Inspiring ESAA projects from 2019-2020 ESAA MAGAZINE 2019 · 2020
The European Commission supported various interesting ESAA projects throughout 2019 and early 2020. The ESAA project scheme encourages and enables volunteers to connect and carry out projects that represent ESAA’s aims and promote Erasmus+ all over the world. We would like to thank all applicants for their inspiring project proposals, with 302 applications over the past two years. We were pleased to support 42 projects during the ﬁrst year (2018/19) and 51 projects during the second (2019/20)! In this edition of the ESAA magazine, we are showcasing nine examples of successful ESAA projects from 2019 and 2020. Each project manager volunteers with at least one of ESAA’s partner organisations: Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association (EMA); Organisation for Cooperation, Exchange and Networking: Student & Alumni network of international exchange programmes (OCEANS Network); Erasmus Student Network (ESN); and, garagErasmus (gE). ESAA projects underline the great variety of ideas dreamt up by Erasmus+ alumni. If you want to connect with any of the project volunteers, you can ﬁnd a complete list of all projects with details on our website: www.esaa-eu.org To keep in touch with future projects and calls, follow #ESAAprojects and #ESAAeu on our social media channels. We wish to thank all the Erasmus+ alumni volunteers for their cooperation and wish them the best of luck and success for the future. We look forward to even more inspiring projects for years to come! Your ESAA Magazine Team
ESAA at a glance Jan 2019 - Jul 2019 facts and figures ESAA projects Aug 2019- Jul 2020 facts and figures 02 04 Stronger by Nikolina Duri 06 GlobErasmus by Joana Ribau 08 Erasmus Vote Power by Valentina Presa WE AfriHug 2019 by Konstantinos Maragkos Edu VanHub Armenia by Gèv Harutyunyan SPARK by Lucia Loposova #HowToErasmus+ by Tiago Welter 10 12 14 16 18 Erasmus+ Global Partnerships by Swati Verma 20 OCEANS Network: DC Community by Tyler Underwood 22
ESAA at a glance for The Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Alliance (ESAA) promotes Erasmus+ and supports European Union funded exchange students and alumni, and offers a dynamic networking platform its partner organisations, boosting cooperation among Erasmus+ students and alumni. ESAA organises activities to strengthen Erasmus+ alumni’s skills. It also encourages and enables volunteers all over the world to connect and launch projects in line with ESAA’s aims, whilst promoting Erasmus+. ESAA projects typically focus on: w Strengthening higher education quality w Spreading Erasmus+ and widening participation w Increasing social inclusion, empowerment, and participation w Capacity building for volunteers and international youth Anybody volunteering with one of ESAA’s partner organisations can pitch project ideas for support from ESAA. You can find out more about upcoming calls on our website: esaa-eu.org Jan 2019 - Jul 2019 facts&figures The 42 successfully implemented projects until summer 2019 can be grouped into five different clusters: Asia, America, Africa, Europe, and virtual online projects. 02 24091
Europe Albania · Belarus · Belgium Croatia · Czech Republic Finland · France · Greece Italy · Poland · Portugal Spain · Romania · UK Ukraine · Western Balkans (Crosscutting project) Asia Armenia · China Pakistan · Singapore South Asia (Crosscutting project) America Brazil Africa Ethiopia · Ghana Kenya · Morocco Nigeria · Rwanda · Uganda 42 projects 4 continents +29 countries
ESAA Aug 2019 - Jul 2020 facts&figures From July 2019 to July 2020, 51 projects* were accepted to be supported across the world. *Due to the special COVID-19 situation during which this Magazine has been developed, not all of the projects could be ﬁnished. However, the Magazine displays the current status of the projects at the time. ESAA 9inspiringprojects This issue showcases a few of the many excellent ESAA projects to give you an idea of the various initiatives supported by ESAA. Each feature outlines the project’s achievements, and the challenges faced by each project team. We are sure you will be inspired to put forward your own project proposal in the future! 04 ARRIVAL
Europe Belarus · Belgium · Czech Republic Estonia · France · Georgia Greece · Hungary · Iceland · Italy Netherlands · Poland · Portugal Romania · Russia · Serbia · Spain Sweden · UK · Ukraine Asia Armenia · Azerbaijan Malaysia · Pakistan America Colombia · Cuba Jamaica · Trinidad and Tobago · USA Africa Benin · Burundi · Cameroon Chad · Morocco · Nigeria Rwanda · South Africa · Togo 51 projects 4 continents 38 countries
