CHANGE is a project coordinated by JRS Europe and implemented in 9 European countries – Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. The goal of the project is to educate young people on the positive contributions of refugees to society and encourage them to act to make a change in their schools and local communities.
The three components of CHANGE
CHANGE, through a defined 6–stage educational course, aims to encourage students to think critically on the subject of refugees and migration, to distinguish facts from opinions, and to recognise prejudices and stereotypes. In this way, students will be able to make their own, well-founded judgments. By giving students meaningful knowledge, experiences, encounters, and new perspectives, CHANGE seeks to form young people who are ready to face and embody their role in building a society in which everyone is welcome and has the opportunity to participate.
CHANGE provides a platform for refugees to share their stories directly with students, enabling refugees to speak in classrooms, and to share their experience of living in Europe, as well as their hopes and dreams for the future. Through this platform, CHANGE will provide a opportunity for encounter between refugees and young people, with the goal to foster a sense of understanding and connection.
Another component of CHANGE is the Student Ambassador programme, which encourages students to get more involved and to engage in a minimum of two concrete actions, such as small-scale events, campaigns or service projects, to share what they have learned with their school or local communities. Students then communicate these experiences across social media using the hashtag #IamCHANGE.
Together – students, teachers and refugees – all have a role to play in CHANGE. Learning, teaching and sharing experiences during moments of encounter facilitate the changing of perspectives and contribute towards the creation of the society that we want to live in.