YEIP’s innovative methodology is characterised by its youth-led approach. During our fieldwork and test trials, young people taking an active role as peer research discussing with their peers their experiences, opinions and suggestions regarding the prevention of violent radicalisation.

In this section we report on some case studies form the participating YEIP countries. They serve as examples of active and positive youth participation and engagement.

Case study from the UK

The YEIP project in the UK conducted interviews and focus groups at two separate schools. One was a secondary school in Huntingdon, Cambridge. Here we interviewed 8 individuals who were 15 years old. The other was a further education college in Newham, London. Here we interviewed 16 young people between 16 and 20.
The young people from Huntingdon were all white British, with one exception (Asian) and the young people from Newham were from a spectrum of ethnic backgrounds.
During the focus group, our young researchers asked the individuals “do you feel British?” This had an entirely divisive response from those in the Huntingdon school – who all unanimously said they did – to those in Newham who said they didn’t.

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In Huntingdon the responses suggested that they all felt “very English” but that there wasn’t anything that defined that feeling specifically. Some said “the way I speak” or, “it is where I was born”; some suggested it was “the type of food and politeness”.
As a group they were all reflective on what other people consider British; from an outside perspective. They could all see why someone wouldn’t feel British but to them it was a concept that was alien. All their families came from the same area that they lived in and had British roots. They were white and relatively privileged which gave them a philosophical understanding of the issues being addressed but maybe not a realist one.
In Newham the answers varied greatly. “I feel like you can’t technically be British, but you can explore what ‘British’ means. Like you can do different stuff and different activities and find out what it really means, but I don’t think you can be British”. When they were asked about living in England most of the students said they would leave. “I don’t see myself living in England for a really long time. I’d live in the US or Japan or something, Japan sounds cool.”
Some of them went further and considered the conflict between their origins and their British surroundings. “Basically, the way I think of it is, when I’m around my family obviously they’re following that sort of philosophy, when I’m in a school setting, when I’m working they will be following some of the British ways of doing things, so I think you need to conform to that. You can’t be too far away from that, I think you’ll run into trouble if you’re like that.”… “I’ve lived here most of my life, my parents work here, they contribute… I think I am entitled to be called British. I was actually bullied but I think I’m entitled to be called British”.
There was nothing in their answers that suggested being British was anything special or unique. They all strongly identified with their heritage and considered themselves to be “from” Nigeria, or India, or where their families were from. They did not feel like they would introduce themselves as English. They said that “I don’t know what it is being British… but when I think about it… I just know I’m not *that*”.

Case study from Romania

As part of the YEIP project, the fieldwork was carried out by a group of 16 young volunteers in Bucharest, Romania and Warsaw, Poland. It involved young people in high schools, universities, NEETs, and migrants. The objective of the research was threefold. First, to assess the conceptualisations of marginalisation and radicalisation and among young people. Second, to collect young people’s input on the prevention of these phenomena. Third, to inform the development of prevention tools based on the Good Lives Model as a preventive framework for radicalisation. Based on the initial training of the young volunteers on qualitative research methods, two focus groups and 33 interviews were carried out. In order to facilitate discussions, encourage participants to express their opinions and share personal experiences a case study was presented. The case study was developed based on a real-life case story involving discrimination and violence towards a young migrant woman.

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Suraya is a young refugee woman from Afghanistan. She is 16 years old and has arrived in Romania one year ago with her parents and 4 sisters. They live in a refugee center. Her family holds a traditional view on women and she wears her head covered with a hijab when she goes to school. She is in the 10th grade.
From the first day she joined her class, her classmates displayed a negative attitude towards her because of her veil, Islam and her hidden motivation to do some harm in Romania. She was too embarrassed to discuss this issue openly with her teachers. However, she spoke about it with her parents who decided she should drop out of school. However, Suraya insisted that she wanted to go to school despite her colleagues’ attitude and her sense of isolation and loneliness.
One day she was in the tram returning home from school. After repeated episodes of verbal harassments one of her classmates cut her face with a razor. No one in the tram had any reaction. Suraya cried all the way home from school and told her parents what happened. Her parents asked her to go to the police but she feared that lodging a claim may also result in her need to drop out of school. Eventually, she agreed but she also sought help from NGO representatives working on integration matters.
Together with Suraya they agreed to go to her class and hold a series of sessions on forced migration, the meaning of refugee, cultural sensitiveness, diversity etc. Suraya was very confident that her colleagues knew nothing about her and her intentions in Romania. She also feared that punishing her colleagues may trigger more violence towards her which would eventually force her to drop out of school. The school sessions were very interactive and fun. Intercultural mediators along with the young migrants who volunteered for the YEIP project in Romania also joined to expose their culture, foods, music and achievements in Romania.
As a result, Suraya’s colleagues had a better understanding of her reasons to cover her head and what a refugee is and ceased to treat her abusively and violently. A step forward was made by her colleagues who started to join her during breaks and ask her more about her country of origin. Also, teachers became aware of their critical role in promoting class diversity and inclusion.
The approach taken to address Suraya’s situation based on the involvement of the victim and the offender emphasized the meaningful contribution of positive psychology and the GLM for changing the negative attitude and behavior of the young students.

