CONNEXT is an international ESF project with partners from Belgium (Flanders), Finland and Sweden. In this context the national projects are described. For more information on the transnational project, please read here.
The national project of CONNEXT for inclusion in Flanders focuses on the co-creative development of a new S_U+G Serious Urban Game®, which is a project and registered brand by Lieve Achten. This game can be used for example as a tool to reduce early school dropouts.
The main target group of the game are youngsters (age from 15 to 29) with a migrant background and a higher risk on early school dropout. Flemish research shows that young people who do not speak Dutch, drop out of school much more often than young people whose native language is Dutch. This problem mainly occurs in the big cities. In addition to this, the numbers are not gender neutral: for boys with a migrant background, the numbers are a lot higher than with their female counterparts.
The project CONNEXT Flanders has two main partners. Their experience is complementary: the organisation gameWise is a Belgian non-profit organization with a focus on the implementation of S_U+G Serious Urban Games®. gameWise has experience with working with diverse target groups around gamification. Artevelde University College has experience with innovation in education, early school leaving and the development, implementation and evaluation of new methods. Artevelde can also rely on broad expertise about development research in education and youth work.
The development of the game is a bottom-up approach. This means that the wider world of young people will be actively involved: friends, leisure time actors, parents and other supporting institutions. The co-creative approach makes use of a new blended methodology which increases the trust in the school system and the future of the gamers. Through several workshops (‘labs’) and bottom-up cocreation the gamers play on a crossmedia platform in which storytelling is used. The outcome will be a new Game which aims to raise the gamers self-insight and self-confidence.
The co-creation processes to develop and design a new game starts in January 2019. The game is offered to education and youth work in September 2020.
The aim of the Finnish national project of CONNEXT is to support the immigrant youth to find their educational path and to commit to it. Simultaneously their families are supported with an intensified collaboration. The aim is to strengthen the gender and culture sensitive counselling skills of professionals working with youth as well as to familiarise them with gamification related and sports inspired pedagogy.
The project focuses particularly on young men with an immigrant background, who are in the transition from upper comprehensive school to upper secondary or vocational school (ages 15-29). Some of the development work is carried out with the families of the youth, because in finding one’s educational path and one’s own place in the society, the community plays a crucial role.
Professionals working with the youth, inlcuding study and career counsellors, teachers as well as counsellors in student welfare and free-time activities are the target group for tools developed and education arranged as part of CONNEXT. Everyone is welcome to join and benefit from the outcomes of the project, although for funds related reasons the activities are targeted particularly to the Southern part of Finland.
In Finland the activities of CONNEXT are the following:
During the project the following outcomes are expected:
The Finnish national project is co-ordinated by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. The project partners consist of the following:
Additionally important collaboration partners are e.g. Maahanmuuttajamiestyön verkosto (network for organisations working with immigrant men), Myllypuro upper comprehensive school, Finnish Refugee Council, Kölvi (multicultural youth work), Poikien talo (house for boys), Finnish Multicultural Sports Federation FiMu, 09 Helsinki Human Rights and Icehearts.
International collaboration in CONNEXT is carried out within over two years (11/2018 – 01/2021). The Finnish national project lasts for three years (11/2018 – 10/2021).
The main aim of the Swedish national project of CONNEXT is to develop innovative methods to facilitate establishment in the labour market for newly arrived migrants and refugees.
The main target group in the Swedish project is newly arrived migrants and refugees between the ages of 15 – 65 with residence permits who are far from the labour market.
The secondary target group is professionals working with the main target group.
Serious Urban Games
Eight professionals from different platforms in the municipality of Karlstad will get training in becoming game masters through the S_U+G Serious Urban Game® methodology. The trainings will take place in Flanders (March 2019), Sweden (May and December 2019) and Finland (March 2020). In between the trainings they will get regular on-line support and will test and use their skills together with the main target group. Eventually they will also become core trainers, which means that they will be able to train new game masters, and will be able to create new S_U+G®.
Another 15 professionals working with the main target group will get training in becoming game masters in Sweden in December 2019. After their training they will get support from the core trainers.
In addition to the trainings in each country there will also be networking days where the professionals will be able to network with other professionals from Finland and Flanders, share best practices and experience with each other, learn about the ESF-projects, participate in workshops and study visits, meet with the primary target groups and learn about horizontal perspectives.
The project team and steering group will continuously work on developing the learning network together with the transnational and national partner organisations.
Serious Urban Games
The project will strengthen the skills of, and develop new methods for, professionals working with newly arrived immigrants and refugees, in order to engage, empower and motivate them to be actors in their own lives.
Some of the outcomes of the learning network will be:
The national project platforms are: