experienced in our day to day youth work with migrant young people. The youth work practices are documented and they will be included in the final toolkit that we will be producing at the end of the project.
The transnational exchange was also the opportunity for the participating organizations to train themselves on a number of methodologies that were developed in the African Diaspora youth community for years. We have increased the skills and competence of youth workers by introducing them to African and other creative non-formal educational principles and processes such as ‘Ubuntu’, ‘Sankofa’, ‘World Café’, ‘Open Space Technology’ and practical tools such as ‘Digital Mapping’.
The final task of the activity was the digital mapping of what we have discovered and experienced so that other young people and youth workers can use them to advance their engagement in the community. The Digital mapping was carried out through three stages. The first stage was the training that was provided by the digital mapping expert. The next stage was the collecting of all relevant information that was carried out by the participants in the exchange. The final stage of the process was the actual mapping process on the google maps so it can be available for the public.

In the Rotterdam exchange 20 youth workers from Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and UK participated. The focus of the target group was youth workers from the African Diaspora living in Europe. One aspect of the project is the intergenerational youth work exchange in the communities. Hence the participants included youth workers from the older as well as the younger generation. The workshop space is aimed to create the opportunity for these youth workers to learn from each-other intergenerationally.

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