Citiți studiul de caz în limba română

Ca parte a proiectului YEIP, cercetarea de teren a fost realizate de un grup de 16 tineri voluntari din București, România și Varșovia, Polonia. Aceasta a implicat tinerii din licee, universități, NEET și migranți. Cercetarea a avut trei obiective. În primul rând, s-a urmărit evaluarea modului în care tinerii conceptualizează marginalizarea şi radicalizarea. În al doilea rând, au fost colectate informaţii despre opinia tinerilor cu privire la prevenirea acestor fenomene. În al treilea rând, să inspire dezvoltarea unor instrumente de prevenire pe baza modelului de psihologie positiva- Good Lives Model – ca model de prevenire a radicalizării.
Pe baza pregătirii inițiale a tinerilor voluntari asupra metodelor de cercetare calitativă, au fost realizate două focus-grupuri și 33 de interviuri. Pentru a facilita discuțiile si pentru a încuraja participanții să își exprime opiniile și să împărtășească experiențele personale, a fost prezentat un studiu de caz. Studiul de caz a fost elaborat pe baza unei poveşti reale de viaţă ce implică discriminare și violență față de o femeie tânără migrantă.

Suraya este o tânără femeie refugiată din Afganistan. Are 16 ani și a ajuns în România cu un an în urmă, împreună cu părinții ei și cu 4 surori. Locuiesc într-un centru de refugiați. Familia ei are o viziune tradițională asupra femeilor, iar ea își poartă capul acoperit cu un hijab atunci când merge la școală. Ea este în clasa a 10-a.
Încă din prima zi de şcoală, colegii ei au manifestat o atitudine negativă față de ea din cauza valului ei, Islamului și a presupusei motivații ascunse de a face un rău în România. Ei îi era prea rușine să discute deschis această problemă cu profesorii ei. Totuși, ea a vorbit despre asta cu părinții ei care au decis să renunțe la școală. Cu toate acestea, Suraya a insistat că a vrea să meargă la școală, în ciuda atitudinii colegilor și a sentimentului ei de izolare și singurătate.
Într-o zi se întorcea acasă de la școală cu tramvaiul. După episoadele repetate de hărțuire verbală, unul dintre colegii ei a tăiat-o pe faţă cu o lamă. Nimeni din tramvai nu a avut nici o reacție. Suraya a plâns tot drumul până a ajuns acasă şi le-a spus părinților ce s-a întâmplat. Aceştia i-au cerut-o să meargă la poliție, dar ea s-a temut că depunerea unei plângeri ar putea rezulta în nevoia de a renunța la școală. În cele din urmă, ea a fost de acord, dar a solicitat şi ajutor din partea reprezentanților unui ONG care lucrează în probleme de integrare.
Împreună cu Suraya au fost de acord să meargă în clasa ei și să organizeze o serie de sesiuni privind migrația forțată, refugiații, sensibilitatea culturală, diversitatea etc. Suraya a fost foarte încrezătoare că tinerii din clasa ei ei nu știau nimic despre ea și despre intențiile ei în România. De asemenea, s-a temut că pedepsirea colegilor săi ar putea declanşa şi mai multă violență față de ea, ceea ce o va obliga să renunțe la școală. Sesiunile la şcoala au fost foarte interactive și amuzante. Mediatori interculturali, împreună cu tinerii migranți care s-au oferit voluntar pentru proiectul YEIP din România, s-au alăturat, pentru a-și expune cultura, mâncarea tradiţională, muzica și realizările lor în România.
Ca urmare, colegii lui Suraya au înţeles mai bine motivele pentru care ea îşi acoperă capul și ceea ce este un refugiat și au încetat să o trateze abuziv și violent. Un pas înainte a fost făcut de colegii săi care au început să I se alăture în timpul pauzelor și să o întrebe mai multe despre țara sa de origine. De asemenea, profesorii au devenit conștienți de rolul lor în promovarea diversității și incluziunii în clasă.
Abordarea adoptată pentru a soluţionarea problemelor lui Suraya, bazată pe implicarea victimei și a infractorului, a subliniat contribuția semnificativă a psihologiei pozitive și GLM pentru schimbarea atitudinii și comportamentului negativ al tinerilor elevi.

