Seminar national ”Metoda autobiografica in incluziunea socială a migranților și minorităților”
Due to COVID restrictions we replaced the national seminar in three events with smaller groups.
First two took part in Sinaia (Hotel Mara) and gathered 21 (first one – on 28 June) and 22 (second one – on 29 June) participants. Last one took part in Cugir (Alba County)
We had representatives from central and local authorities (one representative of the Government, one deputy, the mayor from Calimanesti – the town where we worked with Roma minority, one representative of a county department for labour – Valcea county, one representative from the social department from Calimanesti Town Hall, the deputy mayor and a local councillor from Râmnicu Vâlcea, one representative from the County Department for Schools – Valcea county etc.) companies (interested in employing migrants in the future) and NGOs.
The objectives were the same for all three seminars:
1. inform participants about the project and the intellectual outputs O1, O2 and O3
2. make participants more familiar with using autobiography in social inclusion of different vulnerable groups – particularly low skilled/qualified adults from migrants/minorities
3. identify possible follow-up activities at local, regional and national level
Each participant received promotional materials – a folder with the visual elements of the project – including a personalised notebook, a personalised pen, a press release and all presentations we made during the seminar (in the sessions I and II), a T-shirt, a keychain and a calendar for 2022 with 12 from the most relevant pictures from the project.
The event took about 6 hours (4 sessions of 90 min. each, 2 coffee breaks and one lunch break) and the basic structure of the schedule was:
– participants’ registration
– first speech from the host organisation – welcoming participants and introducing the main guests (speakers)
– welcome speech from Silvia Petre (president of Pro Xpert Association)
– the 3 presentations related to national situation (made and held by mrs. Cecilia Văduva – deputy general secretary in the Ministry of Investments and European Funds)
*of low skilled/qualified adults in general
– presentation of the project – aim, objectives, activities, partners
– presentation of the intellectual outputs IO1, IO2 and IO3 and 2 digital stories made by a migrant and a Roma person
– short introduction of autobiographical method
– presentation of 2 Romanian participants at the LTT from Rome and 2 from the local ToT, short statement about their impressions
– 4 working groups moderated by the 4 participants (at the LTT and local ToT) – testing autobiographical method (short exercises aiming to deepen participants’ understanding of the method).
– presenting the results of the working groups, changing opinions about participants’ feelings
– 4 working groups moderated by the 4 participants (at the LTT and local ToT) – possible application of autobiographical method – particularly using IO1
– presenting the results of the working groups
– conclusions, future plans, final Q&A session
At the end participants received a certificate of attendance.
We prepared the attendance list having already the confirmation from the participants (name, organisation, contact data, GDPR agreement). We created an email list and Whatsapp group for dissemination the project and follow up activities and added their contact data there. Three days after the seminar we sent them an e-mail to thank for their participation and kindly ask them to fill the evaluation questionnaire.
The third seminar, in Cugir, gathered 15 participants from local authorities from 2 counties (Valcea and Alba) (the deputy praefect of Alba county, public officers from town halls from Cugir – Alba, Calimanesti and Ramnicu Valcea – Valcea) and local companies (interested in employing migrants in the future) and NGOs.
We chose Cugir because there is a big Roma community here and we have good partnerships with a local NGO-s working with them. This NGO expressed a big interest for our project and autobiographical method and for using our intellectual outputs so they made us an invitation to organize the event in their community. They support us in identifying proper participants, sending invitations (the invitation included a GDPR agreement) and contact them by phone for confirmation, select the location, prepare and provide all materials and equipment necessary for the event: office supplies (flipchart, sticky notes, markers etc.) and equipment (projector, laptop, etc.), prepare participation certificates.
We collected very interesting ideas about future projects and activities at both seminars. One of the most important was related to including autobiographical writing in schools (we have more teachers involved in different NGO-s in the second seminar), as a ”school decision curricula” discipline. Another interesting idea was to organize creative writing and drama session based on personal memories, for single parents (this is a category we are working with for many years and we already develop a project idea in this respect)
Three days after each seminar we send them an e-mail to thank for their participation and kindly ask them to fill the evaluation questionnaire.
Processing the evaluation questionnaire from all seminars we concluded that participants appreciated the events in terms of content (topics, covered, speakers, the quality of intellectual outputs, logistic etc.) – al participants gave scores ”excellent” or ”very good”.
Some participants (25%) considered the report between presentations and practical activities as ”good”, the others gave also ”excellent” or ”very good”. Also all participants agree (82 participants ”strongly” agreed) that the stories of migrants and minorities represents important life lessons for anyone and could be used as a tool for diminish racism and xenophobia and also for increasing inclusion of these groups.