From Small Steps to Big Changes

1 January 2018 - 31 August 2018

The idea

The “From Small Steps to Big Changes” project aims to tackle the growing discriminatory attitudes and practices in the contemporary EU.

With the rise of xenophobia and fears against refugees, migrants and generally ‘others’, the situation of minorities has worsened, and even people who were indifferent to those groups before now begin to manifest discriminatory attitudes. The news that media consumers get about the terrorist attacks and the radical Islam make them fearful, and even though the news present cases of individuals (whereas the whole communities of ‘others’ – mostly migrants and Muslims – live peacefully in Europe), the image of “evil Muslims”, “refugees-terrorists” and “dangerous others” begins to prevail in public discourse, and influences a lot individual attitudes. As lack of knowledge and mostly one-sided media images lead to the growth of stereotypes and prejudices, discriminatory practices start to grow. Minority group members report that it gets much harder to get a job, rent a flat, and often just walking on the streets is a challenge.

There are many efforts in Europe to stop and turn back the growth of exclusion and discriminatory attitudes; however, youth workers all around Europe encounter tough challenges working with this issue. They often are more than willing to help and act, but they lack expertise – both in theoretical preparation, and practical experience. Fortunately, the initiatives for supporting inclusion and combating discrimination are on the rise, but even more efforts and helpful hands will be needed in order to increase awareness and tolerance of societies and local communities in all EU countries.

SCI as a movement for peace and solidarity is aware of the situation and is proactively looking for ways for involvement and active participation in tackling today’s challenges of discrimination in our societies. Having regular contact and cooperation among the members and enhancing the knowledge sharing among them, we have received requests for further development of the capacities of the partner organisations and decided to proactively address the problem of “willingness and motivation but lacking the tools” by proving content and methodological support and offering SCI approach and expertise, based on recognised non-formal education methodology.

The activities

“From Small Steps to Big Changes” was an 8-month long project that consisted of 2 main elements: a training course and Country actions.

Training course “From Small Steps to Big Changes: Tackling discrimination in everyday life”

Antwerp (Belgium), 12 – 18 April 2018

The training course hosted 27 participants from Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. It has included elements of both theory, direct encounter with minorities, practice, and action planning.

Local actions

Implemented by the participants to the training course after their training, in the Countries where they come from.

Supporters

The “From Small Steps to Big Changes” project was co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and by SCI.