Case study from Greece

A., an 18-year-old girl, who lives in an area where drug deals prevail, was involved with drug use since the age of 12, as she had access to the trade point, next to her house. She believes that if she were living in another area, or country, her life would not have taken this course. As reported when she was interviewed, in this case, marginalisation and as a result potential radicalisation has to do with the place where she grew up and her personal experiences related to that area.
After consuming drugs for several years, she was hospitalised in a psychiatric clinic and lost a year of school due to absence. Teachers told her that she should choose between her high school diploma and the discharge paper from the clinic. As described, educators are doing their best to communicate to students that they have to try hard to finish school, but children do not opt for hard work, since everything becomes too difficult.

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She often gets angry with injustice and lack of respect, giving examples of chasing her teacher inside the school building because of being disrespectful to her. On the other hand, she gets joy when she overcomes difficulties and forms a better self. As she explains, the one thing that upgraded her life was the psychiatric clinic that assisted her on quitting drugs and finding herself again.

As described, when she was consuming drugs, she was lost; she used to hit her mother, leave her house, while there was a time that she got arrested for having cocaine, and after consuming it in the police station, she started asking to sue her parents. The past year, the consumption has led her to use violence, even though she was against it. Characteristically, she underlines that it was not her using violence, but the drugs. She reports that the substances were leading her to extreme and radical behaviour that she has never expressed before.

When asked whether she has ever felt discriminatory treated, she talked about her teacher referring to her using degrading expressions. When she reacted, she got expelled.

In the described case, one can notice a carried away young woman that got involved in a difficult situation at an early age, through which she exhibited violent behaviour. Education and information is needed for children to understand the dangers and possible consequences of several matters.

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Α., ένα κορίτσι ηλικίας 18 ετών, που ζει σε μια περιοχή όπου κυριαρχούν τα ναρκωτικά, έμπλεξε με τη χρήση ναρκωτικών από την ηλικία των 12 ετών, καθώς είχε πρόσβαση στο εμπορικό σημείο, που ήταν δίπλα στο σπίτι της.
Πιστεύει ότι αν ζούσε σε άλλη περιοχή ή χώρα, η ζωή της δεν θα είχε αυτή την πορεία. Όπως αναφέρθηκε όταν ερωτήθηκε, στην περίπτωση αυτή, η περιθωριοποίηση και κατ’ επέκταση πιθανή ριζοσπαστικοποίηση έχει να κάνει με τον τόπο όπου μεγάλωσε και τις προσωπικές της εμπειρίες που σχετίζονται με αυτήν την περιοχή.
Αφού κατανάλωνε φάρμακα για αρκετά χρόνια, νοσηλεύτηκε σε ψυχιατρική κλινική και έχασε ένα έτος σχολείου λόγω απουσιών. Οι δάσκαλοι της είπαν ότι πρέπει να επιλέξει ανάμεσα στο δίπλωμα του γυμνασίου και το εξιτήριο από την κλινική. Όπως περιγράφεται, οι εκπαιδευτικοί προσπαθούν να επικοινωνήσουν στους μαθητές ότι θα πρέπει να προσπαθήσουν σκληρά για να ολοκληρώσουν το σχολείο, αλλά τα παιδιά δεν επιλέγουν σκληρή δουλειά, αφού όλα γίνονται πολύ δύσκολα.
Συχνά θυμώνει με την αδικία και την έλλειψη σεβασμού, δίνοντας παραδείγματα περιπτώσεων στις οποίες κυνηγούσε τον δάσκαλό της μέσα στο σχολικό κτίριο λόγω της έλλειψης σεβασμού προς αυτήν. Από την άλλη πλευρά, παίρνει χαρά όταν ξεπερνά τις δυσκολίες και σχηματίζει έναν καλύτερο εαυτό. Όπως εξηγεί, το ένα πράγμα που αναβάθμισε τη ζωή της ήταν η ψυχιατρική κλινική που την βοήθησε να κόψει τα ναρκωτικά και να βρει ξανά τον εαυτό της.
Όπως περιγράφεται, όταν κατανάλωνε ναρκωτικά, χάθηκε, συνήθιζε να χτυπάει τη μητέρα της, άφησε το σπίτι της, ενώ υπήρξε μία φορά που συνελήφθη γιατί είχε κοκαΐνη, την οποία αφού την κατανάλωσε μέσα στο αστυνομικό τμήμα, άρχισε να ζητάει να μηνύσει τους γονείς της. Κατά το τελευταίο έτος, η κατανάλωση την οδήγησε στη χρήση βίας, αν και ήταν εναντίον της βίας ως άνθρωπος. Χαρακτηριστικά, υπογραμμίζει ότι δεν ήταν εκείνη που χρησιμοποιούσε τη βία, αλλά τα ναρκωτικά. Αναφέρει ότι οι ουσίες την οδήγησαν σε ακραία και ριζοσπαστική συμπεριφορά που δεν έχει εκφράσει ποτέ πριν.
Όταν ρωτήθηκε αν έχει αισθανθεί ποτέ διακριτική μεταχείριση, μίλησε για το δάσκαλό της που αναφέρθηκε σε αυτήν χρησιμοποιώντας εξευτελιστικές εκφράσεις. Όταν αντέδρασε, αποβλήθηκε.
Στην περίπτωση που περιγράφεται, μπορεί κανείς να παρατηρήσει μια νεαρή γυναίκα που είχε εμπλακεί σε μια δύσκολη κατάσταση σε νεαρή ηλικία, μέσω της οποίας έδειξε βίαιη συμπεριφορά. Απαιτείται εκπαίδευση και πληροφόρηση ώστε τα παιδιά να κατανοούν τους κινδύνους και τις πιθανές συνέπειες πολλών θεμάτων.

