A main challenge for the increasingly multicultural Europe, amidst the ongoing refugee crisis, is the smooth social integration of ethnic and cultural minorities (ECM), including their children. Migrant integration takes place at multiple levels, and one of the most sensitive fields is that of school education. There are many interventions focusing on teacher competence, the concept of intercultural education, and diversity management in the classroom. However, another important factor affecting the integration process is parental engagement and attitude. Both parents from the host societies and ECM parents have direct influence on the attitude, behavior and performance of their children, and consequently the integration process as a whole. Positive parental engagement is of paramount importance for the social inclusion of ECM children.
For this reason, the overall objective of the Parents4all project is to raise awareness, empower, and develop the intercultural competences among parents of the host society and ECM parents in order to enable them to contribute effectively to the social inclusion of ECM school-age children.
The specific objectives of the project are to:
The target groups to be directly addressed through this project are:
On 17-18 May 2018, Soros International House director Daiva Malinauskiene participated in XVI annual Baltic Sea NGO Forum in Uppsala, Sweden. This years Forum was dedicated to Strengthen NGO participation in the Baltic Sea Region.
During the Forum SIH director had a chance to present all the projects that are being implemented by SIH at the moment - ‘Parents4All‘ project was among them.
On 3-4 May, 2018 the 2nd Erasmus+ project‘s Parents 4 All partner meeting was held in Vilnius. It was organised by SIH together with theproject‘s coordinators from Greece. During the meeting, project‘s partners from Scotland, Italy, Spain, Germany, Lithuania, and Greece reviewed the progress of the first intellectual output and planned the project’s further tasks.
In this partner meeting SIH was represented by director Daiva Malinauskiene and project managers Guste Ilgunaite and Kristina Kudriasova.
On February 6th and 13th SIH hosted two parent focus group meetings as part of the Parents 4 All project. With the first one having been organized at A. Vienuolio progymnasium in the end of January, the three meetings mark the end of the focus group discussion stage of the project. Parents’ opinions about intercultural communication at schools expressed during discussions and also through the questionnaire will be summarized and used in the next stage of the project.
There were quite a few ethnic and cultural minorities (ECM) parents at the February 6th meeting, among them Soros International House teachers, whose children attend Lithuanian schools. They expressed some interesting opinions and insights into Lithuanian education system, as well as difficulties encountered by foreign parents and their children in Lithuania.
For the February 13th discussion SIH adult students were invited to share their points of view. Not only did they do that but they also practiced their English by using it throughout the discussion!
We would like to thank all parents who took the time to participate in the meetings and fill out the online questionnaire for Parents 4 All. All expressed opinions will serve as a guide in the following stages of the project, particularly the creation of parent training material.
On 8-10 February 2018 project partner "Soros International House" (SIH) participated in the biggest annual international educational fair in Lithuania - „Studies 2018” (www.litexpo.lt/lt/parodos/-studijos-2018). This year the fair was focused on international learning and career planning.
SIH team had a great chance to present the international ongoing projects or the projects it has recently impplemented such as ePublisher, Senior Volunteers for Migrant Integration, TALES@home, Keep50+, ZOE and Parents4all.
On the 30 January, 2018, first of the three parent focus group discussion meetings was held. The participants were A. Vienuolio progymnasium 6th grade students' head teacher and nine parents. Relevant issues of migration, intercultural mindset, and tolerance at school were discussed.
On November 30 – December 1 a kick-off meeting of Erasmus+ KA2 project „Senior Volunteers for Migrant Integration“ (www.seniors4migrants.eu) was organized in Vaureal, France. There are 6 partners from 5 different countries participating in this project:
The director Daiva Malinauskiene, projects manager Guste Ilgunaite and accountant Elvyra Mikeleviciene participated in the Kick Off meeting on behalf of Soros International House.
At the beggining of the first day the Mayor Mrs Sylvie COUCHOT and former Mayor Mr. Bernard MORIN of Vaureal welcomed everyone.
During the meeting, all the main aspects of the projects were discussed – financial issues, risk management, Intellectual Outputs and projects timetable. Moreover, all the partners had a chance to meet new colleagues and present each other’s work and institutions.
Besides, during a self-presentation session eveybody had a good opportunity to talk about other projects they are involved in. SIH represesntatives presented activities and results of ePublisher, Tales@Home, Parents4All, Seniors On-line and other projects they are being implemented at the moment or have just finished.