WhatsApp Image 2021 06 27 at 17.23.14      The Globers project (https://globersproject.wordpress.com), coordinated by the Associazione Inco and funded by the Erasmus+ Programme, was the main reason for me to come to Slovakia. This project brought together volunteers from eight different countries around the world to lead this initiative: Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Slovakia, Italy, Nepal, Portugal and Vietnam. So, we “made pairs” and, for example, as I came to Slovakia, someone from here will go to Brazil and so continue with the other nationalities. Each of us is placed in a different organization and as such our responsibilities are linked to the purposes and activities of this place, which vary from place to place.

      My organization, called KERIC (https://www.keric.sk/sk/), works with children, young people and adults providing them language study in non-formal ways. In addition to sending and receiving volunteers, they offer both language courses, cooperation with schools - primary and secondary - activities, workshops and summer camps that promote an intercultural learning dimension for their participants. Their mission is to connect the Kysuce region with the world. Therefore, teaching English is also a way to develop the personality, interests and skills of its students, in a relaxed way that engages and motivates the student to participate and have fun during the learning process.

      However, today I want to tell you a little more about a very important part of my exchange. What, in fact, motivated me to come here and made my eyes shine with excitement and enthusiasm when I knew I would be responsible for making it happen. Planning and implementing workshops on global citizenship. But what does this concept mean, in practice? For this reason, I'm writing here to tell you a little about how this process took place. The project topics were divided into five: Who is a global citizen, Migration, Multiculturalism, Sustainable Development Goals and Our Planet.

Who is a global citizen?
IMG 1057      This theme was intended to connect global citizenship education to modern times, using simple and accessible language that could bring personal identification when reflecting on global citizenship. Part of this was to broaden the debate about our role and responsibility in society, moving towards practical actions. Therefore, activities were carried out on how and who should be a global citizen, working from a personal sense of purpose in the world, discovering skills and passions. In addition, we did a quiz to find out, according to our personal characteristics, what kind of change agents we are. We also count on the group's eyes to highlight the potential of each one, strengthening the sense of community. Finally, a case study was carried out to understand that once a problem occurs in society, we have different actors involved and responsible for solving these demands, such as the government, companies, educational institutions, civil society and us as individuals also. We are part of a complex system and it is up to us to do our part to change our environment for the better.

IMG 1090      Human migrations, despite being a phenomenon present throughout human history, are still poorly understood in their social context. We aim here to understand the history of migration around the world, the difficulties people face in moving and the importance of migration in our society today. For this theme, we used a dynamic of agreeing/disagreeing with statements about migrants that we found in some common sense discourses in society, provoking the exercise of critical thinking and demystifying pre-established concepts. Likewise, a simulation was carried out where participants were asked to choose three belongings that could be taken with them, if they were leaving their country of origin at that time. Afterwards, debate and discussion about the situation faced by refugees in different parts of the world. At the end, we introduced a fictional story where the participants were asked to give their opinion about the characters in the plot, broadening the perspective and discussion about the non-judgment of realities different from ours.

IMG 1133      With this theme, we aimed to understand the meaning and importance of accepting the other as he/she is, regardless of their nationality, religion, culture and everyday interests, enriching cultural diversity, demystifying stereotypes and bringing nations together. In order to better understand how others feel, we play Barnga, it is a simulation game that encourages participants to critically consider normative assumptions and intercultural communication, broadening the perspective on cultural differences and clashes. In addition, we had a maracatu workshop, a Brazilian popular rhythm, where we created some instruments with recycled objects, in addition to learning some introductory steps of this dance. Finally, we carried out an activity where participants experienced being in someone else's place in our society, reflecting on social inequalities, discrimination, xenophobia, empathy and cultural diversity.

Sustainable Development Goals
IMG 1135      The intention here was to present and promote the debate on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the SDGs, defined by the 2030 Agenda, an action plan to eradicate poverty and promote a decent life for all, within the limits of the planet. Understanding what challenges we face and what actions we can take were part of the activities developed. Thus, we exercise our citizen muscles by telling stories to each other with a focus on global challenges, solutions and actions for them, connecting with our sense of belonging to the community. Supported by improvisation games, we trained our memory to remember each SDG and made a circle where each participant chose a topic of greatest interest to discuss as a group. Afterwards, in order to express opinions, use creativity and work in groups, the participants were divided into small groups where they chose an ODS to represent through a poster that would be placed in one of the shared spaces within our organization.

Our planet
WhatsApp Image 2021 06 27 at 17.23.16      What impact does each person have on the environment? And what actions can each one take to protect our planet? Climate change, social inequality, poverty, food security, water conservation, loss of biodiversity and ocean pollution are some of the emerging global themes that challenge the construction of education for global citizenship. Thus, some of the tools used in the workshop to create better strategies for the environment were interactive dynamics to foster the interest and engagement of participants, such as Ecobingo; research on endangered animals, making posters and presenting in small groups; and the trip to our planet where participants reflected on desires and needs in our society, exercising their critical sense.

WhatsApp Image 2021 06 27 at 17.23.17

     All workshops are developed through a sequence and logical structure of the relationship of topics to be covered with the implemented activities. In the beginning, we always try to do exercises that can bring the group together and, little by little, build the necessary confidence so that they feel more comfortable expressing their opinions and reflecting on them. During the activities, we also have the option of evaluating them throughout the process, in order to enable the internalization of content by the participants. In the final part, we also have an evaluation and feedback from the participants about the facilitators, the level of learning with the explored contents, interest, participation and the best dynamics carried out. With the support of non-formal education, the group is expected to create connections with each other and learn by doing, which means, through individual and collective experience, conducted through the activities, there is space for reflection, development of critical thinking and broadening the view on the topics covered.


Written and translated from Portuguese by Camila Manique Ferreira

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