Case study from Cyprus

The pseudonym given is Marios. Marios is a young 16 year-old from Greece who recently moved to Cyprus with his parents. He explained to us that when he first came to the school he faced an incidence of bullying due to his ethnicity being Greek. Specifically, his Cypriot classmates expressed hateful remarks to him for his nationality. At this point we must explain that in Cyprus, public opinion is split with regards to the nature of involvement of the Greek government during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Some believe that the Greeks are to blame for the Turkish invasion, while others believe that they were allies of the Cypriot government.Following this incident, and having felt victimised as well as alienated due to psychological/verbal bullying, Marios shared his experience with his parents. He explained to our Young Researcher that being able to openly discuss this with his parents, enabled him to understand, in an unbiased way, the nature of political involvement from the Greek government.

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His parents explained that historical events are not always absolute and so both sides must be heard, such that perhaps the Cypriot students had some justification for making those remarks. Of course they acknowledged that aggression was unjustified, yet their open discussion about it taught him how to hold a critical perspective on the matter.
Marios explained the importance of open and honest dialogue with his own positive role models (his parents) and how that helped him to cope better in School. Not only, he was able to stop the bullying through openly discussing the matter with his peers. Marios shared that on many occassions of witnessing bullying he is now able to step-in and resolve the conflict by encouraging his peers to ”think critically” and ”openly discuss their differences”.
This input was remarkable in that it introduced and emphasised the role and importance of positive role models and open dialogue, both on a peer-to-peer and peer-to-adult level.

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Μελέτη περίπτωσης

Στο πλαίσιο του έργου YEIP διεξήχθη έρευνα σε γυμνάσια και σε μεταναστευτικά κέντρα των νέων για να διαπιστωθεί ποια είναι η αντίληψη των νέων σχετικά με το θέμα της ριζοσπαστικοποίησης των νέων. Η καινοτόμος μεθοδολογία του YEIP χαρακτηρίζεται από την προσέγγιση που βασίζεται στην νεολαία, καθώς νέοι ερευνητές είχαν ενεργό ρόλο στη συνολική ερευνητική διαδικασία.
Κατά τη διάρκεια των ομάδων εστίασης και της διαδικασίας συνέντευξεως, οι νέοι μίλησαν για τις εμπειρίες τους, τις απόψεις τους και τις προτάσεις τους σχετικά με την πρόληψη της ριζοσπαστικοποίησης των νέων. Υπό το πρίσμα της ανταλλαγής λεπτομερειών αυτών των εμπειριών, ετοιμάσαμε μια μελέτη περίπτωσης σχετικά με την εμπειρία του εκφοβισμού ενός νεαρού φοιτητή και τον τρόπο με τον οποίο βρήκε καλύτερους τρόπους αντιμετώπισης.
Το ψευδώνυμο που δίνεται είναι ο Μάριος. Ο Μάριος είναι ένας νεαρός 16χρονος από την Ελλάδα που πρόσφατα μετακόμισε στην Κύπρο μαζί με τους γονείς του. Μας εξήγησε ότι όταν ήρθε για πρώτη φορά στο σχολείο βίωσε ένα περιστατικό εκφοβισμού λόγω της εθνικότητάς του ως Έλληνας. Συγκεκριμένα, οι Κύπριοι συμμαθητές του εξέφρασαν μισητά σχόλια σε αυτόν για λόγους της εθνικής του ταυτότητας. Σε αυτό το σημείο πρέπει να εξηγήσουμε ότι στην Κύπρο η κοινή γνώμη διαχωρίζεται όσον αφορά τη φύση της εμπλοκής της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης κατά την τουρκική εισβολή στην Κύπρο το 1974. Κάποιοι πιστεύουν ότι η Ελληνική κυβέρνηση δεν βοήθησε τους Κύπριους κατά την Τουρκική εισβολή, ενώ άλλοι πιστεύουν ότι ήταν σύμμαχοι της κυπριακής κυβέρνησης.
Μετά το περιστατικό αυτό, ο Μάριος μοιράστηκε την εμπειρία του με τους γονείς του και εξήγησε πως αισθάνθηκε αποξενώση λόγω της ψυχολογικής / λεκτικής παρενόχλησης. Ανέφερε πως η δυνατότητα να συζητήσει ανοιχτά αυτή την εμπειρία με τους γονείς του, του επέτρεψε να κατανοήσει με αμερόληπτο τρόπο τη φύση της πολιτικής συμμετοχής της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης. Οι γονείς του, του εξήγησαν ότι τα ιστορικά γεγονότα δεν είναι πάντα απόλυτα και έτσι πρέπει ο ίδιος να είναι ανοιχτός και για τις δύο πλευρές μιας ιστορίας. Επομένως, ο Μάριος κατάφερε να κατανοήσει κατά κάποιο τρόπο τη συμπεριφορά των Κύπριων συμμαθητών του, χωρίς όμως να δικαιολογεί την επιθετικότητα τους. Παρόλα αυτά συνειδητοποίησε ότι μέσα από την ανοικτή συζήτησή που έιχε με τους γονείς του έμαθε την σημασία της κριτικής σκέψης για ένα θέμα.
Ο Μάριος εξήγησε τη σημαντικότητα του ανοιχτού και έντιμου διαλόγου με θετικά πρότυπα (τους γονείς του) και τον τρόπο που τον βοήθησε να αντιμετωπίσει καλύτερα τις καταστάσεις στο σχολείο. Ακόμη, ήταν σε θέση να σταματήσει τον εκφοβισμό που βίωνε, συζητώντας ανοιχτά το θέμα με τους συνομηλίκους του. Ο Μάριος δήλωσε ότι πλέον είναι σε θέση να επιλύει συγκρούσεις ανάμεσα σε συμμαθητές του ενθαρρύνοντας τους να “σκέπτονται κριτικά” και να “συζητούν ανοιχτά τις διαφορές τους”.
Αυτή η εισήγηση ήταν αξιοσημείωτη καθώς τόνισε το ρόλο και τη σημασία των θετικών προτύπων και του ανοιχτού διαλόγου, τόσο σε επίπεδο ομότιμου όσο και σε επίπεδο ομοτίμων και ενηλίκων.

