Youth Upbeat - European Refugee Fund 2011-05

youth upbeat

Aġenzija Żgħażagħ in partnership with SOS Malta participated in a project, "Youth Upbeat", co-financed through The European Refugee Fund. Youth Upbeat was a 1 year project which was aimed to promote integration between different sectors of Maltese society, in particular young people, and refugees or persons with subsidiary protection by providing opportunities for interaction and awareness-raising through the use of culture and the performing arts as a tool for social cohesion.

Partners in the project believe
d that culture is a comprehensive and an effective tool for integration in Malta as this approach provided opportunities to promote interaction through shared interests. Furthermore, through allowing participants to understand and appreciate the cultural richness that can be contributed by immigrants to Malta, this project promoted an understanding of the positive impacts Beneficiaries of International Protection can have for Maltese society and culture.

The project co-financed by EU/ERF
was designed specifically for young people in Malta, which sought to raise awareness about the situation of refugees and persons with subsidiary protection and the potential positive impact they could have within Maltese society, using performing arts as a bridging medium. Over the course of the period of 1 year, approximately 6 Cultural Ambassadors all having refugee or subsidiary protection status, who had a particular performing arts skill, shared aspects of their culture as well as their personal stories within 24 interactive workshops with approximately 480 13-14 year olds. These workshops focused on learning with an interactive methodology and treat such issues as perceptions, relationships, difficulties, positive experiences, culture through role plays, conversations etc. The second part was about practical arts workshops (such as learning an instrument or a traditional dance), where young people had the opportunity to learn a new skill.

Furthermore, approximately 20 young people interested in performing arts
took part in a live-in performing arts weekend, culminated in a final performance for the general public in Malta. In this performance, participants performed pieces devised during the live-in workshop using African and Maltese culture and this was combined with information about integration. This cultural evening included also the launch of a documentary and a photographic exhibition regarding the project. Through identifying common interests in music, dance and drama, this project promoted awareness, tolerance and understanding between the Maltese society and Beneficiaries of International Protection further promoting their integration into Maltese society.

You can view more outcomes of this project here  

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