• Stay Tuned

    Timeline

    Phase 1 kick-off
    Phase 2 kick-off
    Phase 2 development
    Final event

    Arwen Dewilde
    City of Ghent

    CONTACT US

    European cities face higher levels of Early Leaving from Education and Training (ELET) than their national averages, meaning that some urban areas have more ELET rates, than the countryside areas - contrary to the national trends of these cities' countires. This represents a serious challenge, as ELET has significant societal and individual consequences, such as a higher risk of unemployment, poverty, marginalization and social exclusion. Tackling this issue means breaking the cycle of deprivation and the intergenerational transmission of poverty and inequality.

    Boosting the Frequency of Qualification
    Ref nid
    8874
  • RUMOURLESS CITIES

    The Intercultural cities programme (ICC) supports cities in reviewing their policies through an intercultural lens and developing comprehensive intercultural strategies to help them manage diversity positively and realise the diversity advantage.

    Amadora launches a Guide on the welcoming of migrants

    Timeline

    First Transnational workshop and Kick Off meeting
    Second Transnational Workshop
    Fourth Transnational Workshop
    Third Transnational Workshop
    First online seminar
    Second Online Seminar
    Third Online Seminar
    Final event

    Municipality of Athienou
    2, Archbishop Makarios III Ave.
    7600 Athienou Cyprus

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

    For any enquires into Tech Revolution, email: DMC@Barnsley.gov.uk

    Keep following our social media channels as we develop Tech Revolution 2.0 as part of the second wave of URBACT ||| Programme. 

    Follow our Twitter: @Tech_RevEu
    Follow our Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/urbact-techrevolution/

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    The Rumourless Cities transfer network is focused on the transfer of good practice established by the municipality of Amadora which addresses a need across all partners, namely how to counter growing negative attitudes towards a cross section of groups in society, which includes long established migrants (Third country nationals), Roma, recently arrived refugees, LGBTI people, and general homophobic stereotyping. This is an issue that is recognized at an EU level. The EU Fundamental Rights Agency in its 2018 report highlights how discrimination is still widespread within the EU . The report highlights that discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin continues to be regarded as the most widespread form of discrimination in the EU (64%), followed by discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (58%), gender identity (56%), religion or belief (50%), disability (50%), age (being over 55 years old, 42%) and gender (37%).

    Prevent discrimination, strengthen cohesion
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    12135
  • CoRE

    Austria
    Vienna

    Centre of Refugee Empowerment

    Christoph Reinprecht
    Municipality of Vienna
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    1 897 000

    Summary

    As a response to the dramatic increase in the number of refugees arriving 2015 in Vienna posing huge challenges to social welfare and social housing systems and to the labour market, the CoRE project aimed at strengthening the local integration system and at developing innovative and inclusive integration measures which addressed the specific needs of asylum seekers and refugees. CoRE operated as hub and incubator for empowerment processes, jointly planned, utilised and operated by public institutions, NGOs, civil society initiatives, and refugees. By pooling resources and knowhow and by making refugees equal partners instead of passive beneficiaries, it helped to initiate smart transformation processes for the whole integration system, also aiming at changing public discourse. The physical infrastructure in the form of the CoRE Centre offered community spaces as well as service spaces.
    One of the main achievements so far relates to the certification course for refugees with university diploma and experience in teaching in their home countries, developed and implemented together with the Educational Department of the University of Vienna.  The most innovative dimensions is represented by the CoRE participatory approach. This included (self-)empowerment strategies for refugees, the active involvement of target groups, the prioritisation of bottom up processes vs top down, and the use of multi-level governance approach. Innovative is also the CORE center as a meeting point an

    The innovative solution

    Implementing the “integration from day one-approach” was a key objective of CoRE, based on the principles of the Vienna Integration Concept. Its five pillars are: Language (German and multilingualism); training (education and work); social integration (living together and participation); awareness work (objectivity, assessment and information), and Human Rights. The involvement and commitment of both institutional actors, stakeholders, NGOs, volunteers, but most importantly, targeted groups had been essential e.g. in fighting de-qualification or other integration barriers. The main solutions tests are: information modules, workshops, peer-mentoring (self-empowerment), competences assessment (participation in labour market), -    measures to strengthen skills and qualifications (from support for medical doctors for being enabled to practice in Austria, certification courses for teachers and qualification training for accountants and care assistants to training in professional language skills or entrepreneurship training), -    public events for bringing skills and talents of refugees to the curtain, training for volunteers, and the CORE centre as a meeting and contact point for organised initiatives.

    A collaborative and participative work

    Each project partner represented a key area in the field of integration (social welfare, education, entrepreneurship, labour market, etc.). Their commitment – irrespective of their share of the activities/budget – was one key success factor; same for their willingness to cooperate at eye level with civil society and targeted populations. Another key factor: strong support from local government, and involvement of scientific community.
    The active involvement of refugees was in all phases of project implementation of utmost importance and the key to success. Pooling of resources of the project partners created a context that encouraged refugees to play an active role in their own integration process, and to be involved in the implementation of the project. Refugees acted as protagonists of the project, e.g. by holding workshops and lectures in schools.