Case study from Italy

F. lives in Emilia Romagna and is a university student with foreign origins. Her parents come from Morocco, but she was born in Italy.
Her experience in the world of youth associations helped her to overcome the problems of discrimination and bullying suffered during the middle school by her classmates due to the fact that she is Muslim.
Without the help of a youth association, F. believes that her life could have been totally different:
“If I had not been supported by associationism and I did not grow up in that context, many problems, many situations that I experienced in my adolescence would led me to different results or to think differently, to act in a different way. […] If I think to my adolescence, small episodes could have made me a monster.

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For example, I belong to that generation that was in the middle school during the years 2001 and 2002. 2001 was a bad year for Muslims because of the Twin Towers issue. So, during the most critical growth phase […] I had to bear criticisms, prejudices, physical and verbal violence by my classmates.
[…] In your life these are things that, if you do not run into the right paths, can lead you to mature in yourself hatred, anger that, if you do not vent them in other ways, can then lead to hatred and rejection towards others “.

Thanks to the support of a youth association, F. was able to react to the abuses and reinforce her personality and identity:
“In high school I started to react after having met the association that helped me to form my identity, to believe in my values, to take a position and also to assume roles and responsibilities.
[…] I was no longer the silent F. that suffered, bore and did not react. I became the F. who began to intervene, to speak, to defend herself, to react, to explain herself, to make herself known, to ask teachers if I could intervene on certain issues proposing initiatives. […] These are all things that helped me to appreciate myself, to recognise my values as Italian Muslim girl.
[…] These activities contributed to my formation, because they made me feel important, I took on roles, I felt responsible and when a person feels important, he/she is not able to let other things get him/her down”.

F. thinks that, just like the associationism, the school world should also help and support young people to strengthen their personality and to acquire an active and responsible role in society for countering hatred and violent radicalism:
“Even at the school level, I think it’s important that teachers and educational plans, start taking these things into consideration. […] At present, if these things do not start from a single involved teacher moved by his own motivation, this kind of things are not carried out. […] If you do not do these things in school when do you do them? […] If you first-hand do not find out and look for information, nobody explains you these things. Also, if you limit yourself to what is broadcasted on television, it is even worse!”.
For F. feeling welcomed in a community or a group, such as the school group or the group of local associations, and feeling supported and sustained by them in the personal growth allows people to acquire useful tools to fight extremist messages.