STRONGER by Nikolina Đuri w Please describe your project shortly. In May 2019, Novi Sad, a city in the north of Serbia that proudly carried the title European Youth Capital 2019, hosted a group of around 30 young people from 10 different non-EU countries and 6 different organisations for a 4-day training event. The event aimed at breaking barriers and improving youth participation and active citizenship in the EU Neighbourhood region. w What was the main focus of your project? improving youth and student engagement Symbolically named STRONGER, the event focused on in order to encourage youth activism and multicultural mindset. The training aimed on one hand, at defining and brainstorming on how to defy the barriers related to internalisation and youth engagement as well as volunteering. On the other hand it serves to connect young people from the Western Balkans, Eastern Partnership and the Russian Federation to break down cultural barriers as well as to engage them in teamwork and to realise the common similarities and differences they face in their own work areas. w Why did you choose to organise this project? Through an exciting simulation, we wanted the participants to recognise the wide scope of barriers related to the environments they operate in and their effect on youth engagement and internationalisation. We also wanted them to assess which barriers are present in their countries, regions, and their organisations. For some of them, it was very liberating 06 to talk with fellow participants in the same or similar situation, e.g. on the challenges they faced not being EU citizens. w What was the added value to ESAA of your project? In order to better reach potential solutions to some of these issues, during the event there was an Open Space session with different stations for discussions on different topics, ranging from smaller ones, such as how to overcome fear of taking part in student mobility, to bigger ones, such as how to effectively advocate for young people through their volunteering. During the Open Space session, participants were joined by representatives from Serbia’s National Youth Council, OPENS European Youth Capital 2019 and the Western Balkans Alumni Association (WBAA), who shared their perspectives on some of the barriers they had identified, including lack of funding, sustainability, recognition of volunteering and youth advocacy. w What were the biggest achievements? On the second day, participants defined what youth engagement and internationalisation meant to them. They then had the chance to take part in Europe Day, organised by Novi Sad 2021 European Capital of Culture as part of their month-long project Future of Europe. Here they took part in discussions on topics such as Mobile Europe and Travelling, Future jobs for Europe, Inclusive Europe, Eco-friendly Europe, Tech-Europe and Europe for you(th).
“ EVENTS LIKE THIS HAVE T H E P OW E R OF BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER “ w What did you like the most about your project? The training showed that events like this have the power to bring people together, despite their differences. Four days were more than enough for this group of young people to make important steps forward both as individuals and as young activists. w Anything else you want to tell us about your ESAA project? We would like to thank Erasmus Student Network Serbia and Erasmus Student Network Novi Sad for hosting the training and all the time and effort they put into it, ensuring the best possible experience for the participants and trainers. p
“ TO WO R K W I T H THE ERASMUS MUNDUS STUDENTS AND ALUMNI ASSOCIATION was amazing“ 08
GlobErasmus by Joana Ribau w Please describe your project shortly. w What did you like the most about your project? GlobErasmus was a project in the field of Global Competence and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project aimed at capacitating the Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Alliance (ESAA) Partner Organisations through a toolkit and GlobErasmus Ambassadors. From 19 to 22 May 2019, a training under this project was implemented in Brussels, Belgium, where a group of volunteers received the needed knowledge to become activators of the SDGs in their organisations and to write recommendations for actions. In the training, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and JEF- Europe shared their expertise in the field of Sustainable Development. w What was the main focus of your project? Capacitate youth in the field of the SDGs and Global Citizenship. w What was the added value to ESAA of your project? The project was developed for the volunteers of ESAA Partner Organisations, focusing on how Erasmus+ empowers the development of global citizenship that work towards achieving the SDGs. w Why did you choose to organise this project? We felt there was a need to connect the SDGs and student mobility as we actively contribute towards SDG target 4.7 (by 2030 ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development…). Additionally, our volunteers were not very aware of the topic. We are very proud of the toolkit and the fact that we were able to work all together, to make it a reality. w What were the biggest achievements? The toolkit is very comprehensive, and the GlobErasmus Training and Conference created real GlobErasmus Ambassadors, so the participants still feel very attached to the project. w What were the biggest challenges? To disseminate the toolkit. w How was the work together with your teammates? Great. The work was fulfilling and to work with the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association (EMA) was amazing; the exchange of knowledge and experiences was extremely enriching. w What have you learned for your future (personal and professional development) being part of an ESAA project? international team, and to To manage a project with a large budget, to manage an liaise with other organisations. And also, to manage an event that didn’t take place in my own country, in the city where I live. w Would you encourage other alumni to be part of ESAA projects and what would be your recommendations to them? I would encourage it a lot because it is an amazing experience to implement a project of this type and with this kind of support. p
