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This project is a Nordplus partnership. It is carried out with the support of the Nordplus Programme. The partners of the project are social providers who offer adult education focused on and accessible for people with international background. All partners have experience and know-hows regarding handicrafts and/or music and creative workshops and can use it as a tool for integration.

Project summary:

Development project "Create to Integrate" aims to develop, elaborate and approbate innovative, inexpensive methods and training programmes for integration, using various forms of crafts and arts as the basic tool. The purpose is to elaborate and make easily accessible, step by step instructions, without using much verbal communication which usually creates problems at the initial stage of integration.

The final products therefore will be printed photo cards – Portfolios and musical video clips - DVDs – a ready-made material for trainers involved in integration processes. By using those easy-to-understand tools trainers can gradually start the integration process of various target groups (immigrants, disabled, deprivilliged adults) into mainstream groups when the first barriers have disappeared and communication has started. The integration process can be great when the most appropriate tools are used.

Background/motivation for the project:

There is a big need to share Nordic and Baltic experiences in the integration sphere as the number of immigrants is rising and Nordic countries have more experience in this field but the Baltic countries can bring fresh aspects from their experiences in working with minorities. The project will target immigrants who don’t know the local language or English, young adults from vulnerable families, disabled persons with speech difficulties, people who live in remote areas, etc.

Very often if learners from different social backgrounds want to take part in arts and crafts groups, they are required a certain level of communicative skills, for example, knowledge of the local language or a common language like English, in order to be able to read the crafts instructions. Often the first experiences are very crucial in further integration process.

It could be really GREAT to start Inte-GRATE already at the beginning phase, taking away communication barriers. People from various backgrounds and with different previous experience could work together just by using very simple, step by step instruction cards or videos and create crafts and arts works already during the first contact days, plus get the first insight into the local culture and traditions.

Project description including planned activities

Each project partner selects eight annual crafts/arts that are characteristic to four seasons (spring, winter, autumn, summer) and characteristic also to its home country traditions ( Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden). Total amount – 5 organizations x 8 products = 40. Trainers develop easy-to-follow instructions of know-how, try them out with their target groups (immigrants, disabled, minorities), organize voluntary photo and video sessions. Partners from the Baltic countries organize two practical project workshops for local audience – adult learners. Partners from Nordic countries organize the kick – off meeting and final panel meeting where all trainers exchange the experience and the results of local initiatives.

The main focuses are divided like this:
Sweden North – kick off meeting. Focus on TRADITIONS.( October, 2012)
Lithuania – workshop. Focus on MUSIC.( March 2013)
Latvia – workshop. Focus on CRAFTS. (June 2013)
Sweden South – Final Panel. Focus on DRAMA. (August 2013)
A common website reflecting the project activities and downloadable materials will be created and innovative materials will be published, also the innovative materials and information about project will be published on organisation websites, thus making the materials also available for wider general public.
Final products include Trainer’s Portfolio - manual which can be later used as an innovative integration tool by trainers for crafts and video DVD with music and dance as integration method.
We have already agreed that the project will be continued also for the second year and stated main areas to focus during the second year – traditional games, sport activities, folklore, but these have to be discussed during the final panel meeting in Sweden, August 2013, and will be applied for continuation as a separate project initiative. There can be more partners from more Nordic and Baltic countries involved to cover the whole geographical region. Later as a good practice from Nordic-Baltic it can be also spread around Europe in the form of learning partnership or network.

Description of partnership:

Project coordinator is an NGO from Latvia - Talent City. The organization organizes various crafts courses for different target groups. In this project Talent City organizes preparatory meeting (which was held in January 20-22 in Riga, Latvia) and one crafts workshop and is responsible for reporting and maintaining communication between partners.
The preparatory meeting was very useful because it gave us the possibility to know better our partners and divide duties according to competences. It is much easier to communicate already now and come to common agreements.
There are two partner organizations from Lithuania and two partner organizations from Sweden. These all were organizations willing to participate in creation of the new products and methods.
Partners from Latvia and Lithuania - organize two local workshops for their target groups, document their experiences. The target groups are adult learners who test the proposed methods and materials.