Leggi il case study in italiano

F. vive in Emilia Romagna ed è una studentessa universitaria con origini straniere. I suoi genitori provengono dal Marocco ma lei è nata in Italia.
La sua esperienza nel mondo dell’associazionismo giovanile l’ha aiutata a superare i problemi di discriminazione e bullismo subiti durante le scuole medie da parte dei compagni di classe, per il solo fatto di essere musulmana.
Senza questo aiuto F. crede che la sua vita avrebbe potuto essere totalmente diversa rispetto a quella che vive oggi:
“Se io non fossi stata affiancata dall’associazionismo e non fossi cresciuta in quel contesto, tanti problemi, tante situazioni che ho vissuto nella mia adolescenza mi avrebbero portato a dei risultati diversi o a pensare in maniera diversa, agire anche in maniera diversa. […] Se penso alla mia adolescenza, piccoli episodi avrebbero potuto fare di me un mostro.
Per esempio io faccio parte di quella generazione che si è beccata gli anni delle medie tra il 2001 e 2002. Il 2001 è stato un anno pessimo per i musulmani, per la questione delle Torri Gemelle e quindi io nella fase di crescita più critica, che è quella delle medie e superiori, mi sono dovuta sorbire tutte delle critiche, dei pregiudizi, delle violenze fisiche e verbali da parte dei miei compagni di classe.
[…] Sono cose che nel tuo percorso di vita, se non incontri le vie giuste, i percorsi giusti, ti possono portare a maturare in te stessa un odio, una rabbia che se tu non sfoghi da altre parti ti possono poi portare a odio e rifiuto verso gli altri”.

Grazie all’affiancamento di un’associazione giovanile del territorio in cui vive F., la stessa è riuscita a reagire ai soprusi e a rafforzare la propria personalità e identità:
“Alle superiori ho cominciato a reagire dopo aver conosciuto l’associazione che mi ha aiutata a formare la mia identità, che mi ha aiutato a credere nei miei valori, a prendere posizione e ad assumere anche dei ruoli e delle responsabilità.
[…] Non ero più la F. silenziosa che subiva e che mandava giù e non reagiva. Sono passata alla F. che ha cominciato a intervenire, ha cominciato a parlare, a difendersi, a reagire, a spiegare se stessa, a far conoscere sé stessa, a chiedere ai professori se potevo intervenire su certe tematiche, a proporre iniziative. […] Sono tutte cose che mi hanno aiutata ad apprezzare me stessa, a riconoscere i miei valori da ragazza italiana ma musulmana.
[…] Sono tutte attività che hanno contribuito nella mia formazione, perché mi hanno fatto sentire importante, ho assunto dei ruoli, mi sono sentita responsabile e quando una persona si sente importante difficilmente riesce a farsi abbattere da ad altre cose”.

F. pensa che, così come l’associazionismo, anche il mondo della scuola dovrebbe aiutare e sostenere i giovani a rafforzare la propria personalità e ad acquisire un ruolo attivo e responsabile all’interno della società per contrastare odi e radicalismi violenti:
“Anche a livello di scuole secondo me è importante che i professori, i piani didattici delle scuole, incomincino a prendere in considerazione queste cose. […] Se non parte dal singolo professore interessato per motivi suoi, queste cose non si fanno. […] Se non si vengono a fare a scuola queste cose quando le fai? […] Se non ci vai tu e non ti informi tu e non cerchi tu, nessuno te le viene a spiegare. Poi se ancora di più ti limiti a quello che viene trasmesso dalla televisione, peggio ancora!”.
Secondo F. il sentirsi accolta in una comunità o un gruppo, sia questo il gruppo della scuola o il gruppo dell’associazionismo locale, e sentirsi da questi supportata e sostenuta nella propria crescita personale permette alle persone di acquisire strumenti utili a combattere messaggi estremistici.

Case study from Sweden

The young man’s name is Bashir. He is 18 years old and comes from Afghanistan. Due to war in his home country he fled, travelling through countries such as Iran, Turkey, Greece and so on, ending up in Sweden in 2016. Currently, he is seeking asylum and is waiting for a decision from the Swedish migration office on whether he can stay in Sweden or not. While awaiting what will happen to him in the future, Bachir is learning to speak Swedish and is doing his best to get good grades, through a language program. Bashir thinks that Swedish is a little bit difficult, and although he should have started the gymnasium now, he still needs to practice his Swedish to meet the criteria for this according to the Swedish curriculum. As Bachir came to Sweden unaccompanied he found it difficult to concentrate in school. He worried a lot about his family, but this recently changed.

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He explains:

I didn’t have any contact the first 1,5 year here, but three months back I found them. I was happy when I talked with my mother. Especially when you talk to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, and specially your mother, of course. I felt I was flying, I was happy and felt good. The was the happiest day I have ever spent in Sweden. Yeah, and about school – students and teachers are really good and kind. I don’t really have so many friends. I always keep my circles small. I don’t have many friends. I had two friends, but they got a negative decision from the migration office. So, they left to Germany and France. I am all alone now.

