From 27 – 30 June, 6 students and 2 teachers in the 2nd year of ESO at the ASSA Ikastola (Lapuebla de Labarca), accompanied by the Alboan Foundation, visited Brussels to present their work on migration and refugee issues that they have carried out throughout the school year.
The ASSA Ikastola project was chosen by a jury from among twenty “Student Ambassadors” experiences, carried out in Spain within the framework of the CHANGE project. ASSA Ikastola’s project consisted of mainstreaming migration and refugee issues throughout the school year in 10 2nd of ESO subjects (Ethics, English, Music, Technology, Spanish language, Basque, Mathematics, Physical Education, Social Sciences and Plastic Arts).
In addition, some students organised voluntary actions such as the collection of shoes with the association “Zaporeak”, the organisation of a “Human Library” with stories of migration and refugee issues, and the organisation of a meeting with Amets Arzallus, author (in collaboration with Ibrahima Balde) of the book “Miñan/Hermanito”. The project culminated with the launching, also at the initiative of a group of students, of a travelling exhibition with the materials produced throughout the project. The exhibition was displayed in Lapuebla de Labarca, San Bizente (Oion) and Bastida, and also in the exhibition halls of Samaniego and Mendavia. The whole project is explained in the website created by the students.
In addition to presenting their actions at the U-Change event, during their stay in Brussels the students participated in a role-play on the legislative process in the Parlamentarium and took the “refugee route” with the organisation Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen (Flemish refugee support organisation) to learn about the legal process and the difficulties that people in forced mobility have once they arrive in Brussels. They also shared knowledge and experiences with other student ambassadors from Italy, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Portugal and Belgium.
The #CHANGE project, of which Alboan Foundation is part, aims to encourage critical thinking, empathy and student participation in issues such as migration, protection and reception. The project is carried out in 9 European Union countries. Following the course of action proposed by the CHANGE project, the students, not only think and feel about migration and refugee issues, but also participate in meetings with refugees and organise actions in favour of a more inclusive society.
Project Understanding Change investigates how students’ perceptions of migration evolved through the CHANGE education project. While the CHANGE education project focuses on in-school work and raising awareness of critical thinking, U-CHANGE investigates the results of the evaluation of that work. The objective of the project is to develop an innovative methodology to promote critical thinking among young people and facilitate civic engagement with the goal of social inclusion.