The project ‘Erasmus Vote Power’ by Valentina Presa deserves to be pointed out as a very special and successful ESAA project. This is to say, the project has been supported by the president of the European Parliament at the time personally: Antonio Tajani (president of the European Parliament from 2017 to 2019). To officially kick-off the #ErasmusVotePower project, he sent the letter you find below to the project organisers. ESAA cannot be prouder than this to see that an ESAA project has been endorsed by a first-rank EU representative! Dear citizens, dear Erasmus Ambassadors, dear Europeans, I wasn’t lucky enough to be an Erasmus student. Before answering your invitation, I asked a guy from my staff, who experienced it first-hand, what that experience represented for him. “It was the first time I felt truly European,” he replied without hesitation. Well, I think my message for you should start like this. Because these words are the best way to underline how important the work you are all doing is. You are fuelling that spark that in many cases Erasmus itself sparked, that feeling of being European that today seems so rare and difficult to convey. I am convinced that our European Union is still imperfect. I still believe that it needs to be improved because it must be able to provide concrete answers to the major problems that concern citizens: from global warming to the management of migration flows, from unemployment to security. To do so, it is not enough to talk about numbers, constraints or international agreements. It is not just economics and diplomacy that revitalise this great project. We must remember that Europe was not born to be a simple alliance between States, the European Union is not just the free market or the single currency, it is much more. In order to have a future, we need an identity, an identity based on the values that we have indelibly written in the Treaties. If we want to get the European citizens back to the polls, if we want to make them more involved and reduce the distance between them and the Brussels offices, if we want this dream to continue, we must not forget it. We must feel proud to be European, just as we are proud to be Italian, German or French. Because when we disagree, when the voice of those who want to destroy this Union and not improve it will be even louder, it will be those values and that identity that will keep us together. I may look like a dreamer to you, but as Erasmus of Rotterdam said: “In every activity, a passion removes most of the difficulties.” And I would like to repeat it once again today, that passions often blossoms with the unforgettable experience of Erasmus. Thanks again, Antonio Tajani Over fifty people from different countries flew to Brussels, Belgium, on 08 February 2019 to take part in an innovative project “Erasmus Vote Power - Active citizens for an active Europe” which aimed at motivating the Erasmus Generation to go to vote for the European elections, which took place from 23 - 26 May 2019. Thanks to the financial support of the European Parliament and the Erasmus+ Students and Alumni Alliance (ESAA), we were able to invite selected Erasmus Ambassadors to encourage and discuss the active involvement of young citizens living abroad during the European elections. Inter alia, the event was attended by active members of the Erasmus Students Network and the Erasmus Mundus Association, along with other students, young international professionals and Erasmus Volunteers. The event began with speeches of Laura Popa (European Parliament), Nicola Filizola (Vice-President of the garagErasmus foundation), Oana Dumitrescu (European Commission) who started with opening messages that inspired attendants to find a campaign very passionate. Laura Popa shared an emotional speech about having a voting chance from abroad and how important it is nowadays to be able to vote. Nicola Filizola and Oana Dumitrescu encouraged the attendees to fight for the future of their Europe. We also proudly presented a message from Antonio Tajani, the President of the European Parliament. ... that feeling of being EU RO P EA N 10
Erasmus Vote Power Training Event on the European Elections 2019 by Valentina Presa Right after, Mats Hvid (European Movement International) introduced the public to the political challenges of the European Elections 2019, Sebastiano Putoto (Young European Federalists) explained how the European elections are a patchwork of national electoral rules and political campaigns, whereas Nadia Deis (AEGEE-Yvote) presented the Y vote application as a tool for EU citizens to know how to vote regardless of where they are. The second part of the event was designed specifically to train ambassadors on a common narrative for the European elections and on the concrete steps to set up their own #ErasmusVotePower projects in their hosting countries. Presentations of Maurits Van Rooijen (garagErasmus High-Level Council), Carlo and Fabrizio Bitetto (garagErasmus), and Erwan (#ThisTimeImVoting ambassador in Belgium) were motivating and inspiring. In the end, the ambassadors had a chance to speak about themselves and about the ideas of the project which might increase the number of voters living abroad. Each of them shared a different story, a different motivation and amazing projects to carry out in their role of ambassadors! The event concluded with a focus on the Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Alliance (ESAA), whose members and sections were suggested as top partners of the Erasmus ambassadors’ projects. Francesco Guerzoni (ESAA Board member) debriefed ambassadors on what ESAA is and how to get in touch with its local sections along with the local offices of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Erasmus+ agencies in each EU country. Particularly positive was that several ambassadors already had plans and contacts with local EU representations and ESAA local sections, underlining how much these young European citizens are well placed to spread the word about the European elections. p
