In the Open Schooling phase of the project, a number of community resources was implemented in the project activities. Typical resources were local public authority, NGOs and other players involved in various forms of radicalization activities in the community.
In this phase the student teams were engaging in challenges linked to radicalization n their local or regional community and in the world (linking local and global). The collaboration with community resources were opening new doors towards other forms of open schooling initiatives, for examples linked to bringing real-life and real-time missions to the classroom that were supporting the creation of alternative narratives and missions among the young people. It also gave the students an opportunity to interact with community resources involved in radicalization countering in order to understand that community resources and collaboration play important roles in the in sustainable and life-wide radicalization countering in schools. It simply helped bringing institutions and professionals together.
Meeting with the Mayor of Ortona and his board (Italy)
Description: Meeting with the Mayor of Ortona, Mr. Leo Castiglione and the municipal counselors of Social Affairs, Education and Development. The meeting was attended by the three Chris teams (21 students in total) and the Chris staff. The meeting took place in the Municipality of Ortona.
Purpose: The first purpose of the meeting was the promotion of the Chris project, its aims and activities in our community. Moreover, our students were given the opportunity to get a general view on the current situation in Ortona. They could ask many questions to experts and know more about risk factors and anti-radicalization strategy in our area.
Outcome: The Mayor and the Municipal Councillors expressed their interest in knowing more about the next steps of Chris project and the main project outputs. They described the current situation in Ortona, the main problems/risk factors and the specific strategy implemented by the Municipality. They also introduced different projects and initiatives focused on integration, intercultural dialogue and pprevention of violence through education to legality. This was really important because students became aware of what has been done and what the Municipality of Ortona is doing to prevent radicalization in our community. The main outcome was the awareness that the key factor for success in preventing radicalization is the pedagogical alliance between the educational institutions (schools) and local authorities (municipality).
Evaluation: Students participated actively in preparing the activity and found it interesting. They learned a lot about the local situation, the role of local authorities in preventing radicalization and the importance of networking.
Lab-meeting with the socio-cultural operators at Local resources for integration: Intercultural research center, Public Library, Municipality of Ortona (Italy)
Description: The three Chris teams attended a lab-meeting with the socio-cultural operators working in the local integration services. The main local services working on integration are the Intercultural Research Centre and the Public Library, both coordinated by the Municipality of Ortona. The meeting took place in the public library and was articulated on two parts: In the first part, an introduction of local resources on integration was made. Goals, activities and strategies were explained to students. In the second part of the meeting, the socio-cultural operators conducted a reading lab and role-playing activities focused on key words as “discrimination”, “radicalization”, “integration”, “migration”. Parts of specific books were read and a discussion with students was animated.
Purpose: The main aim of this activity was to deepen the knowledge of the local resources that work on integration through a direct contact with operators and participating in format-labs usually used for socio-cultural activities. Moreover, the students learned about specific bibliography of resources on integration, anti-discrimination and intercultural education.
Outcome: The students got a better knowledge of the local resources on integration: who is working on what? What kind of activities are promoted? Which are the main challenges for the integration of young people with migration background? They also learned about the role of the Intercultural Research Centre that has been awarded as the best regional centre and achieved excellent results at the national and international context being an active part of a European Network of Educational Cities.
Evaluation: All students found it interesting and participated in the role-playing activities. They learned about the local services for integration and bibliography resources they can use in further activities at school or in their free time. Many new ideas came out at the end of the meeting.
Speech of the Commander of the Traffic Police of our region on Radicalization (Greece)
Description: Under the Chris program and in order to provide our students with more complete information about the radicalization phenomenon, we held meetings with the Police Commander and the Juvenile Curator from the Court of Justice of our region. At our meeting with the Commander of the Traffic Police, Mr. Tsaousides Dimitris, the students spoke about our actions so far and resorted to specific questions in order to gain fuller information. Our meeting included the creation of a team, a presentation by the group of students on our course so far, a brief introduction from the representative of the Police. Discussions followed, questions were asked, and replies were received from the police representative. At the end of the meeting, feedback was given to the discussion and a summary.
