It’s been almost two and a half months since the third part of the joint project “Strengthening Capacity and Skills among Youth Migrants” between Centralasiengrupperna and Children of St. Petersburg was held in Malmö. It was the final part of the project, which was based on the outcomes of previous events, such as mobility of youth workers in December, that consisted of such events as study visits to organisations that work kids, youth and their families with migrational background; and another mobility of youth workers that took place in April in St. Petersburg, where five trainers from Dotterbolaget and Save the Children visited Children of St. Petersburg and conducted workshops on comics creation for the team of Gul newspaper (made by young migrant women for migrant women ). Both organizations also shared best experiences and practices of working with migrant kids with different backgrounds and traditions.

Mobility of youth, or the Summer Camp, took place in July and lasted for seven days. Participants were from 5 different countries, among them Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Iran and Afghanistan. Camp activities were divided into three parts and consisted of three different workshops: documentary photography, Forum theatre and the workshop on sex education for youth with migrational background. The first workshop was dedicated to documentary photography and focused on Street photo that lasted for two days. It was conducted by Gianluca and Giuseppe, who are professional photographers and trainers of photography. Thus, participants were not only taught how to take street photos, but also were provided with instruments on how to approach people, work on their own projects, sellect the rights photos. All these skills and tools will be useful and handy when organizing events for children and youth at our partner organization Children of Saint Petersburg.

The second workshop also lasted for two days and it was dedicated to the Forum Theatre. It is also known as the Theatre of Oppressed, developed by a Brazilian theatre practitioner Augusto Boal, which aims to promote social and political changes. The structure of the workshop consisted of three stages: warm-up and team-building activities, learning about history of the Forum Theatre, its terminology and roles of participants (so called spect-actor, joker etc); deciding on the themes of sketches, preparation and discussion of sketches’ topics, such as oppression of young women in traditional families, xenophobia and prejudices about the marginalised groups of society.

The third workshop was held by representatives of RFSU and Ensamkommandes Förbund organisations Beatrice and Mira, who spoke about sex education for migrant youth: “How should we speak about it with youth?”, “What contents should be provided?” , “What way should it be presented to the youth?”, “What are the possible obstacles in coomunication might pop up?”. The discussion was very productive and touched a lot of vital topics and questions.

Even though Summer Camp was full of events, workshops and meetings, participants had a chance to participate in cultural activities and have some free time. For example, participants visited Mötesplats Otto, an organisation which is created for and runned by migrant youth of Malmö. They also had a multicultural cooking event: participants were taking part in various workshops on the spot, establishing new contacts and presenting their organisation, also learning about the work and structure of Otto. This meeting was welcoming and inspiring for participants from Russia. Later on, it turned out that participants from Russia decided to create a similar venue for migrant youth in Saint Petersburg.
We would like to thank trainers and participants from Sweden and Russia, designers and everyone who made this Summer Camp happen. Below are some of the reviews from youth from Russia:

Anna

Those were wonderful days for me, I liked especially the atmosphere of understanding and mutual respect. The workshop of photo and the forum-theatre stood out for me. I think I like it because everybody could express their thoughts via art.

Kseniia

Summer Camp of CAG would be remembered for meeting new interesting people and friendly, respectful atmosphere. The great impression was made by a workshop on sexual education:we’ve learned how this topic is covered for the migrant youth in Ensamkommandes Förbund and in regular swedish schools. This is a vital topic and I’ve never ever experienced such a high level programs before. Young people who know so much about themselves and other people at an early age can only be envied! And also I could not left behind the place where everything took place – Malmö city with its biking paths, parks, seaside and beautiful, free people, who are not afraid to express themselves. This one-week-adventure will be remembered to me for a long time!

Irina

I am really grateful for this camp. I think that it was really helpful for my development and helpful for work with children. The most memorable task for me was taking pictures on streets. I learned how to pay attention to what it is happening around. I also really liked to create a monument in preparation for the forum theater performance. The exercise which showed the difference between people from different social groups I think should be really useful for children. Thank you!

Sonia

The most memorable part of the camp was the Forum Theatre workshop, it was so inspiring. I will certainly implement the tools I’ve learnt in my practice. I also appreciated the help of Kseniia. She was dedicated and patient and did her best as a host.

Katerina

It was a great balance of new information, practical experience and time to think over. I’m very grateful to the organizers of this summer camp for excellent planning, exclusive content and people I’ve met. I feel that staying in Malmö have changed me and made me to look at some things in a new way.

Ekaterina

I’ve had an amazing experience at the seminar. The forum theatre was fantastic. I was greatly impressed by our visit to the Möteplats Otto. We discussed their experience with staff and volunteers and we really impressed. This is a very inspiring experience, and we really hope to implement it in our city.

Nigora

When I was on the way to this Summer Camp, I couldn’t imagine it would be so interesting and joyful. Usually, such events are boring, but this one was not the case! Extremely interesting workshops on documentary photography and theatre, may seem to be not very informative, but you have to keep in mind that kid’s upbringing and development include not only language lessons and school subjects, but also by learning basics about art, composition, how to understand it and how to create it. It was obvious that Gianluca and Giuseppe are passionate about their profession and real professionals, it was pleasant to learn from them. Workshop of Forum Theatre was dedicated to a social skills developing, which are important while working with kids – to be able to see the situation from other perspective, try to find out the possible solutions – all that you need to raise a grown -up human. Thanks to Maria ( trainer of Forum Theatre workshop) who was answering our questions and in open and clear manner present the material.
One of the most useful workshops was a sex education workshop – due to in our cultures we don’t have a habit of speaking on these topics with kids and youth, we don’t have such a experience, so we wouldn’t be able to do it in our work.
All the workshops were very informative, but to a certain extent, therefore they were not boring. Days were balanced with working hours and free time. It was nice to meet Kseniia and Filippa and a bit sad that we couldn’t meet all the CAG’s representatives. And also I’m glad that we were able to visit youth center Möteplats Otto- to have a look and get some knowledge about their experience ( and to be inspired to open something similar in Saint Petersburg)