w Please describe your project shortly. WE AfriHug is a Youthmakers Hub project. It is an educational project being implemented in Africa every year since 2018 with a different edition. According to Nelson Mandela “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Our Vision is to bring Africa, Europe and our Mission closer together to empower youth, provide capacity building and foster synergies between African and European Institutions. Our values are: Thinking global - Acting local, Afrocentric approach, Collaboration, Co- creation, Respect for local communities. w What is the main focus of your project? WE AfriHug aims to promote Erasmus+ and widen participation of HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) and CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) in various African countries through training seminars. The objectives are: a) to promote Erasmus+ opportunities to HEIs and CSOs b) to build the capacity of board members, academic staff, students and youth workers for participation in Erasmus+ c) to create synergies between African and European HEIs and CSOs. w What is the added value to ESAA of your project? WE AfriHug promotes ESAA and its initiatives to places, where no one has done it before. Urban and rural communities of Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana are aware of ESAA and the possibilities of getting involved. WE AfriHug by Konstantinos Maragkos (gE4Athens) The project activates ESAA members in partner countries with a focus on Africa, providing them with the opportunity to gain skills and build their capacities with various skills such as project management, stakeholder engagement, communication and a rich skill set of soft skills, such as problem solving, critical thinking, negotiation, public speaking, creativity among others. The WE AfriHug project contributes immediately and directly to the implementation of ESAA cluster 2 “Spreading Erasmus+ and Widening Participation” and its 4 components, including “Increase international cooperation”, “Increase knowledge of the Erasmus+ programme”, “Facilitate access to Erasmus+” and “Training extra EU universities on the Erasmus+ programme”. w Why have you chosen especially this project? According to our research and experience on the ground in several African countries, we realized that firstly, there is lack of information for mobility, educational and scholarship opportunities for the youth. By 2050, African countries will hold the youngest population in the world. Right now, 77% of Uganda’s population is between 18 and 30 years old. Higher Education Institutions and Civil Society Organizations lack information and opportunities about Erasmus+, which has changed the lives of thousands of people around the world. Secondly, 12
there is lack of capacity to apply or get engaged in Erasmus+ and to find trustworthy partners. w What were the biggest achievements? “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” − we focus on the process, as well as the results and the impact. During the implementation phase of WE AfriHug 2019, we worked in Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana. During the period of 4 months, we implemented 11 Erasmus+ and Capacity Building Training Seminars in 6 Higher Education Institutions and 5 Civil Society Organizations, including 1659 university students, academic staff and 210 youth workers from 73 organizations. We have been able to facilitate 12 partnerships between African and European institutions. As a result of the partnerships, mobilities are taking place between the two continents, with academic staff and students benefiting of EU funds for HEIs and travel for training, studies and internships. w How was the work together with your teammates? Exciting, learning, growing, achieving together! Together we improved cross-cultural skills, and we strengthened our teamwork capabilities. Working with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, mentalities is also challenging but you also learn to be more tolerant and expand your understanding on how united the world can be in diversity. w What have you learned for your future (personal and professional development) being part of an ESAA project? You need to be resilient and focus on your project in order to make it a success. Choosing the right team is crucial and being tolerant towards different attitudes and characters important for the successful implementation. I learned how important it is to follow- up and involve multiple stakeholders. is w How would you encourage other alumni to be part of ESAA projects and what would be your recommendations to them? ESAA projects offer the opportunity to LEARN, NETWORK and TAKE ACTION towards the issues you would love to tackle. Find the right partners and make things happen! p “ ESAA PROJECTS OFFER THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN N ETWO R K “ and take action
