Monday, 20 September 2010

Updates from the Citizenship Foundation

What is InterACT?
InterACT supports groups of 16-25 year old refugees and asylum seekers to come together with locally resident young people, to identify joint issues of concern to them and their communities and to develop campaigns to tackle them.

Through this process the project seeks to break down barriers to integration for young asylum seekers and refugees and build greater community cohesion. It also aims to empower young people to become active citizens in their local communities.

How does it work?
The project, funded by Comic Relief and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, is based on the Citizenship Foundation’s award winning Youth Act model. We work in partnership with local organisations currently working with young refugees and asylum seekers and locally resident young people. We support partner organisations to deliver free training sessions to groups of up to 30 young people based on Youth Act's training model, covering the areas such as:
- diversity
- communication
- problem solving
- team building and co-operation
- influencing decision makers
- project planning
- campaigning
- fundraising

The young people, with support, will develop and run their own social action projects in their local communities over the summer months.

The project so far:
This year the project is running in Cardiff, Birmingham, Bristol and Swansea.

The Cardiff group are organising a social action project to tackle waste and recycling in the city. The Birmingham group are working on a campaign for more multicultural youth facilities in Birmingham. They will be holding an event on 12 October 2010 and will invite key figures from the police, youth service and Birmingham City Council, and local MPs. The group in Swansea are starting work on a social action project aimed at tackling racism and discrimination in the city.

A youth worker who is working with the Birmingham group said, 'InterACT has really challenged the young people we work with to think differently about young refugees and asylum seekers. It’s been fantastic working with them and watching bonds form between them as they recognise that at the end of the day, they’re all just young people.'

Celebration events to recognise the achievements of the young people will be held later in the autumn, and young people will receive accreditation for their participation in the project.

What is Act Global?
Act Global is a project that engages students with global citizenship and supports them in taking action on poverty related issues. The project has been funded by DFID and is being delivered jointly by Relief International UK and the Citizenship Foundation. Act Global aims to support young people’s learning about global issues, as well as supporting schools in their delivery of citizenship, geography and the global dimension.

Teaching resources are available on the website. These resources cover a range of issues, such as global poverty and violent conflict. They are designed to be used in class and will enhance the student learning experience.

Act Global can offer you:
Act Global units of work
The lessons can be used in a range of subjects and these units of work focus on the same skills to develop the student’s ability to discuss complex issues and think of solutions to them. Each lesson is accompanied by a media-rich PowerPoint.

Online networks
Act Global is a bespoke and safe space for students to meet and discuss global issues with young people from other schools. They can use groups, forums, polls and events to hold debates and plan collaborative actions on issues. This provides an opportunity to link with any partner schools you may have. Experts regularly contribute to this network.
Teach Act Global is a space for Act Global teachers to share experiences and resources as well as keep in touch with the Act Global team.

Act Global After School Clubs
Act Global has specific resources to be used in the extra-curricular or extended schools setting. We have developed full activity plans to develop young people’s skills in global issues, based around actions they can take part in their local community.

To access the free resources and find out more join the Teach Act Global network at

The project so far:
This year students from ten schools in London have participated in the Act Global project working alongside students from 18 countries including Bangladesh, Nigeria, Uganda and New Zealand through the dedicated social network. They have examined particular impacts of poverty in their local communities such as violent conflict and migration.

We are holding a Celebration Event on Tuesday 5 October 3-4.30pm at London City Hall. The event seeks to celebrate the campaigns that have been created by young people and to give them an opportunity to present their campaigns to politicians, journalists, policy makers, funders, teachers and youth workers.

Our overall question for the day is: if I can change one thing….

All the presentations and the activities will focus on this key question with a view to re-enforcing the importance of action in providing a solution to global poverty.

Ruxandra Ratiu
International Projects Manager
Citizenship Foundation
63 Gee Street
London EC1V 3RS
+44 (0) 20 7566 4142 (please note that this is my new phone number!)