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Ignalinos rajono švietimo pagalbos tarnyba

Integration and Socialization of Immigrants in Education

Paskelbta 03.08.2022

IOn the July 21-27, 2022 a group of educators and youth workers of the Ignalina district
participated in the international Erasmus+ program project "Integration and socialization of immigrants
in education" . This project was prepared and coordinated by the Ignalina District Education
Assistance Service and the project manager is the methodologist Anastasija Martynova. The topic
of the project is extremely relevant these days for all institutions which are involved in education
and youth involvement, so 11 people from various institutions of the Ignalina district participated in
the project training - Anastasija, Rima, Veronika, Skaistė, Zivilė, Nijole, Jurgita, Gintaras, Jurate,
Rokas and Grazina. The Italian team of 6 people also participated together: Amelia, Daniele,
Miriam, Antonietta, Marta Erminia, Nicole and some Italian guest lecturers.
The training took place in a beautiful Italian city, Lamezia Terme. The participants from
Ignalina was welcomed very warmly. What is more, the Italian colleagues willingly shared their
experience in welcoming, integration and socialization immigrants of various nationalities, religions
and with different life experiences.
On the first day of the training, Amelia Fiorillo, the training manager introduced the activities
of Itaka Training. Then, all project participants presented their institutions and shared their
experience in working with refugees; also, their expectations were expressed. Daniele Trevisan
gave a presentation on critical thinking and its importance in the world full of various information.
Unfortunately, information could be not always correct and often untruthful. In addition to this,
critical thinking is especially important and it needs to be developed in order to give a situation's
measure. Then, a guest lecturer, Alessandra Cugnetto introduced the algorithm for accepting
refugees in Italy. It was interesting to learn how people crossing the border illegally become part of
Italy and the whole of Europe at the same time. In Italy detended refugees are accommodated in the
"hot spots"; from where they are transferred to refugee centers later. In the centers they receive all
the necessary medical, psychological help and assistance of a lawyer. Finally, the refugees are
interviewed by the international commission. The verdict of the commission is very important,
because after it future of the refugees becomes clear. There are two ways: the refugees could be
allowed to stay in Italy or be deported. At the end of the first day the participants of the project had
an opportunity to listen to the story of a refugee from Nigeria. As the refugee, Frank William said he
was forced to leave his homeland and went to Libya due to his religion. Unfortunately, after
building up his life in Libya he was forced to flee his country again and go to Italy because of the
war. Now he is a singer and lives in Germany, but every five years he must come to Lamezia Terme
for identity verification.
Moving further, next three days the project participants worked with lecturer Miriam Cuccu,
who has a particularly rich project experience. She presented various communication techniques
with refugee children, shared the methods used in Italy, sensitively retold the life stories of some

migrants. All studying material was revealed very professionally through practical activities. A lot
of attention was paid to activities through art. It is obvious that art does not need words because
everything that is felt could be expressed through various artistic techniques, colors, and pictures.
Therefore, reading the “silent book” (no words, just pictures in it) was not a difficult task. All
participants were impressed by the dedication of this lecturer to her activity, the depth of her
insights. All attendees could learn from the lecturer Miriam not only to pay special attention on
some activities but also to the discussion of activities; specialness. Moreover, the participants
arrived at a conclusion that reflection could be much more important than the activity itself.
Furthermore, it was also alluring to participate in the event in Belmont, where the activities of
"Itaka Training" were presented, successes were shared and failures were discussed. Among the
participants were many different people here, who fled their countries and found refuge in Italy. It
was clear that every person is like an individual story, so there is no room for stereotypes.
Additionally, on the fifth day of training, the project group went to Crotone. It is a wonderful
city with its pride - Pythagoras Square. In the 518 BC Pythagoras came to Crotone and he
established a philosophical and religious school which had many followers called the Pythagoreans.
The churches of this city are full of peace, beauty and concentration. The narrow streets of the city
intertwine with each other and it seems even local people could get lost here. Training of that day
was started with the exploration of the old town of Crotone, and the excursion was guided by
wonderful volunteers from the Dante Aligijeri community. Later, the project participants were
introduced with a methodology how to learn a new language when you do not know any other
language except your native language. There were presented some examples of activities how by
repeating words and supplementing them with gestures people could understand each other. In
addition to this, some practical methods were tried by participants. According to the lecturers and
participants opinion, it is necessary to realize that each person is unique, he/she brings his/her own
identity, culture, language, knowledge; what is more, he/she has own linguistic autobiography.
Uniqueness is characteristic of every child or newborn. So, every child and every adult should be
accepted without any prejudices or formed stereotypes. Without a doubt, the Dantė Aligjeris
community team impressed Lithuanian participants with their sincerity, attention, and respect for
every person and other cultures. It was an unforgettable moment when Lithuanians were greeted
with the Lithuanian national anthem; what is more, Lithuanian folk songs were played during the
break. All project participants were served Italian dishes and were asked to tell about the culinary
heritage of Lithuania.
All things considered, during participating in these trainings the team from Ignalina district
has gained the overwhelming experience from another country. Apart from this, participants of this
project will be able to apply their knowledge at their work and at the same time share the new
experience with their colleagues. After all, by sharing the acquired knowledge and experience with
others we continue to learn, improve, expand our horizons' and spread the light. Clearly, the
experience has gained in this training is a great proof of that.

 

Veronika Gibler and Gražina Mackonienė

Translated by: Jūratė Sereičikienė

 

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