From 11th to 15th of November 2022 we held our joint-staff-meeting in Barcelona (Spain) in the frame of our project „Emerging communities“
After very successfull meetings in Athens, Mantova and Novi Sad, we have held our next joint-staff-meeting in Barcelona middle of November 2022. Meeting was hosted by our dear friends from the association Open cultural center.
Project „Emerging Communities: Empowerment for social engagement, self-organization and development of local solutions“ gathers 8 partners from 6 European countries: INWOLE (Potsdam, Germany), Im Wandel (Berlin, Germany), Ethos NGO (Odensee, Denmark), Communitism (Athens, Greece), GKP (Novi Sad, Serbia), Italia che Cambia (Torino, Italy), Open cultural center (Barcelona, Spain) and Ethos – Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki, Greece).
At the core of our project is empowerment for social engagement and citizens participation in relation to the development of sustainable communities, neighborhood initiatives and local spaces and networks. This includes the ability to take active roles in the political, social and urban-development processes relevant for the local community, develop cooperative models of social welfare and housing and solidary economy designs that generate income and financial sustainability, as well as to find solutions relevant in the sense of ecological sustainability.
Within 4 days of programme in Barcelona, we had an opportunity to be introduced with the work of OCC – their topics, goals and problems they are facing, target groups and methods, as well as solutions they developed, their partnerships and networks.
Open Cultural Center is an association active in both Spain and Greece, which was established at the beginning of 2016 at the height of the refugee crisis in Europe. The association is working towards the inclusion of refugees and migrants through educational and cultural activities. They work mainly with volunteers to offer language classes, technical workshops, sports activities, cultural events, and women and children’s support to the wide variety of communities we work with. At the same time, they are active on an international level to create awareness about the situation of refugees while working with many European partners to increase they social impact.
Result of its work are some really impressive projects, both at local and at European level, such as Migra Code or CodeWomen, or Accommodation for minor unancompanied refugees in the village of Moianes, just to mention some of them. They inspired all of us to brainstorm diverse possibilities for our further cooperation!
Especially appreciated were many opportunities to discuss everything in detail with other participants and members of the host organization, compare experiences and good practices, and possibilities for further development of our concepts and their impact on other stakeholders, both in civil society and beyond.
We have used network of OCC to visit some of their local partners, such as the most amazing co-housing project of Can Masdeu, where we had very good workshop and discussion.
Meeting in Barcelona was a great opportunity to learn so much new, as well as to have one more very intensive exchange and transfer of knowledge, skills and good practices. It was also excellent opportunity to meet (by pure chance!) some people from other countries, such as Bulgaria or USA, who works on similar problems and topics, and applying similar solutions like we do, which inspired us to brainstorm even more possibilities for cooperation! It would seem, our network is growing by each visit!
Everyone´s feeling, we´re witnessing one true „organic development“ of our partnership, once more became very obvious during this meeting! So we´re very much ready to start working on various follow-up projects!
It´s really great to be part of this story!
Project activities continue in March 2023: Next time we meet in Thessaloniki, Greece!
Photos: Dalibor Stupar, Clara Florensa, Petar Atanackovic, Slobodan Stosic
Project „Emerging communities“ is funded through Erasmus+ Programme for adult education of European Union.