MyHandScraft’s local workshops now completed in all partner countries
MyHandScraft’s local workshops have been completed in all partner countries: Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Cyprus and the United Kingdom. In each country, the training course saw the participation of local and migrant artisans from all over the world who actively contributed to the training sessions bringing their vast and heterogeneous craft skills. The participants also had the opportunity to explore new craft traditions by investigating their materials, techniques and history. The training path firstly facilitated the development of relational and intercultural skills through non-formal educational methodologies such as story-telling, creative thinking, reciprocal maieutic approach, peer to peer learning and experiential learning through art. Finally, the participants in all partner countries had the opportunity to think about their future and improve their entrepreneurial skills through the creation of a personal portfolio and the design of business projects.
In Italy, local and migrant artisans were already familiar with various techniques: crochet, tailoring, recycling techniques, woodworking and visual arts. Many of them had already started a personal creative path exploring the fusion between Sicilian handicrafts traditions and those of their countries of origin, for example by combining Italian and African materials and fabrics. The encounter with the other participants in the workshops allowed them to broaden their creative horizons and their social networks in the area. At the end of the workshops, some participants expressed their desire to found a multicultural collective of artisans to share creative ideas, join forces and raise awareness on environmental issues through the use of recycled materials.
In the United Kingdom the participants were mainly amateur artisans. It was the project itself that allowed some of them to start considering it as a career path. Here the participants explored jewelry making techniques, origami and macramé, which they used to create vase holders. Based on the feedback received, the training course was also very supportive of the psychophysical well-being of the participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The participants from Cyprus had mixed backgrounds: some already worked as professional handcrafters, while for others it was simply a hobby. Yet now many of them aspire to turn it into a job opportunity. The Cypriot workshops focused on two types of crafts: lefkaritiko, a type of hand embroidery typical of Lefkara, and Origami, used to create swan-shaped decorations in recycled paper.
In Greece, most of the participants had no previous experience in handicrafts and, through the local workshops, they had the opportunity to experiment techniques such as sewing and jewelry making for the first time. In Greece as well, many of them began to consider craftsmanship as a viable career but the most evident added value for the participants in this context was the opportunity for socialization: participants declared, in fact, that they had found a welcoming place in which to safely share their past and present experiences.
Finally, the participants in Lithuania were mainly from local minorities or other Eastern European countries and had been living in Lithuania for a long time. Many of them already had some experience with craft techniques but they have learned new ones, especially techniques based on the use of recycled material.
At the end of the local workshops, the partners will complete the last two outputs of the project which are based on the the testimonies and contributions of trainers and participants. The first is the Handbook for Adult Educators, which will systematize and formalize the methodology used within MyHandScraft and will disseminate it in order to allow for other educators to reapply it in other contexts. The second output will be the Digital Guide for Handcrafters, which combines text, images and video interviews and tutorials. The interviews will tell the stories of the participants and their plans for the future, while the tutorials will describe the creation process of the handicraft products made during the local workshops.
MyHandScraft – Migrants Hands and Skills to Create a Future Track is a project funded by the Erasmus + Key Action 2 Program – Strategic Partnerships for Adult Education, and involves 5 partners in different countries:
Coordinator: CESIE (Italy),
GrantXpert Consulting LTD (Cyprus),
Active Citizens Partnership (Greece),
Social innovation Fund (Lithuania).
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