Building resilience and enhancing the intercultural competencies of refugees and asylum seekers through theatre techniques

EU-Programme: Erasmus+, KA2, Strategic Partnerships for Adult Education
Coordination: Solidariedade Imigrante – Associação para a defesa dos direitos dos imigrantes, Lisbon, Portugal

Duration: October 2018 – September 2020

The European Commission has been remarked that Adult learning is crucial for migrants, as they may require different skills from those that they used in their countries of origin for their new careers. It can also help equip people working with migrants with intercultural awareness and competences, easing the integration process for everyone involved.

Nevertheless, the participation of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in adult education is particularly low. The insufficient knowledge of the local language and a lack of intercultural competencies are important factors but mental health problems associated with migration processes are, in many cases, the real cause behind the low participation in adult education of migrants, in general, and refugees and asylum seekers in particular.

One successful methodology that has proved for decades its effectiveness addressing the social and psychological effects associated with social vulnerability is the Theatre of the Oppressed. Based on the methodologies developed by A.Boal and P.Freire, this education method has proved to be a powerful tool to build resilience, that is, the ability of an individual, community or country to cope, adapt and quickly recover from stress and shocks caused by a disaster, violence or conflict.

Go Up project aims to boost the participation of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in adult education supporting teachers, educators and counsellors with tailor made innovative methodologies and tools designed to build resilience and enhance intercultural competencies through theatre techniques.

Leading HEIs should ensure that their governance, faculty, staff and students not only understand sustainability, but also have the capacity to act sustainably and promote sustainable practices. Exposing all undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students, faculty and staff, the main target groups of the project, to principles of sustainability is the necessary first step in that process. In order to do that the project defines the objective of developing contents and education tools with non-conservative pedagogical approaches – gamification – adapted to the different target groups of a university in a large number of SD issues. Another sort of target group will be composed of the participants of the dissemination conferences: universities beyond the partnership, local and regional stakeholders (decision makers, banks, enterprises) and international organisations with SD profile. To reach these targets is the token of robust follow-up cooperation.

Project Nº 2018-1-PT01-KA204-047449

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.