Embracing Diversity and Celebrating Communities through Education
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The newly formed network of educational institutions in the further education sector headed by College Principal Mr Victor Galea, hosted 40 delegates from 11 different towns in Europe for the fourth transnational EASY TOWNS event which took place in Gozo during 22nd – 25th March.
EASY TOWNS, an acronym which stands for European Accessible Sustainable Young TOWNS, is a project funded by the European Programme “Europe for Citizens.”
Participants, mainly from municipalities in Italy, Germany, Romania, Belgium, Slovenia, Poland, Spain, N. Ireland and Croatia joined forces with local educators and NGOs and shared good practices on how each worked with young people to address issues related to themes of immigration, multiculturalism and integration, through innovative approaches.
Ultimately this transnational project contributed to foster European citizenship by supporting citizens’ involvement in the debate and the policy-making process regarding diversity.
Youth have been selected as the strategic category of citizens to work with. Indeed, young students attending the Govanni Curmi Higher Secondary in Naxxar shared with the delegates how they formed a Diversity Team with the aim to celebrate all forms of diversity in society. Their Head of School, Mr Gaetano Calleja explained how diversity is central to the school ethos and how this is enshrined in the school’s Diversity and Equality Policy.
On the other hand, Gozitan Arts Teacher Mr George-James Cutajar showed how students from state schools in Gozo were invited to express visually their feelings, needs, requirements and suggestions on the topic of diversity.
These drawings were then put together in a collage and a sticker was created depicting all the entries. This sticker has now been installed on the Education Bus depicting the words: “Celebrating Diversity.”
Gharb Mayor Mr David Apap Agius gave some practical examples on how his locality works towards integrating ‘foreigners’ with the locals living in his village.
“The highlight of this transnational meeting was the courtesy visit to H.E. the President of Malta at the San Anton Palace,” said College Principal Mr Galea. “Our President was very clear in her message to us and the delegates: Let’s keep working with our young people in order to ensure safe environments and peace in our towns.”