Education for Citizenship and International Solidarity

As the holder of a FONJEP – Education à la Citoyenneté et à la Solidarité Internationale (ECSI= Education for Citizenship and International Solidarity) position, Eurasia Net has been able to reinforce its regional deployment in all the departments of the South PACA region, notably in Marseille, Carpentras in the Vaucluse and Toulon in the Var.

ECSI’s actions mobilize citizens in favor of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and strengthen solidarity between territories. As part of ECSI’s main objective, which is to strengthen the power to act and encounters between publics and territories, as well as to fight against inequalities, Eurasia Net raises awareness of solidarity and international cooperation, inequalities, human rights, the environment, etc.

One of the places we worked, Carpentras, represented a particular challenge for raising awareness among young people in rural areas. However, the Point Infos Jeunes in Carpentras is in the process of setting up projects with a European dimension (such as JSI, VVVSI) as a result of our work, welcoming CES (European Solidarity Corps) volunteers, and taking part in meetings of youth workers.

Our cooperation and international volunteering project manager and an in-house volunteer organized an intercultural training course in Carpentras, where they were able to reach out to young people from the Second Chance School.

Our cooperation and European volunteering project manager also organizes training sessions on interculturality and international solidarity during mobility abroad in Toulon, with around 100 young people involved.

The young people we sensitize are developing new forms of commitment, motivated more by one-off actions or projects than by a long-term commitment (being a permanent member of an association, for example).

Eurasia Net offers international mobility via two volunteer schemes: the CES (Corps Européen de Solidarité) and the Service Civique. International volunteering involves missions of general interest in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), within structures that work with a local public. This gives us an insight into the socio-economic realities of certain communities and groups of people, and consequently into inequalities.

Volunteering is also an exchange of culture and skills, as well as an opportunity to meet new people. In this way, volunteers acquire open-mindedness, tolerance and respect, empathy towards others, which encourages commitment to others, to causes and to the fight against inequality.

The activities proposed by Eurasia Net are representative of the ECSI approach, as they are based on non-formal and participatory education methods, and also include reflection on the local and international impact of human activities.

Illustration of one of our activities

One of our in-house volunteers organized an ECSI training day, during which she led the “One step forward” activity, with young people from the Youth Only Live Once “YOLO” project.

In the first stage, participants were given a random profile card representing a typical individual who is marginalized and subject to inequalities except one, which they then had to interpret: imagine their story, their past, their difficulties, their desires, etc.

In a second stage, the facilitator gives typical scenarios, and if the participants, according to their assigned profile, can answer “yes” to these events, they must take a step forward, otherwise they stay put.

A final debriefing is essential to understand the issues behind the activity through the participants’ feelings during the exercise. This activity provides a better understanding of inequalities and how they translate into everyday life, as well as the importance of human rights.