jueves, 22 de junio de 2017

INTERNATIONAL MEETING IN MELILLA 24-28 APRIL


Our partners are already here! We had been looking forward to this moment for so long  from the meeting in Caserta that  the months had gone too quickly

Months of preparations, programming, designing, mails, phone calls , adjusting time-tables, meetings and constant social networks checking. But at the end, we had succeeded  to fit all the programmed activities into the right schedule for teachers and students and what it is most important, the matching of the students seemed to go perfectly fine: students were happy with their mates and their communication was frequent and  fluent.

We wanted to make all kinds of Stage Arts the theme around which all the lectures and activities were to be designed and programmed: Drama, Music, Performances, Corporal expression , Dance would be the topics to reflect upon, integration and fight against discrimination in  the most vulnerable and underpriviledged social groups in our communities ; Art as the universal means of communicating anger, frustration, desperation, loneliness but also, solidarity, empathy and hope. And side by side with all kinds of artistic and cultural expressions, we have focused on Gastronomy as a deep, instinctive, genuine and most representative means of cultural identity for all the people.

Having all of this in mind, we have tried to contact lecturers, teachers and experts who work with students in risk of social exclusion and with special educative needs, students with migrant background , unaccompanied minors , refugees and they have taught us how music, dance, corporal expression, singing, performances , paintings and photographs are valuable and rich resources to raise our students´ awareness about the terrible situations of unfairness, intolerance, prejudice, hate, fear and ignorance surrounding us in our daily lives.  Moreover, we wanted to highlight our own students´ artistic capacities to find out through their vision, imagination and sensitiveness what they feel and think about the topics of our project: unprejudiced minds willing to collaborate to make a better society.

Here goes a summary of the main activities we carried out during that week:

MONDAY 24TH OF APRIL: On this day we had a welcome reception by the Management Board of our High School and after two power points presentations by the Spanish students participating in the project about our educative system
and social reality of Melilla, the key activites  of this day were the visit to the Temporary shelter of migrants in Melilla, where we could learn about European migration laws with refugees and asylum seekers and the opening of our Multicultural Photo Exhibition.

In the evening we enjoyed a Welcome dinner together.

TUESDAY 25TH OF APRIL: The key activity of this was the Multicultural International brunch which that had been designed several months ago. The Erasmus students, together with the students from the Support class for migrant students, showed us in the Assembly room the power point presentations about the typical gastronomy from their countries and cultures, also explaining the recipe which was to be elaborated afterwards. This activity was one of the most important one for our project since it gave these students with special educative needs the opportunity to fully participate in an European project, meeting new students and expressing their cultures, language and sensibility through this cooking workshop. Months ago, we had translated and prepared all the recipes from the different countries so we were ready to this complex, intense and highly organised activity. After 3 hours sharing recipes, knowledge, cooking skills and fun we could at last enjoy and try the delicious dishes the students prepared for us.

We also had very interesting lectures by Isabel Barbosa from Portugal and Francesco Bondanini, showing us the wonderful work done in the underpriviledged areas of Melilla by Kahina Project: social integration through Arts.

WEDNESDAY 26TH OF APRIL: Today we had many varied and exciting activities. We began with the lecture by Natalia Fernández, who , with a very dynamic, participative and challenging methodolgy showed us her work in the shelters for unaccompanied minors in Melilla. This musician and social worker has designed, organised and composed moving and spectacular shows where migrant girls have the opportunity to sing, rap, dance and perform as a powerful tool to express their deepest worries, frustrations, melancholy and longings and became visible and admired as examples of good practice in their proccess of integration as European citizens.

After this lecture/show where all the teachers and students took part singing and dancing, we went sightseeing to visit the temples, where our colleagues could appreciate and learn more about the multiculturality and diversity of religions that characterises Melilla. After the walking tour around churches, mosques, synagoges and Hindu temple , the local authorities gave us an official welcome reception in the Salón Dorado in the Town Hall. There were speeches, photos and interviews with the local media.

The last activity was a moving and interesting meeting with the photojournalist Antonio Ruiz, who shared with us his price-awarded and internationally admires photos about the life conditions and migration problems at the southern frontier of Melilla.We finished this intense day with a wondeful luch cooked and served by the cooking students and teachers of our center.

THURSDAY 27TH APRIL : The importance of this project for our center is reflected in the participation of many didactic departments of our High School in the carrying out and designing of the activities. To implement our convictions we succeeded in making  as many students we could participate in the activities during that week and the Tourism students were the main protagonists of this cultural visit to the old part of Melilla. These students prepared themselves with dedication and responsability to act as tour guides for the Erasmus teachers and students in their walking tour aroung all the beautiful corners of our city.

After this Tour, we had a long meeting to discuss several important points such as: timing and organization of the transntional visit to Portugal in October, the implication of every country in achieving a fluent and efficient co
mmunication through our private Facebook group and the dissemination of all the project´s results in the platform eTwinning and the blogs created to disseminate the project in our educative and local communities.

In the evening, we had an International Farewell party where we gave the attendance certificates and we shared the food that the host families had cooked for all of us. It was a moment for all the participants, students and families, because we gathered together and we had the opportunity to exchange conversations, remembrances and best wishes for the future of our common adventure.

 FRIDAY 29th APRIL

In this last day students and teachers had separate activities; Erasmus teachers went to a day trip to Morocco and students stayed in Melilla to take part in a Music workshop with the musicians and teachers from the band Me
nhir and after this experience, they had sports activities together with some more students from our High School.

All these diverse and interactive activities were thought as the best way to know different cultures, that is, from cooking and tasting their gastronomy to listening to their songs , perform their dances and better understanding each human being´s need to be integrated in a peaceful and non-discriminatory society.