The above excerpt captures many intersecting aspects that have come to affect Bachirs’ sense of belonging, his hopes, worries in school and his everyday life. His thoughts about his family, and the feelings when getting in contact with them, knowing that they are alive and safe, is of course formative for the time of the interview. However, in the narrative we also get a glimpse of how friendships are developed and lost in a new country, here with class mates and teachers. Furthermore, we have the presence of the Swedish migration office, that affects him not only through his comrades, but also the insecurity of what will happen to him. To this end, and although Bachir talks positively about school his narrative really exemplifies a sense of marginalization, and of being somewhat excluded from the possibility of choice. Bachir continuous to talk about school and education, comparing his life now, and how it was back in Afghanistan.

School is like a second home for me. When I come here and see the teachers and students, they are nice to me and I feel safe in school. Not back in Afghanistan, then I was thinking, hope I can make it home today. Because the Taliban’s controls the province where I am from. So, I was afraid. I was not so motivated to go to school every day. The teachers here, they try to understand you and they ask when they see that you are sad. But it’s not like that in my country. Like they say, home is not four walls, it’s a feeling. When you go somewhere and you feel good, it’s your home. You feel safe and you feel normal. But life is not so easy. So, I’m in a specific place, I can’t cross my line. Hope I can soon, but I don’t think so. Everything will change. Every life line has it’s time.

Bachirs’ story is filled with frustrations, longings, separations. In a way he finds himself in “place” were his future is painted by insecurity and worries. At the same time there is also a presence of hope, and a struggle to belong somewhere. There is for example a wish expressed to be able to contribute to society. The most important persons in Bachirs’ life right now is his family and teachers at school. He feels safe in school and is also eager to learn and to become something. The possibility to use social media in order to keep contact with his family is of course also central for him when trying to look positively upon his future.

Läs casestudien på svenska

Den unga mannen heter Bashir. Han är 18 år och kommer ifrån Afghanistan. År 2016 tvingades han dock fly, på grund av krig i hemlandet och innan han kom till Sverige, passerade länder såsom Iran, Turkiet, Grekland med flera. För tillfället väntar Bashir på beslut på sin asylansökan ifrån migrationsverket. Medan han väntar försöker han lära sig svenska och han gör också sitt bästa för att få betyg genom ett förberedande språkprogram. Bashir tycker emellertid att det är svårt med svenskan, och eftersom han kom till Sverige som ensamkommande har han inte haft så mycket stöd på hemmaplan. Han har också oroat sig mycket över sin familjs situation och var de är. Denna kom dock nyligen att skingras. Bashir förklarar.

Jag hade ingen kontakt med familjen på ett och ett halvt år, men för tre månader sedan hittade jag dom, de var i Iran. Jag var så lycklig när jag pratade med mamma. Speciellt eftersom jag inte pratat med henne på så länge, och speciellt eftersom det var min mamma. Det kändes som om jag kunde flyga, jag var så lycklig. Det var den lyckligaste dagen som jag spenderat i Sverige. Ja, och gällande skolan, de andra i klassen och lärarna är schyssta och bra, men jag har inte så många vänner. Jag håller alltid mina cirklar små, och jag har inte många vänner. Jag hade två kompisar, men de fick utvisningsbeslut ifrån migrationsverket. Så de flydde vidare till Tyskland och Frankrike. Jag är helt ensam nu.

Citatet fångar flera olika aspekter av Bashirs vardagsliv, hans känsla av tillhörighet, hopp, oro över skolan, familjen, vänner som funnits men inte finns kvar, med mera. Hans tankar om familjen och känslan som infann sig när han fick veta att de levde, är naturligtvis formativt för berättelsen. Samtidigt ges också en viss inblick i hur vänskapsrelationer kan komma att utvecklas och förloras i ett nytt land. Migrationsverkets ständiga närvaro påverkar naturligtvis också Bashir, inte bara utifrån vad som hände hans vänner utan också den osäkerhet som ännu råder gällande hans egen framtid. I detta avseende, och även om Bashir pratar om skolan i positiva ordalag, exemplifierar berättelsen en ung persons känsla av marginalisering och utanförskap.

Skolan är som ett andra hem. När jag kommer hit så är lärare och klasskompisar snälla och jag känner mig säker i skolan. Så var det inte i Afghanistan, där tänkte jag mer, hoppas jag klarar mig hem från skolan. Du vet, Talibanerna kontrollerar ju den provinsen jag kommer ifrån, så jag var alltid rädd och inte så motiverad att gå till skolan. Lärarna här, de försöker förstå och de ställer frågor om de ser att du är ledsen. Så är det inte i mitt hemland. Som man brukar säga, hemma är inte fyra väggar, det är en känsla. När du åker någonstans och det känns bra och säkert, då är det som ditt hem. Du känner dig säker och normal. Men livet är inte så enkelt. Som det är nu befinner jag mig på en speciell plats, och jag kan inte korsa min linje och välja vad jag vill göra i framtiden. Jag hoppas att jag kan det snart, men jag tror inte det blir så. Allt förändras. Varje linje har sin tid.

