Motto: “My story is (his)story”.
Welcome to the "The Power Of Life Stories" 2012-2014 Project Website!
participants of this project are Belgium, Romania, Portugal, Turkey and United Kingdom.
"The Power of Life Stories" is a project about working with participants around expressing, shaping and sharing their life stories.
We, in this project, want to make it more than rewarding: our aim is to make it magical and unforgettable for the adult learners. Making their life an issue at the community level as well as at a national and international level will certainly reinforce family bonds, social integration, and an European sense of belonging. Of course our project will also contribute to a rise in self confidence and the notion that "simple persons like us" really matter.
Going back to school, to become more competent and qualified, to learn more for oneself or for helping one's children with their homework, or simply to socialize, will put a "simple" life story in the spotlight. This project will transform an individual experience into a collective or universal one.
For people taking responsibilities in and for their communities, this project about telling their life stories will strenghten and encourage them, and give them a powerful tool for the community work.
The main motivation for this project is to broaden our educational approach in adult education and community work. Beside the more (or less) classical learning contents and methods, already experimented and in use in our institutions, we want to experiment "The Power of Life Stories".
The regular contact with other non-highly schooled adults and the exchange of life experiences enabled by this project where telling life stories is the central issue, will enormously raise the participants self esteem, will broaden their communication skills, and will teach them a lot about the other culture (their history, their traditions and stories, their values…).
What we aim is that the sharing of stories in various ways will really contribute to qualify them as citizens of their own country and citizens of Europe. By confronting their problems, they will realize they have a lot in common with other Europeans, with other life stories, or even with "universal" life experiences. And by establishing international relationships, we expect to make multi-cultural friendships.
Furthermore, as the nature of the institutions involved is so diverse, the teachers and trainers will be able to gain a lot from each others’ approaches to adult learners. The participation in the project will have a favorable effect on the image and prestige of all the institutions as we, the institutions involved, fight hard for a true empowerment of our participants.
During the mobilities, the staff and the participants will also be taught new techniques on storytelling by professional storytellers.
PROJECT OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGY
The concrete objectives are to work with our target groups:
- disadvantaged people (immigrants, people from poor social backgrounds, illiterates, low qualified people, ...)
- parents from disfunctional families and parents in general
in order to:
• Improve self-esteem by showing/breaking down the barriers of isolation and by fighting prejudice
• Increase motivation to share learners’ life experiences in an European context, by means of storytelling
• Get to know each other and each other’s organizations through all our activities and gain mutual confidence
• Enable learners and trainers to discover the values contained in the stories and compare the human values of different cultures
• Enable learners and trainers to discover the recent History of the countries involved through the personal stories
• Stimulate inter-generational communication by mutual life storytelling
• Improve language skills, art skills, learning skills, digital skills and all kinds of communication skills by implementing different kinds of activities leading to communication
• Increase European awareness by socially positive meetings at European level as well as national, regional and local level
• Improve the teachers' techniques of storytelling and communication skills in general
• Improve European policy on disadvantaged people by means of recommendations from the learners involved in the project
We would like to address the following subjects:
• Storytelling as a way of learning: the idea that the adult learners, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, "simple persons like us", really matter, that their life story is of broader interest, and that they are learning and helping others in their learning, by telling their stories.
• The positive values contained in the life stories, the values expressed in different cultures, also through looking at traditional legends and storytelling
• The recent History of the countries involved through the personal stories
• The learners, individually and collectively will play a central role: their stories will be the learning and exchanging material, through which they will improve their communication skills (oral and written), gain confidence in themselves, get to know the learners in the other countries, learn about Europe, and even give recommendations to the policy makers. It is this "learner-centered approach" that will enable and guarantee the involvement of the learners, and the positive results of the project.