    The impact and results

    The framework conditions have changed substantially over the course of the project. At the very beginning, requirements directly related to the arrival of asylum seekers had been priority; later, integration issues on a more structural and emotional level came to the fore. At the political level, national elections brought restrictions in asylum law and tightened anti-immigration discourse, positioning the local government as an antipode. Project implementation was achieved through the capacity of all actors involved to collaborate across sectoral, disciplinary and institutional boundaries.
    CoRE achieved a number of outputs that help making integration more inclusive, strengthening the integration from day one approach, and putting (self-) empowerment into the core of integration work. Concrete and measured results concern e.g. the number of refugees who benefitted from first-hand information, who ate able to stabilize their living and housing situation, who increased their professional skills and (also language) knowledge, attended a certification course, gained first working experiences, passed successfully exams, or who had been involved in activities promoting awareness of issues relating to flight and integration.

    Why this good practices should be transferred to other cities?

    The situation of asylum seekers and refugees is requiring answers both at European, national and in particular local levels. The CoRE project is a complex project, focusing on various aspects of the integration process. As the project was characterized by the specific challenges in Vienna at that time, the project as a whole is not transferable one to one. However, the various activities of the project themselves are transferable – not only to other cities, but partly also to other target groups. But there are also more general lessons to learn from CoRE: The project’s main experience to share with other cities would be to dare to follow the concept of 'integration from day one', and to apply a bottom-up approach. Even if following a bottom-up-approach, with the active involvement of the target group and a high level of participation, might be challenging, the outcomes are worth it. The experiences also suggest not to focus only on results and outcomes of the project, but also on the process itself. Following a participative approach, the process of developing, modifying and testing new solutions together with the target group, is itself just as valuable as the outcomes. On the one hand, the collaborative work promotes a deeper understanding of the target group and on the other hand it changes the role of the target group, from being passive beneficiaries to active co-creators in their own integration process. 

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    17072
  • SALUS W SPACE

    Italy
    Bologna

    Sustainable Accessible Livable Usable Social space for intercultural Wellbeing, Welfare and Welcoming

    Inti Bertocchi
    Comune di Bologna
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    388 367

    Summary

    Salus Space will provide a multi-purpose living and working environment for 28 families up to half of whom will be migrants or refugees. 
    The project seeks to overcome the emergency approach in the refugees reception model and find new sustainable solutions, integrated into the social and economic framework. Furthermore it aims to prevent the conflicts and the perception of migrants and refugees as an economic and social burden, to fight the urban and social decay, caused by the economic crisis, to foster an open intercultural society, based on the generative welfare model and solidarity, by enhancing reciprocity between refugees and citizens and knowledge contamination and to help address demographic changes: ageing population, low birth rate, migration of young people.
     

    The innovative solution

    The project proposes to house 28 families of which roughly half will be from a migrant background in a purpose-built facility on the former Villa Salus hospital site on the periphery of the city The project will create a working community, with a generative welfare approach. The whole project is based on a collaborative approach between partners and once launched will involve collaborative management between the new community at Salus space and the City. The site will also play host to a Think Tank focusing on the inclusive economy. 

    A collaborative and participative work

    The project has a wide partnership engaging many local actors.  The partners range from specialist housing providers to a range of social cooperatives that work with specific groups – for example with migrant women. The work the city has done with the partnership is one of the most innovative aspects of the project. Together they have created a charter of values and a management plan for the site. The evolution of the project is a genuine co-creation. 
    The project has pioneered an approach to participative evaluation by training citizens in evaluation techniques. Citizen journalists, mostly from the nearby district of Savena have also been trained to write blogs and document the progress of the project. 
     

    The impact and results

    The project launches for real in January 2021. The first four years have been taken up with the demolition of the original hospital and the construction of permanent living spaces, meeting spaces and three temporary structures. Up until now working on other sites, Salus Space has been able to provide training activities in theatre skills and horticulture for migrants. The partnership have also developed a collaborative management plan for the new facility and develop a charter of values with partners. 
    The new buildings at Salus Space will be officially opened in January 2021. Soon after the first cohort of tenants can move in for a 24-month residential period.  The new site will host 28 families, up to half of whom will be from a migrant background, the rest with an Italian background. Activities on the site will include catering, horticulture, theatre, business creation as well as a think tank on social inclusion. The idea is to create a dynamic learning, working and living environment aimed at accelerating the integration process. 
     

    Why this good practices should be transferred to other cities?