Bashirs berättelse är präglad av frustration, längtan och separationer. Han befinner sig på en plats där hans framtid är allt annat är säker. Samtidigt finns det också hopp i berättelsen, och en vilja att känna tillhörighet och gemenskap. De personer som är viktigast för Bashir är hans familj som befinner sig långt borta, och lärarna i skolan. Han känner sig trygg i skolan och hoppas kunna utbilda sig för att bli något i framtiden, och kunna bidra till samhället. Möjligheten att hålla kontakten med familjen via sociala medier är naturligtvis också centralt när han försöker se tillvaron och framtiden med en positiv blick.

Case study from Portugal

Rosa is 16 years old and lives in a small village in the center of Portugal with her father, a Mozambique native. Rosa called the attention of the young researchers during the Focus Group and also through the interview because she referred to topics that are under YEIP’S investigation aims, namely, issues about extreme political ideologies, racism and homophobia.
Rosa was herself victim of bullying because of her skin color and her physical aspect (e.g.; being called “fat”), and that might have contributed to her mindset and feelings towards marginalization.
Regarding political ideologies, Rosa said that she is annoyed and angry because of the different opinions that her colleagues, and her father as well, often express (e.g., some of her colleagues were sympathetic to Hitler and they supported the idea that immigrants should return to their home countries). Rosa stated that she wished to change the perspectives of her colleagues, since those ideas could have as consequence “the repetition of historical episodes, such as Nazism”.

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Rosa has also been in contact with extremist messages addressing the LGBTI community from a Portuguese political party, which worried her a lot about the future of society. She also points out that homophobia exists at her school community, but with more emphasis on the male homosexual relationships, and that the relationships between women homosexual are respected.
Another problem has been identified by Rosa, that may be a possible cause of marginalization: financial capacity, that can prevent some young people of accessing or acquiring to specific goods (e.g., expansive clothing brand, news technologies), that others have access to easily.
Throughout the interview Rosa has shown to have good coping skills and strategies, once she has overcome the situations mentioned above with success. However, Rosa affirms that the school did not have an active role in this process and that schools, in general, are not prepared to deal with these situations and phenomena. It is suggested by Rosa that more direct contacts between the schools and the families should be encouraged. She also stated that this type of projects is very important by enabling the development of efficient tools to support young people to deal with these problems.

leia a história em português

Rosa tem 16 anos e vive numa aldeia no centro de Portugal com o seu Pai, que tem origem moçambicana. Rosa chamou a atenção das jovens investigadoras durante a dinamização do Focus Group e da entrevista individual, uma vez que referiu ter vivenciado algumas situações sensíveis à problemática que é alvo de investigação no projeto YEIP. Entre eles, destacam-se por exemplo as questões relacionadas com ideologias políticas extremas, racismo ou homofobia.
Rosa, referiu ter sido vítima de bullying na escola, salientando que as motivações para tal foram a sua cor de pele e ao seu aspeto físico (por exemplo, ser chamada de “gorda”), e que tal poderá ter contribuído para a forma como ela se posiciona face a situações de marginalização.
No que respeita às ideologias políticas, a jovem refere que se sente incomodada e revoltada, devido às diferentes opiniões que os seus colegas, bem como o seu Pai, geralmente manifestam (por exemplo, alguns colegas simpatizavam com o Hitler e acham que os imigrantes deveriam voltar para os seus países de origem). Rosa gostaria de poder mudar as perspetivas dos colegas, uma vez que estas podem ter como consequência “a repetição de episódios históricos, como o nazismo”.
Rosa já esteve também em contacto com mensagens extremistas sobre a comunidade LGBTI por parte de um partido político português, o que a deixou bastante preocupada com o futuro da sociedade. Rosa refere ainda que existe, na comunidade escolar onde se insere, homofobia, embora direcionada apenas para os relacionamentos entre homens, sendo que as relações entre mulheres são mais respeitadas.
Foi identificado outro problema por parte da jovem, que pode ser uma possível causa de situações de marginalização: capacidade financeira, que pode impossibilitar que alguns jovens acedam com facilidade a certos bens materiais (por exemplo, roupas de marca, tecnologias de última geração), a que outros acedem com maior facilitismo.
Ao longo da entrevista a Rosa demonstrou ter boas capacidades de coping, uma vez que ultrapassou as situações supracitadas com sucesso, reforçando, no entanto, que a escola não teve um papel ativo neste processo, e confessando as escolas não estão preparadas para lidar com estas situações e fenómenos. É sugerido pela Rosa um reforço da ligação e oportunidade de interação entre as escolas e os encarregados de educação e/ou família. Neste sentido, a jovem salienta a importância deste tipo de projetos, uma vez que os mesmos proporcionam o desenvolvimento de ferramentas capazes de ajudar os jovens a lidarem com estas problemáticas.