CRAFT:IN EU Project 2021

Crafting the Inclusion: Crafts and Practices in non-formal education for increasing social inclusion (CRAFT:IN) is a partnership focused on exchange of various crafts that will develop human resources within partner organisations, develop key competences of their staff, start new non-formal educational activities and entrepreneurship initiatives, and promote social inclusion of marginalised groups.
CRAFT:IN consists of five partner organisations from Croatia, Germany, UK, Portugal, and Slovenia with transferable knowledge of a craft – one that their educators use in educational work with adults from various marginalised groups.

Working with marginalised groups, partner organisations noticed that crafts can play a role in raising social inclusion, cultural awareness and mutual understanding between the dominant local culture and marginalised. Simply said, doing crafts, working with hands, sharing tools, methods, and owning their final products helps motivation, communication and mutual understanding.

For the most part, crafts can be thought nonverbally (through practice) and, as such, are ideal for outreach campaigns and inter-cultural work even with communities who don’t speak the language. Crafts bring together people from various backgrounds (including marginalised groups) and promote interest in both “old” (local) and “new” (e.g. refugees) tradition, heritage, culture, skills, and design. As such, crafts help preserve the local culture, but also mirror the cultural diversity of peoples in Europe and can be platforms for intercultural exchange.

However, positive effects are limited and quite vulnerable. To overcome this, activities should be continuous and explicitly established. They simply don’t occur spontaneously, as researchers Erasmus Universiteit in Rotterdam found in 2018. In other words, there has to be an agent that will facilitate inspiring craft programmes for marginalised groups, after which crafts show positive effects and harbour social inclusion and build “new”, mutual European cultural identity.

For this reason, partner’s gathered in CRAFT:IN as they will gain knowledge of new crafts they can then introduce to their marginalised groups and develop new craft educational programmes of higher quality and international appeal. This will enable partners to develop their human resources and network further, their staff members to raise their EU Key Competences (multilingualism, cultural expression, entrepreneurship), and (with time) help heal social divide between the locals and marginalised groups.
Each partner will host one independent Learning Teaching and Training (LTT) workshop where each host will, through methods of practical learning and non-formal education, share a craft they are masters of, and incite cultural exchange through practical experience and face-to-face participants’ interaction. Each workshop will end with an exhibition of products made at the workshop and/or public event where participants will promote inclusion, meet the locals, and discuss the role of crafts in developing inclusion at local level. In order to utilise newly gained knowledge and skills the most, partners will send two representatives to each workshop, to learn new skills and crafts. Upon their return, they will organise follow-up presentations (20 in total; 4 per partner) of the new skills and, where possible, start new inclusive programmes in the local community based on their new craft. To make their experiences tangible, partners will publish a Manual on various crafts we shared in effort to promote inclusion.

In the background, but equally important, partners will host three Transnational Project Meetings (TPM) where managers will monitor project’s implementation, evaluate its past activities, and plan the future ones; including online campaigns for promotion and dissemination, and coordinating production of informal outputs.

In total, 40 educational mobilises, 10-15 participants from marginalised groups, 3 project meetings, 1 online publication on inclusive crafts, 5 workshops and exhibitions/public discussions will be held. These activities will significantly increase partner organisations’ human resources, develop individual key competences, and promote crafts as means of inclusion and non-formal learning.
In the long term, partner organisations see this partnership as a “stepping stone” – the first of many that will follow and lead to a sustainable and open European platform for inclusive crafts and social entrepreneurship. Partners are committed to building this platform that will help preserve, develop and promote crafts for social inclusion.


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