    The project presents an interesting approach to migrant integration by creating a co-living and working space on the urban fringe using a former derelict hospital site. Each family living in Salus Space will have their own living space but will also participate in a range of work, cultural and leisure activities on the site that will also be a welcoming space for visitors. Salus Space will be a living community.
    For other European cities the project will be a live demonstration of how to organise new approaches to migrant integration. The governance and management arrangements are particularly interesting because the whole approach has been developed in a collaborative way with partners from the city including social cooperatives and specialist agencies. The project offers an opportunity to see a project in its early stages of implementation wrestling with real issues in real time. 
    Salus Space is also featuring in a Horizon 2020 project for innovative agriculture which is led by the University of Bologna and is part of a second H2020 bid. 
     

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    17070
  • U-RLP

    Netherlands
    Utrecht

    Utrecht Refugee Launch Pad

    Antonius Imara
    Municipality of Utrecht
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    360 000

    Summary

    The increase in the arrival of refugees in 2015-16 and the rise in hostile attitudes towards them required more innovative and effective reception strategies. The aim was to make better use of the time that asylum seekers spent in reception shelters and that these centres would also provide opportunities for neighbors and local community, allowing to counteract negative narratives.
    The project housed asylum seekers and refugees in the same complex as local young people. It used co-learning, inviting neighbours to take courses together and engage in social activities in a shared social space. The project aimed to engage with concerns from receiving communities and activate asylum seekers ‘from day one’ by providing opportunities for participants to develop their skills, to enhance wellbeing and improve inclusion and community cohesion in the neighbourhood.
    Utrecht's new Integration Plan has been inspired by Plan Einstein and any new asylum shelter to be opened in Utrecht will have to follow the project concept.
    Transforming an Emergency Shelter into a vibrant and innovative setting of a shared living, learning and working space that connects from day one refugees, neighbours and the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
     

    The innovative solution

    The ultimate place where asylum seekers will settle is uncertain and integration activities only start when asylum is granted. Emergency shelters are often placed in deprived neighbourhoods, where residents themselves face social and economic problems, facilitating hostile attitudes towards refugees. The challenge is to promote effective inclusion starting immediately upon refugee’s arrival, regardless of the country they end up living in, and promoting social acceptance of refugees in local communities.
    Main solutions implemented: offering a combined community housing and shelter concept, with a wide range of social and cultural activities connecting local citizens and asylum seekers, focusing on common goals and the needs of the neighbourhood; providing International Entrepreneurship Training, English courses and peer to peer coaching by successful social entrepreneurs and corporations; offering an Incubator space for new business startups; reframing refugees’ broken narratives to more positive and hopeful narratives, whatever the outcome of their application.

    A collaborative and participative work

    The project integrates social, legal, academic, psychological, economic and political dimensions. That’s why it has combined the expertise of the City and the Dutch Refugee Council on the reception of asylum seekers, together with NGOs and social enterprises and research and educational institutions to provide evidence-based to such an innovative project. 

    The most effective participation processes have been those that have encouraged cooperation between the different target groups (asylum seekers, youngsters and local neighbours) based on equality, common objectives and interests and the recognition and contribution of the different skills and talents, that has helped to foster a common and shared sense of belonging.

    The impact and results

    The project management adopted a horizontal network arrangement based on a principle of cooperation and equality. This approach together with some delays, unexpected changes and the complex collaboration with the central government have posed some challenges that have been tackled from the capacity for adaptation and flexibility of the team and the creation of new roles and spaces for coordination between all the partners, that continue working together in the new phase of the project.

     

    The external evaluators identified some relevant results: the Project had positive impact in generating good relations in the neighbourhood; participants were able to use Plan Einstein as a helpful means of starting to make the transition to the labour market by increasing their skills and networking; residents in both the Shelter and neighbourhood experienced greater levels of mental well-being by improving psychological health and encouraging more social connection and productive time-use.

    Why this good practices should be transferred to other cities?

    The challenge of reception and inclusion of asylum seekers is shared by many European countries. The rise of populist discourses and xenophobic narratives threatens fundamental values and reinforces social polarisation. Cities are key actors in providing innovative responses in favour of inclusion, human rights and coexistence.  
    The project has shown that promoting inclusion from day one by connecting asylum seekers with neighbours, sharing spaces, activities, training and projects to address the needs of the neighbourhood can have positive impacts for all.
    The project is relevant to asylum seekers who spend months in reception centres, being able to use this time to develop new skills, participate in activities and build social networks. But it is also relevant for local neighbours who can take advantage of new services and training, and for the city as a whole which can better take the opportunities posed by diversity and avoid the costs linked to segregation, exclusion or racism. 
    The project's approach is very transferable, because despite the differences in context between cities and countries, what it does is adapt the principles of integration or interculturality to the first phase of reception, by building a diverse network of local actors who collaborate for a common goal. 

