The Maria da Luz de Deus Ramos School received, from April 11 to 14, 2022, the Interculturality Week, and approximately 40 children were present at an initiative promoted by AIDGLOBAL, in partnership with the Alto do Lumiar School Group, by Educar a Sortir and, also, by the Aga Khan Foundation. In concrete terms, the objective was to carry out activities and games with a view to social inclusion, making children aware of the preservation of values linked to solidarity, equality, and respect for difference through dialogue and coexistence between different cultures.
Four workshops were held around different activities. The first one was about the Traditional Music and Dances in the world. During this activity, the children were invited to draw a world map representing the various countries that constitute it, thus allowing them to have a more excellent perception of the geographical location of their country of origin, their culture, and the existing and diverse cultures in the world. Concomitantly, each child identified a country on the map and chose a typical song, which could be their homeland. It led them to mobilize the remaining colleagues to imitate the traditional dance of the selected country, also allowing children to teach the typical dances of their land to their colleagues. Also, children were allowed to learn to play guitar, cavaquinho and pandeiro, expressing interest and curiosity on their part. Self-confidence and teamwork were found among children and contributed to a greater awareness of their emotions and how to manage them.
On April 12, the second Workshop of the Intercultural Week was held, which featured several Traditional Games from different countries, namely Pakistan, Mozambique, South Africa, Bangladesh and Portugal, spread over five stations. Four animators from AIDGLOBAL and one from the Aga Khan Foundation made the activity more enjoyable. Fun and new cultural experiences have marked these games from different countries. The children knew the game “Baraf Pani” from Pakistan, the game “Cheia” from Mozambique, the game “Mbube Mbube” from South Africa, the game “Sat Chara” from Bangladesh, and, not least, the game “Sack Race” from Portugal. All children were divided into subgroups and could experience each traditional game. These games have proved very attractive to children who have introduced them to different traditional games from other countries, and some of these games have been explained by the children from those countries.
A Fashion Show marked the third Workshop with recyclable clothes that mix creativity and sustainability and that brought together students, teachers, assistants and family members to adhere to the selective collection, with the convection that reused materials that were transformed into clothes be presented in the parade. The models were the children themselves who lived up to the day, and all created their clothes inspired by the peculiar characteristics that represented a country, a culture, a history, an animal, nature, something that they identified with and that they would like to share with other colleagues and everyone present. The parade was entitled to facial paintings, was filmed by MuseMotion and featured a jury composed of 3 elements of the School: Dr Maria Fátima Cunha Silva, assistant Cláudia Barbosa and Rita Technician of the Educar a Sorry Association, who decided the three great winners. It was a success that will remain in the children’s memory. This activity allowed them to learn about their traditions through clothing and the ability to imagine and remember their customs and share them with the school’s students.
We arrived at the last day of the Workshop of the Week of Interculturality. It was marked by the painting of the Mural that Rui Alexandre Ferreira, a.k.a. RAF, Visual Artist, invited to be part of this great activity. He was inspired by and recreated the drawings elaborated by the children, where their imagination, tastes, thoughts, and emotions are represented. The children also had the chance to make their mark at school, giving them a sense of belonging and inclusion in their school community. At the same time, children newly arrived in Portugal were interviewed by AIDGLOBAL, and Miguel Marques made the necessary recordings of MuseMotion.
These workshops allowed reflection on the challenges facing an intercultural society. It was also a purpose to make children aware of the different cultures and ethnicities through a set of activities of a social and playful nature that involved a vast audience and benefited the child’s integral development and intellectual functions. The Week of Interculturality thus intended to appeal to the need for equal opportunities, respect for difference and intercultural dialogue.
“NEAR – NEwly ARrived in a common home” is a European project funded by the European Commission, under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) with the ISMU Foundation as a promoter and as partner entities Tamat, CARDET, and AIDGLOBAL and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. In Portugal, this project is being developed in the city of Lisbon, namely in the Bairro das Galinheiras, located in the parish of Santa Clara.
AIDGLOBAL ― Action and Integration for Global Development is a non-profit Non-Governmental Organization for Development (NGDO), which develops and promotes projects within the scope of Education for Development and Global Citizenship in Portugal and programs within the scope of Literacy in Mozambique. Its Mission aims to Act, Include and Develop through Education, because it believes that Change happens through Education.