Our first international meeting without students was held in Caserta (Italy) from the 3rd to the 7th of October 2016. Teacher Amparo and me were looking forward to meeting those who were going to become Project colleagues and close friends during our adventure together.
We flew to Naples on Saturday on the 1st of October and slept over in the city to enjoy its magnificent Baroque churches and palaces and walk around its atmospheric and lively narrow streets. On Sunday , we took to train to Caserta where we had rented a nice apartment for the week.
On Monday 3rd of October, we headed for the Liceo Scientifico Antonio Díez in Caserta , where we met the rest of the teachers coming from Finland, Wales, Reunión y Portugal. We had a welcome reception from the authorities and each educative center participating in the project showed our school backgrounds in the Assembly Room to the rest of the international teams
In the afternoon , we visited the Royal Palace of Caserta.
On Tuesday ,we were taught through several presentations led by the Italian students the migrant drama in Campania ( figures, data and organizations which fight against migrants´explotaition by the different mafias) . We also got to know more about the integration and educative programmes to help these migrants in their vocational formation to try to find a job.
We had an afternoon workshop where we discussed the convenient dates for the following meetings:
- Spain visit - 24th - 28th April 2017 (book flights asap to leave on the Sat)
- Portugal visit - 9th-13th October 2017
- La Reunion - 16-22nd April 2018
- Wales - 8th-14th October 2018
- Finland - 11th-16th February 2019
On Wednesday 4th of October, we had several lectures and presentations:
Student presentation - physical disability interviews with Mr Giampiero Griffo from the National Library, former President of 'Disabled People International.
Scout Group presentation - They led on media awareness campaign of discrimination - they set up Ill Megafonio newspaper/magazine. They went to local marches to meet with the immigrants and organised Italian language courses for immigrants. Volunteer at Casa Rut house that welcomes victims of trafficking. Another house for migrant and homeless people - meals and clean clothes. Volunteer to help immigrants fill out documents and help with job searches or searching for houses. Woodcraft to teach skills. Now looking beyond Caserta. Mafia making everything difficult - 2008 massacre. Went to Sicily in 2013 where migrants land and 2016 to Calabria migrant camp. Then upon return to Caserta organised community workshops for students to integrate with migrants and hear their stories.
In an afternoon workshop, we agreed upon several issues:
- Communication: agreed to use etwinning.
- Logo Competition - by Dec 10th (Human Rights Day) sent to Spain.
- Spain visit - photographs to be sent by 15th Feb (max 10 per school). Bring traditional food/drink. Cultural background PowerPoint. Traditional song.
- Portugal visit - school integration for SEN presentation - what is meant by the term special needs? How are those students integrated? Deadline will be meeting in Portugal.
- La Reunion - questionnaire. What are your pre-conceptions/stereotypes of La Reunion? Deadline a month before the visit? 28th February?
- Finland - equality challenge particular to your country - prepare a presentation. Cultural festival with music, dance and singing. Prepare a small piece by the meeting.
On Thursday 6th October, we developed our work sessions and workshops in San Nicola la Strada High School and the activities we carried out were:
Student presentation - history of the school . Built by the same architect and the same time as the palace. It was a convent. It holds the museum of the Bourbons palace.
Exchange Student presentation - students went to Sweden, Finland, Argentina, Costa Rica, Thailand, Canada (exchanges supported by local AFS).
Elena AFS (American Field Service) Intercultural Association - like American peace core? Ran through how AFS worked. Students and families will learn different competencies (personal, interpersonal, cultural and global).
Scout group - role play game about immigration. AMAZING! Story to remember, then application papers to fill out before meeting with the panel. Dependent on how well story remembered. Some granted immunity whilst others declined and given chance to appeal at tribunal.
Talk from the Representative of the European Commission in Caserta - 2014-2020 EU integration and education targets have been set so our project is perfectly aligned.
In the afternoon workshop we discussed the following issues:
Isabella Barbosa Pedagogy for Autonomy (PowerPoint to follow) - competences are developed not innate. Published paper in 2013 'Teaching for Autonomy: challenges and possibilities.' Also a book now available - 'Autonomy in Language Learning: Stories of Practices (on Kindle)
Friday 7th of October : we set off for a one day trip to Naples. Tour of the San Martino museum and a visit to the diversity section of the national library Naples and meeting with Mr Giampiero Griffo, former President of 'Disabled People International. Permanent member of the World Task Force for the defence of human rights and Bioethics. Now a member of the Italian Forum on diversity.
After this lecture, we had some free time to taste the typical and delicious Pizza Margherita in a local restaurant and we enjoyed our last night in Naples.
On Saturday 8th October, we took our flight to Melilla via Madrid.
After this preparatory meeting, we returned to Melilla with very clear ideas about all the arrangements, presentations and activities we could design for the next visit in Melilla.
And here are some photos of that wonderful week of hard work and interesting encounters and cultural visits