    Is a transfer practice
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    Ref nid
    17068
  • The Altona Declaration: Making Inclusion and Tolerance Loud and Clear

    Germany
    Hamburg-Altona

    Co-creating a commitment to inclusion and tolerance

    Adelina Michalk
    Finance Manager
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    1 845 000

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Hamburg consists of seven districts and the district of Hamburg-Altona is the westernmost urban borough of Hamburg with a population of 270, 263 (Dec. 2016) with an area of 77.4 km2. The District of Altona is therefore part of the greater City of Hamburg, a major trading crossroads on the North- as well as Baltic Sea with both a long history of immigration and a growing, diverse population. Around 14% of the city’s residents are from first or second generation immigrant backgrounds, a statistic of foreign population growing in the district of Altona.

     

    Between 2015-16, 60,000 refugees arrived in the city requiring the provision of extra accommodation and services and Hamburg employed some innovative processes to do this such the “Work and Integration Centre for Refugees – WIR-Centre” the Finding Places scheme- URBACT recognised Good Practice. A large proportion of refugees have been accommodated in Hamburg-Altona.

     

    However, in recent years, the city has witnessed a disturbing rise in xenophobic populism and hate speech in both traditional and social media. Preoccupied for the phenomena, and for the attack of public opinion towards a pro-refugees agenda of the city of Hambourg,  the District of Altona in 2018 analysed  the situation in paper on integration and social inclusion. This paper led to a revision and updating of the local strategy from integration of minority groups (Integrationskonzept), towards comprehensive policies of inclusion and diversity targeting the whole population. While politicians were generally committed to this approach, they soon perceived the limits of issuing a top-down agenda in favour of tolerance and diversity., which would have been perceived by locals as imposed.

     

    The solution evolved by joining the URBACT Transfer Network of Rumorless cities towards co-designing with inhabitants a formal declaration of inclusion and a campaign in public space about the principles exposed in the declaration.     At first, public events and workshops have been organised across the district and via digital communications, inviting residents from different backgrounds to share their opinions on concepts such as social cohesion, community, democracy and equality and what sort of society they want to live in.

     

    In the second phase, the content collected during phase one was collated and edited into seventeen statements. These were promoted at summer festivals across the district and people were encouraged to vote, to which 1 000 people responded. Subsequently, the declaration was launched at a press conference by the city mayor and by Marcell Jansen a famous local sportsperson. This was closely followed by a public democracy conference with the goal of supporting citizens to make the declaration their own and to develop ideas for spreading it’s messages and values. The declaration turned then into a campaign with printed and digital media in public spaces. Unfortunately, Covid-19 was tough for a campaign so strongly reliant on face-to-face activities. The work with schools was stopped, and Altona’s biggest cultural festival — potentially a powerful catalyst for promotion — was cancelled. This forced a creative rethink and a shift towards digital communications, including a campaign kit for civil society organisations.

     

    Thankfully, the Mayor of Altona was personally committed, speaking at the launch event and referring back to the declaration in a public statement condemning discrimination after hate mail was sent to the Altona mosque.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    Altona practice focuses on integrating the good practice of Rumourless cities across departments in the district offices and involving local population in co-designing the antidiscrimination campaigns that involves not only minority groups but the whole population. Altona is committed to exploring further ways to communicate and embed the declaration in the life and institutions of this district of Hamburg. For example, politicians have agreed to display a plaque of the declaration prominently on the town hall. A crucial target group is now schools and young people who will be invited to visit and discuss the values and ideas set out in the declaration.

    Participatory approach

    In Altona, a group of stakeholders was already co-developing an anti-discrimination strategy, including a set of principles to be known as the ‘Altona Declaration’. Joining URBACT RUMOURLESS CITIES Network was a chance to add inspiration and momentum to this campaign, and transform the initial idea of a top down anti-discrimination campaigning into a co-designed strategy (see Solution section). The existing stakeholder group in Altona formed an expanded URBACT Local Group (ULG), bringing political leaders and residents.

    What difference has it made

    The collaboration among inhabitants and city offices to co-create the Altona Declaration resulted in  a series of 17 anti- discrimination statements posted online and promoted at events. 1000 people voted, selecting the top seven statements that formed the body of the declaration now part of a larger campaign involving public spaces in the district. The local partners and especially the ULG-members used the new kit, eg the flyers and posters, to disseminate the seven thesis of the Altona Declaration.

     

    The change of attitudes is not easy to measure, especially not with the resources of the project. But one can be hopeful that some, more doubtful persons, started to reflect their personal points of view on diversity.

     

    ”In concrete terms, we were able to benefit from the exchange with the international partner cities. We learned how great the influence of positive rather than negative framing can be in conveying messages”. Adelina Michalk Department of Social Services, Municipality of Hamburg-Altona.

    Transferring the practice

    Hamburg/Altona found the regular peer review opportunities during transnational meetings of the Transfer network Rumorless cities particularly useful for taking on board practical tips and ideas for anti-rumour strategies. This included a ‘Gallery Walk’, where partner cities used visual images to capture their progress and exchange learning.