w Please describe your project shortly. w What were the biggest achievements? Edu VanHub Armenia was a project to promote the role of media literacy for the inclusion and empowerment of youth living in rural areas through educational space in a van type car Media Hub. Edu VanHub brought media literacy workshops to remote areas for socially disadvantaged young people. The project methodology was designed on the principle that educational spaces can move and that learning can (and does) happen wherever interaction between people takes place. The overall objective of this project was to develop the participants’ digital skills and habits (media protection, digital CV, video blogging, photography etc.) of media introduce the opportunities within the Erasmus+ programme through the workshops. literacy and to w What was the main focus of your project? The main focus of the project was inclusion. Young people living in rural areas (especially in poor communities) are isolated and lack information, they sometimes miss cultural and educational opportunities and media literacy can help them avoid falling into an information bubble instead of being able to access and assess information from different sources and points of view. We live in the 21st century where almost everything is linked to media, therefore the media programme of Edu VanHub was and is a great contribution to the present and future of the project’s participants; no matter what profession they choose for the future, they will definitely need some basic media knowledge. w What was the added value to ESAA of your project? First of all we did a promotional campaign for Erasmus+ and ESAA (social media, printed material such as flyers and booklets, car stickers etc. .) and this way we could inform people about ESAA and its scope activities, plus we motivated them to become part of the ESAA community. During two phases of the Edu VanHub project we had a successful cooperation and partnerships with other ESAA member organizations and individuals. w Why did you choose to organise this project? There is a story behind it. Back in 2015 me and my friends made theatrical performances in poor villages of Armenia, where I first noticed that young people lack information about educational and cultural opportunities and events. Hence, I got a ‘’call to action’’ and promised myself to help and empower these young people and I think education is the best tool for empowering them. From then on, the idea was in my mind and I was super sure that one day, I would launch the project for inclusion and empowering young people living in rural areas. In early 2019 my goal (and dream) was materialized and together with my powerful team and partners we launched first pilot phase of Edu VanHub. 14 I believe the biggest achievements were the numbers of trained young people (within the pilot and international phases we trained more than 250 teenagers), media workshops conducted (within the pilot and international phases we did 30 workshops), the marketing strategy (we created an educational brand with long and short term marketing strategy), two documentary movies about the project, an online platform (website of the project) and of course the kilometres passed (within the international phase we passed more than 8000 kilometres through Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine). w What have you learned for your future (personal and professional development) being part of an ESAA project? Above all I felt spiritual growth as I could lead two phases of Edu VanHub and of course I faced many challenges. Now I feel stronger and even much more motivated to continue to act as a global citizen of the world who wants to make some positive changes. Besides, I expanded my network and learned how to successfully cooperate with other international organisations and active individuals. I would add that the project gave me chances to travel many places where I hadn’t been before and to explore the local culture. Aside from the above mentioned, I could improve my project-writing skills and now I am planning to have a great year full of new social-educational initiatives. w How would you encourage other alumni to be part of ESAA projects and what would be your recommendations to them? First of all, I would recommend to set achievable goals and to approach the big goal by doing small- small steps: I would bring the example of Edu VanHub − as we started from pilot phase and after successful implementation of the pilot version we were encouraged to launch the international phase with greater goals and a longer time frame . After right but small steps, the success will become the shadow of your project, but you always need to remember that the beginning is always hard! Secondly, I would recommend keeping applying again and again and if your project is not chosen in the first ESAA project round, don’t give up and make your application better for applying for the next ESAA project call. w Anything else you want to tell us about your ESAA project? Thanks for your support of world-changing initiatives! p
Edu VanHub Armenia by Gèv Harutyunyan (gE4Yerevan)
“ ESAA CAN BE O N LY A S S T R O N G A S I T S “ INDIVIDUAL PARTS 16
