It was the 3rd edition of this capacity building workshop after having the first one in Bruges in 2009, then in Istanbul in 2013 with more or less the same group of facilitators. This time unfortunately we had to Miss Eileen Richardson, so I (Attila) tried to replace her in the core group besides Helen Olt and Raija Sairanen.
Lovely weather and a very charming atmosphere welcomed us in Vic, an hour drive from the Catalonian capital Barcelona. Our hosts (led by Montse Romero Mas for this event) were really kind and very well prepared, provided us with everything possible for running the workshop so smoothly. Although most of our participants arrived from The Netherlands we had staff from Scotland and from Catalonia as well. Most of them were remarkably experienced in working / teaching in a culturally diverse environment, hence giving us the possibility to start on an advanced level already.
The three day workshop was structured to awareness, knowledge and skills as main focuses on consecutive days. Following from that we began with sharing practices what could raise awareness and we practiced some of them ourselves too. This is often a surprising moment as despite all of our expertise, different practices can reveal the limitations of our own self-awareness in different ways. The second day was mainly devoted to theoretical knowledge where we could learn fresh insights about vulnerable groups of poverty, social exclusion (Salvador Simó) and migration (Anna Ramon) both in European and local context. A critical overview of intercultural competences was also given by me emphasizing the difficulties of the concept of culture and interculturality in these changing scenes of recent societies. After having our heads full, we ended the day with a cultural walk through the city arriving at our main site visit place, the Sínia School in which our hosts developed different research and intervention projects. In its classrooms 17 different nationalities are represented with a highest concentration of immigrants and problems of poverty in Vic. It was a truly valuable action, giving for most of us a sense of hope as well. The last day was dedicated to reflections and sharing practices, along with an overview of useable cultural competence models. As a result of this we set up a Dropbox folder to share our materials with each other creating an added value for peer-to- peer learning.
The feedbacks from the participants fully supported our feelings that this workshop was a worthwhile investment from each party. I myself felt enriched when arrived home with quiet dense experiences of these lovely three days and I got a sense of special Catalonian mood too.
Thanks to all of You!