     

    One notably valuable technique transferred from the city of Amadora, lead partner of the Transfer network, was the active involvement of ‘ambassadors’ to convey key messages to sections within the community. These elected officials, civil servants, and influential citizens assumed a pivotal role as the local campaign was rolled out.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    16276
  • URBACT e-University in vollem Gange

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    15/11/2022

    Angesichts der andauernden Corona-Pandemie findet auch die legendäre URBACT Summer University dieses Jahr als „URBACT e-University“ online statt. Über einen Monat hinweg haben die Teilnehmer die Chance, sich an zwei Tagen in der Woche für zwei Stunden weiterzubilden, die Methoden und Instrumente des URBACT-Programms zur Erstellung von integrierten Aktionsplänen (Stadtentwicklungskonzepten) und zum Aufbau von lokalen Arbeitsgruppen kennenzulernen und dieses neue Wissen zudem in interaktiven kleinen Arbeitsgruppen anzuwenden.

    Articles
    Migrants

    Der Auftakt war bereits am 15. September, das große Finale wird am 6. Oktober 2020 sein. Die acht aufeinander aufbauenden Online-Sessions richten sich speziell an die Partnerstädte der Aktionsplanungsnetzwerke, die im vergangenen Herbst ihre Arbeit aufgenommen haben, ebenso wie an die Mitglieder der jeweiligen lokalen Arbeitsgruppe (URBACT Local Group – ULG). Die Trainings sind somit speziell für die lokale Ebene konzipiert und versuchen mit vielen interaktiven Komponenten die Tatsache zu kompensieren, dass physische Treffen, Partnerbesuche, Exkursionen und Dienstreisen, die die Netzwerkarbeit normalerweise bestimmen, momentan nicht möglich sind.

    Die Sessions der e-University finden immer dienstags und donnerstags von 10:00 bis 12:00 Uhr statt. Die erste Stunde ist jeweils dominiert von einem theoretischen Input. Anschließend haben die Teilnehmer*innen eine weitere Stunde Zeit, um das Erlernte in einer kleinen Gruppe zu testen und sich mit anderen auszutauschen. Diese Gruppe bleibt über den ganzen Zeitraum hinweg dieselbe, was ein Kennenlernen und eine gemeinsame Weiterentwicklung ermöglicht. Die Nationale Kontaktstelle für Deutschland und Österreich begleitet und moderiert eine dieser Arbeitsgruppen.

    Die großen Themen, die bei der e-University belehrt werden, sind der Einbezug von Stakeholdern und lokalen Akteuren, die strukturierte Analyse von Problemen in einer Stadt, das Erarbeiten von Visionen und die Planung von Maßnahmen, das gemeinsame Gestalten und Entwerfen von neuen Ideen und Konzepten (Co-Creation), sowie die Ausgestaltung und konkrete Umsetzung von Maßnahmen.

    Weitere Informationen zur URBACT e-University finden Sie hier.

     

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  • The Third TNM of Playful Paradigm in Klaipėda

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    15/11/2022

    An article by Laura Kubiliutė, Head of public health monitoring and projects department, Klaipeda City Public Health Bureau about the third Transnational Meeting in Klaipėda

    Articles
    Migrants

    The third transnational project’s "The Playful Paradigm" meeting was organized by Klaipėda City Public Health Bureau on 1-2 October.

    The Mayor of Klaipėda Vytautas Grubliauskas started the international meeting with a welcome speech. After an inspiring welcome, Clémentine Gravier from URBACT Programme Secretariat, and Ileana Toscano, Project Expert, invited participants to the mid-term review session.

    On the first day of the meeting, the meeting participants visited the Educational Space of Klaipėda County I. Simonaitytė Public Library, where librarian Viktorija Žilinskaitė introduced a wide range of provided services for people of all ages. Klaipėda City Public Health Bureau in cooperation with the Educational Space organizes playful afternoons for youth and elderly in order to strengthen the links between generations, tackle the problem of loneliness and foster social inclusion. The project partners also visited Children's Literature Department of Klaipėda County I. Simonaitytė Public Library and learned about games prepared by librarians: „Žaliapėdis“ (English – The Green Foot) and „Knygosūkis“ ( English – The Book Swing).

     

    Educational Space I. Simonaitytė Public Library Klaipeda

     

     

     

    Children Literature Department I. Simonaitytė Public Library Klaipeda

     

     

    On the second day of the meeting, the participants visited Sendvaris Progymnasium (680 schoolchildren, from 1st to 8th grade), which belongs to National Network of Health Promoting Schools and actively participates in different projects. Physical active children is one of the main goal. Many playful physical activity elements are done at this school: morning exercise, active breaks, exercise with toys for young children, dancing, Active school week with many events is organised. The school has table football and sports machines in the corridors. Playful active breaks help children to enjoy school more, have fun, relax and reach better learning results. Teachers uses GoNoodle videos with energetic music, where performers show the moves and children have to repeat them. Bernutė Juškienė, a public health specialist, showed her own created exercise with toys, an innovative approach for children to enjoy physical activity and move more.

