Farafina Institute is awarded EU funding for the Erasmus+ Youth Project ‘Participate’

Participate: Empowering Young People of African Origin for Political Participation in Europe


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Farafina Institute is awarded funding for the Erasmus+ Project 'Participate'. The programme Erasmus +, managed by the European Commission, Directorate General Education and Culture, provides grants for actions in the fields of education, training, youth and sport. The project 'Participate' is part of the sub-programme 'Structured Dialogue' - a forum for young people and policy makers to discuss how youth policies should be shaped and implemented in Europe.
The project will be realised through a cooperation of three partners: Farafina Institute (coordinator), AKOMA Bildung & Kultur (German partner), African Caribbean Diversity (UK partner), as well as the cooperating organisation African Youth Foundation.

Project Coordinators:
Claudia Koehler and Dr. Kocra L. Assoua

The EU Earasmus+Project 'Participate' focuses on empowerment and participation of young people of African backgrounds. This is based on the fact that migrant and minority youth, and in particular youth with African backgrounds, so far have unequal chances for participation in societies of EU countries. Besides opportunities for participation in fields such as education, the labor market, entrepreneurship, culture and the media, this is particular true for the political field.At the same time, chances for youth participation are in some countries higher (e.g. United Kingdom) than in others (e.g. Germany). This marginalization not only leads to comparatively low participation rates in the above fields but is also believed to be connected with phenomenas such as extremism and radicalization.Shared reasons for low participation of youth with African backgrounds in Germany and the UK include:- The general lack of ethnic participation in politics.- The fact that youth of African backgrounds are particularly effected by different forms of prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination and xenophobia on behalf of the majority population, which impacts their chances for participation considerably negative.- The phenomena that members of this group are not as much represented in public and political positions, which besides the representative function is believed to have a role model function impacting the younger generation's aspirations and empowerment.Because of these peculiarities we believe that it is necessary to add further detail to the discussion and resulting documents of the ongoing Structured Dialogue of Erasmus+ in order to consider the specific needs and potentials of youth with African backgrounds for enabling their equal participation chances, creating the structures that allow and appreciate their participation and empower them to take advantage of their opportunities for participation in European societies, and in particular in Germany and the UK.The project will be realised through a cooperation of three partners: Farafina Institute (coordinator), AKOMA Bildung & Kultur (German partner), and African Caribbean Diversity (UK partner), as well as the cooperating organisation African Youth Foundation.The main intention and approach of the project activities is to discuss the outcomes of the previous stages of the ongoing Structured Dialogue, concretise these outcomes for the needs and potentials of youth with African background, formulate recommendations on this basis for national and EU-level dissemination and plan a concrete action for African youth empowerment for political participation through a follow-up project.This will be realised through transnational meetings in Berlin and London among British and German youth with African backgrounds and policy makers. Furthermore expert interviews with representatives of organisations of young people with African backgrounds and an online survey in Germany and the UK will be conducted.

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