SPARK Sustainable Partnerships through combined Actions, Resources and Knowledge by Lucia Loposova w Please describe your project shortly. w What did you like the most about your project? SPARK - Sustainable Partnerships through combined Actions, Resources and Knowledge focused on fostering close collaboration between EMA and other member organisations of the Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Alliance (ESAA) including ESN, garagErasmus and OCEANS. Through SPARK, the team of 3 volunteer interns (Ingrid Annilo, Caroline Manik and Joana Xhemali) developed and collaborated on campaigns and projects beyond the ESAA framework. The SPARK project enabled the EMA community to contribute to the internationalisation of Higher Education through fostering collaboration with the European Commission and other relevant stakeholders who shape the future of European Higher Education policies. applications funding w What was the added value to ESAA of your project? ESAA can be only as strong as its individual parts. For me, allowing EMA to catch up on the knowledge that some of the organisations already have (ESN, garagErasmus) was important to become a more equal team-player and it also strengthened the collaboration across our organisations as well as the participation in the Higher Education agenda of the EU. w Why did you choose to organise this project? Because it was necessary to respond to the growth and the demands of the community which required actions that create more social impact while providing a long- term sustainability to the organisation. The fact that we were able to generate knowledge for future leadership and the community and that it was based on the bottom-up approach. w What were the biggest achievements? Building of internal capacity for EMA analysing possible opportunities for future funding and formation of partnerships with key stakeholders. w What were the biggest challenges? The distance of project managers from the team. w How was the work together with your teammates? It went quite well considering management across time zones and remotely as well as the change of leadership in EMA. Over the time we could figure out the ways to make things work. w Anything else you want to tell us about your ESAA project? Sometimes the administrative support was not perfect in terms of provision of the right tools, procedures, and clear guidelines. Hence it sometimes happened that volunteers had to deal with administrative burdens. p
#HowToErasmus+ Workshops in Brazil by Tiago Welter w Please describe your project shortly. The project took place in Brazil in 2019, led by Tiago Welter, an Erasmus Mundus Association (EMA) member. It focused on enabling participants to prepare stronger applications with regard to Erasmus+ opportunities. As a result, 8 capacity building sessions attracted a total of 342 participants. The sessions analysed real cases based on suggestions from the participants. Both trainer and participants debated about what strategies may increase the chances of success in such application processes. One of the host venues was the same university auditorium where the trainer had first heard about the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship through an EMA information session in 2009. w What was the focus of your project? To enable participants to write stronger applications concerning Erasmus+ opportunities, focusing on how to tackle the main challenges faced by them. A special emphasis was given on the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Programme. 18 w What was the added value to ESAA of your project? The sessions also promoted the ESAA organisations in terms of Erasmus+ opportunities and invited participants to join one of the organisations as members, since many of them had previously studied at European universities through mobility programmes. w Why did you choose to organise this project? My Erasmus+ journey started with an Erasmus Mundus Association information session back in 2009, in the very same auditorium where one of my 8 sessions was held. I remember the positive impact a similar session had on me back then. This project was my way of trying to return the generous opportunity I had been given before. I chose this specific project format because I think it is the easiest and cheapest solution to one of the main challenges faced by potential applicants for Erasmus+ opportunities. w What did you like the most about your project? I liked how I focused less on theoretical information and more on debating what challenges participants have been facing and how could I motivate them to overcome
w What have you learned for your future (personal and professional development) being part of an ESAA project? What I did through this project is probably what I would like to do in the future if I found the job of my dreams! I still do not have such a job. But the project certainly motivated me to look for a position in this area. w How would you encourage other alumni to be part of ESAA projects and what would be your recommendations to them? By contacting potential host institutions, I had the chance to notice how welcoming the Higher Education institutions in Brazil are with regard to projects promoted by organisations which are supported by ESAA and/or the European Commission. The students and communities in Latin America and other parts of Brazil are eager to participate in such projects and to be in touch with European organisations even if it’s just through meeting one of their members. So do not hesitate to find partners there and, especially, hosting venues for free. w Anything else you want to tell us about your ESAA project? Thank you so much for all the