The Bamboo School, Casa Asia’s intercultural and inclusive education programme begins its 15th year being granted the Francesc Candel Award 2018 by Carulla Foundation for the programme “We learn. Networking families” (AFEX), one of the activities included in Bamboo School’s general programme
This award is an acknowledgement to the task of immigrant integration carried out at AFEX through language learning, with the specificity that it’s their own children who will teach them Catalan, Spanish and/or basic computer studies in pairs in the classrooms where they study and with the support of a university dynamiser who has experience immigration herself.
AFEX is an intercultural and intergenerational learning programme and a community service (APS) that helps people with different cultural contexts, age, gender, language of origin or level of education learn at their rhythm and with the translation of their mother tongue if necessary. Throughout the course, there are outings and activities to display real situations using language (visits to libraries, markets, health centres, etc), as well as universities with the idea to increase expectation of superior studies of students and their families, often lessened by the migratory process.
In the 4 years the programme has been running more than 60 volunteers have taken part (men and women between 10 and 16, students of participating schools) mostly Asian or Latin American origin families, around 170 adult students (mostly Asian and African origin women) and 7 dynamisers. These lessons are an opportunity of mutual understanding, dialogue and positive interaction in diversity.
AFEX programme, with the support of the Citizen and Immigration Rights Department of Barcelona City Council, of Youth Empowering Patentes (Canada), of the Entity Secretariat of Sants and of Altru Association, has been received very well in several educational centres of different neighbourhoods of the city.
In this school year it will be expanded to other towns thanks to these supports and to the growing opportunity this award gives us, which recognises the singularity of AFEX, and especially all the effort of educational centres, volunteer students, adult students and dynamisers that are involved in the project and work to empower adult participants and young volunteers at the same time they diverse families closer in schools contributing to break linguistic barriers and rumours and stereotypes on immigrants, working to make educational centres more inclusive and contributing to the social cohesion in neighbourhoods.
The award is a push for AFEX project that we would like to extend to other towns, offering learning opportunities of vehicular languages of the welcome society to all those immigrant people who are in social risks and whose ignorance of culture and language of the reception society makes daily communication more difficult and limits their possibilities of social rise.
AFEX course has already begin in the neighbourhood of Besòs, where for the first time lessons are in school hours and they count as credits for volunteering students who have chosen APS project and Trinitat Vella where it has been jointly presented with the Urdu and Arab lesson programme organised by the interculturality service of Sant Andreu district. We will soon begin at Francesc Macià School of Sants-Montjuïc District and during the next month we will spread out to new schools, neighbourhoods and cities.