Purpose: The purpose of this activity was for students to understand the meaning of radicalization and the role of Greek police in managing these phenomena. Through the process, they had the opportunity to present their own research so far and to make the students themselves informants to their peers through the gathering of useful information.
Evaluation: The students were coordinators of the whole process and this helped them to be more responsible, reflect and understand better the information. Through this activity, they gained a broader view and knowledge of the subject from the side of the Police.
Speech by the juvenile curator - Judicial Palace (Greece)
Description: Viki Zachou, a child curator, initially defined her role and reported on incidents that have been observed in schools through her experience and her contact with many teenagers who came to her office through complaints about disruption of domestic peace and public property. Our meeting was experiential, aimed at the interaction of students, teachers and speakers. It included the creation of a group, a presentation by the group of students about our course so far and a suggestion from the juvenile curator. Discussions followed, questions were asked and the juvenile curator provided answers and explanations. At the end of the meeting, feedback was given to the discussion that took place and a summary of it and there was a brief presentation of the conclusions from the students.
Purpose: Raising awareness of the issue of radicalization and the phenomena of violence occurring both in the school community and in the family. Informing students about the service of the Court Courts for custody of minors. Raising students' awareness of stereotypes and prejudices. The processing and discussion of incidents of violence and their management.
Evaluation: The pupils themselves were active members of the process, they showed interest and were informants in the rest of the school community. The meeting highlighted the importance of ensuring our personal image through the realization of our personal needs, choices and paths. Interaction and respect for others arises through my relationship first with ourselves and then with our relationship with others. The pupils were coordinators of the whole process, helping them to be more responsible, reflecting and making their own information with the main goal of transferring it to the rest of the school community.
Trip to the Municipality of Pasvalys meeting the mayor GINTAUTAS GEGUŽINSKAS (Lithuania)
Description: We decided to visit the Municipality of Pasvalys in order to meet and talk to the Mayor of Pasvalys Gintautas Gegužinskas and hear his opinion on the subject of radicalization in Pasvalys and district. The Mayor of Pasvalys is a person of broad mind and rich experience. Due to his political and social activities, he has travelled a lot and met many different people. Facing some serious situations, he has made right decisions and thus has invaluable life experience to share. We also talked about the ways of prevention of radicalization in Pasvalys, about young people’s free time spending and their engagement into social life of Pasvalys’ community. Our students asked questions about the involvement of municipality, social affairs, police department and other political and social institutions into the activities preventing violence, crime and radicalization of youngsters in our area.
Purpose: This meeting was purposefully organized to promote the Chris project, its ideas and activities also to listen to the opinion of the expert concerning the project topic in Pasvalys area and in general. By doing such kind of activities we ensure our students, teachers and other members of the community will get an overall view on the subject of radicalization in the area and in Lithuania.
Evaluation: Every meeting/trip/discussion brings experience, knowledge, impressions and stimulates thinking. We are happy to live in Pasvalys as it is one of the safest and most tolerant cities in Lithuania. And the most important: After every meeting we become wiser than before!
Written by the students that participated in the meeting.
Meeting-discussion with the professional boxer, national and international prizes winner, black belt owner VIRGILIJUS STAPULIONIS (Lithuania)
Description: It was one of the most interesting meetings organized during CHRIS project. The guest shared some very good memories from his experience travelling around the world taking part in competitions. Students got valuable pieces of advice from the sportsman, such as, “How to protect yourself from bullying”, “How to act in critical situations”, “Leading a healthy way of life is a priority”
Virgilijus Stapulionis’s wish to the young people was: “Try to do something good every day and you will change the world into better!”
Meeting the member of Lithuanian Parliament Antanas Matulas (Lithuania)
Description: This meeting was purposefully organized to promote the Chris project, its ideas and activities also to listen to the opinion of the expert concerning the project topic in Pasvalys area and in general. By doing such kind of activities we ensure our students, teachers and other members of the community will get overall view on the subject of radicalization in the area and in Lithuania. Before the meeting, we prepared the “homework” by making a plan of questions and note the aspects we would like the guest to cover. After the meeting(s) we all have facts, figures and more information to work with and think about. All guests/speakers/lecturers have different points of view on the subject matter, which provides impartial/neutral atmosphere to process the data. For example, the opinion of this guest is that “radical attitude towards some aspects of life is not always bad but sometimes necessary to initiate important changes”
Evaluation: After every meeting, we found out the following: If the speaker/lecturer/guest is charismatic enough and is able to involve young people into discussion, we get the vivid and memorable meeting or discussion. This way the students learn and appreciate the meeting. If the guest is rather official than easy-going and friendly, students feel rather indifferent and we do not get the qualitative reflection.
