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Part 5 - Modules


Let's cross the sea

MAIN THEMESEuroMed, Diversity and minorities, Religion, Stereotypes.
DURATION1h45 to 2h.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVESTo discuss different stereotypes of people in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
To promote greater understanding of the participants' societies and cultures.
To think about sources of information and misinformation.
  
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES OR SERVICESThis activity involves individual reflection and group discussion on perceptions of, and fears about, migration in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Preparation:
Label two boxes or bowls: "Moving to the North", and "Moving to the South". Make sure you have enough space for the working groups.

Instructions:
The activity is split into four stages consisting of 10, 40, 20 and 30 minutes each.
Stage 1: What concerns us? (10 minutes)
- Show the group the two boxes and ask them to imagine that they have to move home to the other side of the Mediterranean - to the South, if they live on the North side, or to the North if they live on the South side. What would worry them most about living in this new region?
- Hand out small sheets of paper and ask participants to write down their concerns - as many concerns as they wish, but each concern on a separate piece of paper. (These can be anonymous).
- When they have finished, the papers should be put into the appropriate box.

Stage 2: Discussing the concerns (40 minutes)
- Divide participants into an even number of groups, making sure that people from the Northern and Southern countries are well mixed in each group. There should not be more than five people in each group.
- Distribute the "Northern" papers among half of the groups and "Southern" concerns among the other half.
- Ask the groups to read aloud (within the group) the papers they receive and discuss each concern among themselves.
- Ask them to consider, in particular, the following issues:
    - Do they share the concern?
    - How, if at all, could they reassure someone who had this concern?

Stage 3: Preparing the presentations (20 minutes)
- Ask the groups to use the next 20 minutes to produce a flipchart presentation for the other groups.
- They should concentrate on the specific concerns they discussed and try to present what they have learnt about the different regions from other people in the group.

Debriefing and Evaluation:
Stage 4: Each group presents their results using a flipchart (30 minutes), answering:
- What are your feelings about the discussions that have just taken place?
- Were you surprised either by other's concerns about the area you live in or by what you learnt about other regions?
- What was the basis of other's concerns? Media reports, friends or relatives' experiences, personal experiences - or what?
- Do you have fewer concerns than you had at the beginning of the activity? Do you have a different image of the other region?
- Why do you think that mistaken perceptions occur? What are the sources for most of your information relating to other cultures?
- Do you think all people who migrate into the Euro-Mediterranean region have to face those fears?
- Do you think there are more differences or more commonalities between young people in different parts of the Euro-Mediterranean region?
- What can we do to try to arrive at a more balanced picture of other parts of the Euro-Mediterranean region?
- How can we help to break down the stereotypes which are prevalent in our culture and, in particular, among young people?
  
TIPS FOR FACILITATORS- Some people may wonder whether they are currently living in the North or the South! You may want to limit North and South to "North of the Mediterranean" and "South of the Mediterranean", or otherwise allow participants to decide for themselves where they feel they are currently living.
- Encourage them to be open and honest in what they write down, but remind them to be sensitive to others in the group. Explain that part of the purpose is to explore existing prejudices, so people should not be shy about expressing these.
-The activity is very effective, but can also be very controversial if you have groups representing different Euro-Mediterranean regions. You should be sure that the participants feel comfortable enough with each other to share their concerns, and also that they will be sensitive when it comes to discussing them. -You may want to establish some ground rules at the beginning of the activity and be ready to address any possible conflicts, should these arise.
- Everyone should be encouraged to write down at least one concern.
- If the flipcharts are general in the points they try to present, some people may feel at the end that their own concerns have not been heard. In this case, you could give people the opportunity to ask the groups specifically how they addressed the issue. However, you should try to limit this in the debriefing, in order to avoid repeating discussions that some groups have already had.
MATERIALSSmall pieces of paper, pens, two boxes or bowls, flipchart paper.
MORE INFORMATIONThis activity is taken from pages 325-328 of the publication T-Kit 11: MOSAIC -The training kit for Euro-Mediterranean youth work by the Council of Europe. A pdf copy is available and can be downloaded from youth-partnership-eu.coe.int/youth-partnership/publications/T-kits/T_kits.