     
     

    Sendvaris Progymnasium Klaipeda

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  • Biocanteens: a trigger for Troyan's agri-food project

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    15/11/2022
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/theweeklybull/
    Articles
    Migrants

    A political long-term strategy:

    At the end of 2013, the Troyan Municipal Council adopted the Municipal Development Plan of the Municipality for the period 2014-2020. The Municipal Development Plan follows the EU-set guidelines laid down in the Europe 2020 Strategy, whose flagship initiatives are related to:

     

    • Prioritizing the development of organic farming;
    • Balanced agricultural development;
    • Support for young farmers;
    • Environmental conservation and conservation activities.

    The leading initiatives have also been reflected in the Municipal Development Plan of Troyan Municipality, through its strategic objectives, priorities and concrete projects. Those strategic objectives focus on the stimulation of the local economy and highlight the competitive advantages of local potential, the improvement of living standards and the sustainable employment, affecting the income of the population.
     

    The specific projects envisaged for realization of the priority are aimed at:

    • Support for the development of traditional activities, including organic farming, livestock farming and others;
    • Associate local businesses to enhance their competitiveness, including businesses processing agricultural and animal products;
    • Partnership with the Research Institute for Mountain Livestock and Agriculture (RIMSA).

    A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between RIMSA and the Municipality of Troyan for the elaboration of a project proposal under the Procedure BG05M2OP001-1.003 "Establishment of Regional Science Centers" under the "Smart Growth Science and Education" Operational Program 2014-2020 year.

    The main tasks of the project proposal are related to:

    • Creation of perennial plantations of different fruit species for the conditions of the Balkan region;
    • Selection of plum and apple varieties suitable for organic production in Balkan region;
    • Development of elements of technologies for creation of plantations from some berry and fruit crops under the conditions of the Balkan region;

     

    The development of a system for own production of vegetables and fruits for delivery of fresh organic products for the children and students on the territory of the municipality is another goal to be achieved in the pursuit of a better living environment in the municipality.

    The Municipality of Troyan has opportunities and resources for that, but an operational process for the realization of this innovative approach is needed.

     

    A strong support from BioCanteens:

    The Municipality of Troyan is very impressed by the main goals of the Biocanteens’ project that is jointly implemented together with six other European cities. Therefore, the experience and the mechanism that the Lead Partner Mouans-Sartoux possesses gives us possible solutions for the implementation of their model on the territory of Troyan.

    The common objective aspires to develop a system for raising nutrition standards and promoting environmentally-friendly nourishment in the canteen’s menu. That is going to be achieved by creating own vegetable production and fruits and delivering fresh organic products to children and students on the territory of the municipality.

    The initial implementation steps that the Municipality has taken, opened a new horizon of prospects, however, we faced some restricts and limits as well. Precisely, the issue with making the orders – Public Procurement.
     

    Public procurement: a key issue at the core of Troyan’s transnational meeting:

    The working session began with a review of the Food Educational Micro-Good practices – “quick wins” that are easy to implement in the situation of the local context. The project partners exchanged and discusses the practices from their cities and then made a selection of the most relevant ones according to some criteria. Here the final aim of the project deliverable is to produce a complete catalogue together with the Kitchen Micro-Good practices that is going to be a helpful resource for the kitchen staff and the educational animators. Some examples include:

    • Food/ water tasting activities
    • Thematic lunch
    • Lunch with the cook
    • School gardens

    The program of the visits included the first Municipal action towards unification of the menu and healthy eating habits towards the youngest population – the Baby Food Kitchen. The kitchen staff cook and distribute meals for babies from 10 months to 3-years-old. The kitchen does not have a social, nor economical aspect when allocating its meals. The idea is that young (and/or ordinary) mothers obtain healthy nutritional meals, executed by providing wholesome and varied food, daily consumption of vegetables and fruits, sufficient intake of milk, dairy products and other protein-rich foods, increasing consumption of whole grains, limiting fat, sugar and salt intake. In this way, we can monitor the quality of the food that the babies receive.

    Following the visit, the partners took the opportunity to meet and talk with the Mayor of the municipality – Mrs. Donka Mihaylova. The half-an-hour appointment provided a field for many questions and clarifications in regard to the short and long-term goals of the Head of the Municipality.