Each country and organization develops eight easy-to-follow crafts/arts instructions. Four mobility weeks will take place during the project cycle for exchange of experiences of trainers. Trainers will get insight how work with integration is carried out in different countries and different types of organisations. They will be able to evaluate which methods are functioning the best and how effective they are. Partners represent different types of organizations and even different fields of work – at the beginning we were a bit cautious about how to find common points to develop our project on (for example, Swedish partners have more experience with immigrants, Lithuanian partners work in sphere of music and with parents as target group, Latvian organization up to now had worked mainly with crafts and less with music or traditions.
However, after the preparatory meeting, it became clear that all this will be added value to our project and the possible further developments are practically unlimited.
All partners have agreed to devote a certain amount of time for project development. In some cases special agreements between partners for allocation of funds will be signed for organizing local activities and workshops.
Nordic partners have agreed to be responsible for web page materials and technical support. As additional (but optional) product also a short crafts and arts glossary in the involved Nordic and Baltic languages can be created (this will be discussed during the kick-off meeting) or can be added later.

Expected outcome:

Taking into consideration various different profiles of involved organizations we have come to conclusion that two final products will be created.
The first end product of the project is a developed Training Portfolio using crafts/arts as a method for integration. Easy and clear step-by-step photo instructions applicable for local conditions and traditions and based on four seasons are published and printed in paper format also published online. Total amount of instruction cards = 40.
The other project is DVD showing how music and dance can be the first step to integration into local society and culture.
The method used will be KISS method – Keep it simple and short!
The direct beneficiaries are the participants from local organizations, who receive crafts/arts/music skills and gain international experience. Trainers receive ready made programmes and training materials. Common Facebook group will be created to keep in touch with all persons involved at various stages of project.
Indirectly the beneficiaries are all organizations working with disabled, immigrants and other target groups who are in need of such easily applicable materials.
As the instructions and information about project will be published also on website and organization websites, we expect that the effected number of people is almost unlimited. The innovative approach to integration can be used both, in formal and informal education.

Dissemination of results:

Printed Training Portfolios and DVDs are distributed to local NGOs, schools, kindergartens, libraries, who are dealing with integration issues (the selection of relevant organizations is done by each partner). At the initial phase each partner receives 20- 25 copies of each final product which later can be printed in extra quantities. Each volunteer who participates in this project also receives printed materials (the Portfolio of cards can be later printed also in smaller sections, for example - Crafts and Arts from Latvia/Lithuania/Sweden, Crafts and Arts for winter/spring/summer/autumn, etc.). There will be signal copies of posters printed at the end of the project. The published materials on Internet can be downloaded by the interested groups and organizations.
Each partner is responsible for dissemination of the good practices of this project by organizing staff meetings and/or public lectures and project publicity.
Most of the partners are involved also in other national and international projects ( e.g. Grundtvig learning partnership) and disseminate project results at national and international meetings and workshops. There is a possibility to continue and further develop the project by adding new Baltic and Nordic countries, and later also other European countries and even partners from other places to develop further this innovative approach to integration.

How do we evaluate our project:

A useful, very practical and easily applicable Portfolio and DVDs are published and are demanded by other organizations which work in the field of integration. We can receive feedback from those organisations in forms of questionnaires or by telephone inquiries.
Local participants have learned different crafts, music and arts skills and have learned new skills from the neighbouring countries - their traditions, attitudes, various different materials used in creative processes. As partner organizations are rather different with different experiences and even fields, the winners will be everyone by having insight into various aspects of integration options.
Trainers will be able to work more creatively, after having learned good integration practices in other Baltic and Nordic countries, their qualification levels and professional development will be raised. They will report about this in the questionnaires.
The number of direct and indirect beneficiaries will be calculated, number of publishings will be counted, questionnaires with evaluation scales used at various project steps will reflect the usefulness of this initiative.
Interviews will be carried out locally to find out the reflection from those for whom this new innovative tool will be targeted, namely, groups of disabled persons, immigrants, local minorities, groups from remote areas who will be given the access to created materials online.
The motto of project is Create to Integrate (great), which is also a game of words – we integrate and it can be great!

This project is carried out with the support of Nordplus Programme. Sole responsibility for this website lies with the authors. The Nordplus Programme is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained in this website.