Many school leavers in Europe today lack both an insight into the world of work and a sense of social responsibility. The CARE project therefore wants to give students an insight into the international job market and sensitize them to the importance of social work for our society. The project, which is coordinated by Wittekind-Gymnasium Lübbecke, Germany and funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union, will last for two years (2019-2021) and includes various project activities in the schools and supporting institutions as well as five major conferences.
The project work, which is supplemented by short internships in social institutions, is intended to improve key competences that are relevant for students’ participation in the labour market and at the same time promote greater social cohesion. In addition, the focus is on the exchange between participants from the five countries: How is this done in Finland? Who takes care of it in the Netherlands? What courses of study are there in Poland for this profession?
In addition, the project aims at establishing to institutionalise a company internship which is compulsory in Germany in other European countries, as it is considered to be a particularly valuable experience.
Finally, the project will strengthen networks between schools and social institutions, as well as social awareness/competence at schools.
A reduction of prejudices and fears of contact as well as a greater appreciation of this occupational field are also aimed at.
The participating schools:
- Wittekind-Gymnasium, Lübbecke, Germany (“caring for disabled people" conference in February 2020)
- Escola Secundária Francisco Rodrigues Lobo, Leiria, Portugal ("caring for the young and the elderly" conference in May/June 2021)
- OMO Scholengroep, Knipperbergcollege, Helmond, Netherlands ("caring for people with addictions" conference in September 2021)
- I Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace im.M.Kopernika w,Torun, Poland ("caring for people with mental problems" conference in February/March 2021)
- Schildtin lukio, Jyväskylä, Finland ("caring for refugees" conference in November 2020)
What is important for preparing our students for their future careers? How can we sensitise them to social professions and their significance? Teachers from Portugal, Finland, Poland, the Netherlands and Germany have asked themselves these and many other questions and have jointly launched the Erasmus+ project CARE (Active Cooperation for Responsibility and Empathy). The two-year project, which is financially supported by the EU and under the direction of the Wittekind-Gymnasium, aims at giving pupils in all five participating schools the opportunity to get to know social professions and to deal with the diverse work. This is to take place both in face-to-face project meetings at all schools and in virtual exchanges. In order to plan the project phase in detail, representatives of all schools have now met in Luxembourg. Over two days, ideas were exchanged, plans concretised, topics analyzed and deadlines set. At the same time, the annual meeting of the network "Europroject - Education without frontiers" took place on site. The representatives from 15 schools all over Europe listened with interest to a presentation on the new CARE project by Silke Horst and Jessica Stefener. They described the project in detail and invited the representatives to look at the results later. After the presentation, some schools immediately showed interest in expanding their own school programme with the ideas from "CARE" and asked for further information. Already in February 2020, all CARE partner schools will come to Lübbecke with six pupils and two teachers and make use of a variety of offers on the main topic of "Working with disabled people". Among other things, a visit to the “Lübbecker Werkstätten” and a day trip to Bethel are planned. At each of the project meetings, a social day is also to be organised for the participants, during which they will spend several hours in a social institution. All results will then be evaluated and published on the Internet. In November 2020, the students from all the partner schools will then be able to embark on the long journey to Finland and learn more about working with refugees there. The teachers involved in the planning meeting are all very much looking forward to the joint work and the many opportunities that can be made possible for the participants in this project. They are all sure that this international exchange can strengthen the capacity for empathy and the sense of responsibility of all participants in a special way.
(Unfortunately these plans and hopes were destroyed by the pandemic)