    Mrs. Mihaylova explained that we are taking actions that are progressively going in direction of acquiring healthy eating lifestyle. Taking into account the Baby-Food Kitchen and the newly created Central Kitchen (which provide meals for kindergarteners) that covers meals for kids from 10-months old to 7-years-old, we are now working on the establishment of a municipal farm that is going to produce organic fruits (apples and plums for the beginning) and vegetables for the kitchen. On the long-term list of duties, we have the meal preparation for the school canteens as well. What is more, the Municipality is taking care of the oldest part of the population – the retired people.

    The fundamental point of the whole Transnational Meeting came with the Skype meeting with John Watt – an Ad Hoc expert on Sustainable Public Procurement for collective catering. His saying, “Sustainable procurement is not just about buying preferable goods at good prices, but about the whole impact on the local authorities” gave a new perspective on the sustainable procurement. The booklets of the presentation gave a clear standpoint of the possibilities when arranging the whole procedure. It was interesting to learn point like:

    • planning the procedure
    • the engagement of the supplier
    • choosing the procedure
    • selection, award criteria and clauses
    • some legal considerations

    The case studies provided, gave a clear idea of what is possible and doable in the context of making a public order. Hence, the workshop on Public Procurement was really useful and all of the partners reached a point where it is up to us to push the Public Procurement Departments to work hard for the sake of the children and their healthy eating. We were answering a questionnaire and that is how the common problems were spotted. Therefore, we discussed how we can help each other with handling the issue.

     

    Troyan’s municipal farm platform:

    The partners also visited one of the kindergartens in Troyan. In our kindergartens children between 3 to 7 years old are spending a day between 8 a.m. and 18 a.m. They have breakfast, snack, lunch and late breakfast, as well as different educational and physical activities and last but not least, they rest well and sleep a few hours after lunch.

    Another place on the visit list was the Central Kitchen in “Bukovets” Kindergarten. It was a pleasure to introduce the new facility and equipment to the project partners. After we showed them around, we had a Q&A session on the spot. After that the presentation of Troyan’s farm platform was made.

    Our fresh part of the project is almost brand new apple garden to which we took the partners. It looks like the trees are doing very well and the first fruits will be a fact very soon. As the head of the urban planning said “An apple per day, keeps the doctor away”. We truly believe in those words.

     

    A strong connection with local stakeholders:

    We visited TEHRA. The closest big company near the city. TEHRA is a Bulgarian company established in 1992 that has rich history and traditions. The company is a leading Bulgarian manufacturer of raw materials working in the food industry and targeting sectors as milling factories, bread and confectionary producers.

    Main activities of the company are manufacturing and trading of products such as: traditional, specialized and wholegrain flours, mixes for bread and confectionery products. In the product range, TEHRA has also ready-to-use flour based mixes for making of bread and confectionary products at home.

    The company`s production base is located close to village called Lomets, in the municipality of Troyan, with the usage of modern equipment, mechanized and automated technological processes.

    After two and a half days of hard-working sessions, extreme storm situation and open-air group discussion sessions, the project partners promoted new ideas and perspectives on Public Procurement that will have a positive effect on the making the next order.

     

    Contacts:

    Teresa Georgieva: teresageorgey@gmail.com

    Nadezhda Terziyska: n.taslakova@gmail.com

     

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  • Rumours or reality?

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    15/11/2022

    Programme Lead Expert, Ruth Essex, shares her insights into promoting social cohesion and challenging the nature of rumour- ideas from her experience with Amadora, Portugal (PT)

    Articles
    Migrants

    Immigrants take work off Portuguese people

    Immigrants live off grants from the state” 

    Foreign children create problems in schools

    These were some of the rumours found to be circulating in Amadora… not unfamiliar comments heard in many cities across Europe.

    Indeed, immigration continues to be one of the most prominent political issues in Europe. In recent years the exceptional migratory flows together with the global economic crisis have inflamed political extremism and led to growing distrust from local communities towards migrant populations - both established and new. Voters in many countries consider immigration to be one of the most pressing challenges facing their country, and ‘radical right’ political parties who oppose immigration continue to find support in many countries

    Amadora, a dynamic and multicultural municipality located in Lisbon’s North Metropolitan area decided that it was time to do something about these unfounded rumours. A local network of people and organisations set out to spread more positive and factually accurate messages about the city and it’s inhabitants.

    Do Not Feed the Rumour was the communications campaign and programme of integration activities developed and implemented by Amadora in 2014-15, through participation in the Council of Europe (CoE) project “Communication for Integration: social networking for diversity (C4I)” - a network of 11 cities from 7 European countries. Based upon practice originally developed in Barcelona, Amadora produced their own bespoke and holistic approach to an anti-rumour strategy.  This approach directly and assertively addresses the issue of prejudice and misinformation through dispelling rumours and deconstructing stereotypes.  It also emphasises the potential and positivity of cultural diversity, both promoting inclusion and strengthening community cohesion.