In conclusion: For the next meetings and activities to be organized with our students, we will try to invite the guests who are not only informative but also able to attract and involve the community.
The activities should include more practical tasks, like “workshops” (planning to visit the Lithuanian Parliament and other political and social institutions to see how the work on the issues close to the Chris project’s topics) , this way we hope to rise our students’ curiosity and awareness of the subject.
Meeting with the Mufti of Elazığ (Turkey)
Description: Before the meeting, we prepared a lot of questions then they eliminated easier ones. While at the meeting, they informed about previous studies and meetings they have done so far and talked about the project missions as well. Mr.Sarıkaya explained what is happening around in Turkey and answered the questions one by one.
Purpose: Our purpose of the meeting was to understand and to get a right perspective about radicalization on religion. While studying in Chris group we found out that one of the reason of religious radicalization in Turkey is misinterpretation of the religion itself. Therefore, we were there for right and official answers about why and how people can easily radicalized.
Evaluation: After the meeting, the students got more information what are the roots of radicalization and what is feeding it. They learned how and what do office of Mufti to react religious radicalization and what has been done so far in 2 years. Students prepared all the questions. Students have been studying, searching and going meetings several months so their self-confident were so high as well. At school, students’ feedback to other Chris member seemed pretty enough. The meeting is not only get them knowledge about religion and religious radicalization but also allows them to express themselves.
Pride day of Gypsy (Hungary)
Description: On October 1st, thousands of people, Roma and non-Roma alike, marched peacefully in Budapest from Mátyás square to Blaha Lujza square in support of Roma dignity and civil rights. The Roma Pride Day and the purpose of the cultural demonstration was to promote Roma self-awareness and self-worth through a celebration of Roma culture and historical legacy. We made connection with the Roma Press Center and on the first meeting they showed for the student a film about the last year procession. It gave us an idea what kind of assistance we can give, we discussed and finalized that how many student can join the event. On the day itself, we went to the pride day and helped the organizer with tables, guiding people around and finally held to clear the street after the people.
Purpose: In Hungary the Roma issue is a very hard – fought topic. In the poorest regions of the country, there are typical gypsy dwelled villages where 98% of the population living in segregation, most of them under schooled, do not have any jobs wherefore they apply for supports from the local government and live on a very low living standard. The effect of generalization in people’s thinking lead them prejudice. The point of the Roma Pride day is to call attention to the fact that being a gypsy is not a social state but one of human decency just as being Hungarian or any other ethnic. Attempting the parade was a good opportunity for our students to learn how to collaborate with different civil organization, to get to know different people and by using their own experiences try to analyze their preconceptions about Roma people and draw a new conclusion.
Evaluation: Through the new and personal relationships, the students can see that generalization is not a good thing. It was a personal experience for the student and a great possibility to change their point of view. The students in our school come from very hard social background. They are very busy by solving their everyday problems, so it is not easy to address them and make the topic interesting for them. Finally, the student who was open enough they were very active and happy to take part in the projects.
Online Radio (hungary)
Description: Additionally, we set up a new school radio studio which is a community space as well, and where our planned topic discrimination, sexism, exclusion, radicalization, racism, and so on will be discussed. By organizing an online radio spots with our students, we can get closer to the different views and different life aspects. We can arrange interviews with different people in and out of the school. It is a great opportunity to make loud people’s opinion legally; we can broadcast online or put the shots on internet.
Purpose: To develop short exchanges about discrimination and radicalization. Exploring aspects of our identity, which define us. Also, to analyse the consequences and effects of discrimination, developing the skills to be more sensitive, and open-minded and lastly, to consider how young people can be involved in influencing and affecting change.
Evaluation: The activity was to establish the sensitization for the student and for the listener as well.