    Amadora firstly undertook a process of local intelligence gathering in order to discover what were the most common rumours being spread locally and to compile the factual (counter-rumour) information. Based on this research, they developed a targeted anti-rumour strategy composed of a viral communications campaign with a strong visual identity, public actions, community discussions, participatory art and theatre workshops and a schools programme. 28 local people attended specialised training to become ‘anti-rumour agents’ and these people acted as advocates for the programme, becoming trainers in their own organisations, cascading knowledge and skills throughout local communities. A perception change evaluation was built into the programme in order to measure the effectiveness of the activities.

    All of this was underpinned by the creation of a strong local network and process of co-production with local stakeholders active in the planning and implementation of the campaign. The project in Amadora involved 75 organisations and reached about 2,500 people. Local participation and political support were key to the success of the campaign.

    According to Carla Tavares, Mayor of Amadora, "It is a project that is intended to continue in a natural and informal way throughout the city. All of us - local authorities, associations and citizens - have some work to do to demystify the many rumors that still exist in our society"

    "School communities, associations and groups in our municipality now have a better awareness regarding the diversity and individuality of each one of us. Even if outsiders do not look at Amadora differently, at least those who are here are proud of their city and realise that this difference we have is what distinguishes us and distinguishes positively. So, in this way the campaign was a catalyst to a new approach to inter-culturality."

    Do Not Feed the Rumour has been recognised by URBACT as a good practice and now Amadora is very excited to be sharing experiences, ideas and a passion for the practice with other European cities through the URBACT Transfer network, Rumourless Cities - a partnership of seven cities - Amadora (PT) (Lead Partner), Cardiff (UK), Hamburg-Altona (DE) , Warsaw (PL), Alba Iulia (RO), Ioaninna (GR) and Messina (IT). Rumourless Cities is one of 25 transfer networks approved by URBACT to support the understanding, adaption and reuse of good practice from cities across Europe through process of peer support and capacity building.

    According to Dina Moreira, programme manager of Do Not Feed the Rumour, “We in Amadora have had such a successful experience with positive results. We are keen to take the opportunity to continue sharing with other cities facing similar challenges and problems and at the same time develop and improve what we are doing in our own territory.” Indeed it was intended that an outcome of the C4I programme would be that participating cities would subsequently form new partnerships and networks to transfer and share anti-rumour strategies. This is becoming a reality through Rumourless Cities.

      While Amadora focused on countering rumours around immigration and immigrants, this network will see the approach adapted and reused to counter existing and growing negative attitudes towards a wider cross section of groups in society which includes long established migrants (Third country nationals), Roma, recently arrived refugees, LGBT people, and general homophobic stereotyping.

      In addition to learning from and adapting practice from Amadora, partner cities will be bringing their own approaches and innovation to anti-rumour activity. For example, Warsaw aims to develop an app and city game focused on combatting prejudice and Cardiff aims to tie in an anti-rumour campaign with developing a new and inclusive narrative for the city. In fact, all partners will bring their own unique contexts, expertise and initiative to the network to create a web of experience and ideas sharing.

      Rumourless Cities will create a rich learning and exchange programme for cities to learn from the good practice Do Not Feed the Rumour and to thereby address some urgent challenges facing cities around cohesion, inclusion and the rise of fake news. It deals with some of the critical challenges of our time:

      • How to build cohesive and open cities
      • How to counter the false stereotypes that lead to racist caricatures and growth of far right groups
      • How to balance the needs of new arrivals with “native” citizens experiencing difficulties
      • How to communicate truth in a “post fact” context that is generated by popular mainstream media

      Despite European anti-discrimination legislation being among the most extensive in the world, the findings of the EU Fundamental Rights Report (2018) confirm that discrimination and unequal treatment on different grounds remain realities in key areas of life throughout the EU. Discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin continues to be regarded as the most widespread form of discrimination in the EU (64%), followed by discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (58%), gender identity (56%), religion or belief (50%), disability (50%), age (being over 55 years old, 42%) and gender (37%).

      According to a Eurobarometer survey (2016), Europeans as a whole consider immigration the second (after terrorism) most important issue facing the bloc. A 2016 YouGov poll showed that 52% of Italians, 47% of French 44% of Germans and 38% of Spaniards agree that their country “doesn’t feel like home anymore”. The majority of Belgian, French, German and Italian people support the idea of ending migration from all mainly Muslim countries.

      The issue of community cohesion has become a hot issue not just because there has been a steep increase in numbers of migrants but it is also linked to the growing concerns regarding security, which in turn is linked to the rise of extremism. With high levels of labour migration to many western European countries, as well as continuing pressure to accept refugees and asylum seekers from war zones around the world and a future of rising climate change induced migration, this topic is unlikely to lose its significance in the foreseeable future.

      It is more important than ever that cities join forces look beyond their own limits in order to find already worked out solutions to these difficult issues and work together to maintain peaceful, open societies.

      Find more information and resources about anti-rumour strategy here.

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