support! p the fear of applying. As an active Erasmus Mundus Association member since 2016 I have interacted with over 250 EM students and alumni. So, I liked how I could bring in real cases I know to point out strategies. w What were the biggest achievements? The biggest achievements were that (a) the 8 sessions attracted a large audience, a total number of 342 participants and that (b) almost every participant got to talk at some point, either by asking a question or giving an opinion. Finally, (c) I believe the sessions had a positive impact by motivating them to apply because they either had overcome their fear of failure, could use the sources of information I presented or could use the strategies we came up with as a group. w What were the biggest challenges? We attracted most of the participants with the help of the host institutions themselves by promoting the event. But it took me a bit too long to figure out whether that was a good option. So, I am sure that an even larger audience could have been attracted if I had asked for that kind of help sooner. If this project got a second edition, I am certain that it could attract a greater number of participants. w How was the work together with your teammates? In each of the host institutions I was helped by members of their university’s International Office and/or administration. These newly formed partnerships were great, and I feel like I made new friends through this process. Additionally, these contacts could be valuable for future projects.
Erasmus+ Global Partner- ships by Swati Verma w Please describe your project shortly. The world is now home to more than 1.8 billion young people. Yet more often than ever, these key stakeholders are pushed to the periphery in crucial policy-making areas in education, peace, sustainability, and global citizenship. ERASMUS Global Partnerships (EGP) series espouse the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda and its Goal 17 to “strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development” with a special focus on empowering youth civil society. EGP promotes collaboration, open innovation and knowledge exchange. We champion Global Solidarity to move towards Development Justice as a cornerstone to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). w What is the main focus of your project? Anyone can innovate solutions to world’s greatest challenges. We can innovate much faster if we are building on the ideas of not one but many. To adequately prepare for such challenges over the years, countless policy-makers, activists, researchers, inter-governmental institutions and governments alike have gone back to Nelson Mandela’s famous words on education with the agreement that it is - “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. In this manner, EGP draws from United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) key objectives of the Global Citizenship Education, which include the abilities to: a) Develop an understanding of global governance structures, rights and responsibilities, global issues and connections between global, national and local systems and processes. b) Recognise and appreciate differences and multiple identities, e.g. culture, language, religion, gender and our common humanity, and develop skills for living in an increasingly diverse world. 20 24091
In addition to promoting an understanding of international issues, it is crucial that contemporary education and research fosters not only critical thinking, but also social justice as a cornerstone addressing issues of global development and our collective futures. Social justice is essential, because it has the pursuit of well-being for all human beings at its core and promotes positive action in a post-colonial world which is increasingly characterised by growing inequality, poverty, displacement, and the climate crisis. To sum it all, we like to quote Ban Ki-moon, the former UN Secretary General, who said: “Education gives us a profound understanding that we are tied together as citizens of the global community, and that our challenges are interconnected.” w Why did you choose to organise this project? To put it simply, we believe that anyone can innovate solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. We can innovate much faster if we are building on the ideas of not one, but many. A core theme in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the need for knowledge co-creation to inform policy and formation of robust partnerships to drive sustainable development. Thus, the UN Agenda 2030 refers to the need for revitalised and enhanced global partnerships to facilitate global engagement in support of the implementation of the SDGs. Furthermore, in addition to championing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there is an urgent need to shift towards a more just and sustainable model of development, which promotes and does not constrain policies on human rights, environmental protection and empowerment of civic society and local entrepreneurs as key drivers of development. w What were the biggest achievements? To increase digital participation and maximise on delivered training - two webinars were hosted on 17 and 18 May 2019 on the topic of design thinking and finding the right financing strategy for new innovations in SDGs which trained over 200 people remotely. Over two days in the heart of Bangkok, the Symposium was hosted in the sprawling C-ASEAN tower on 23 and 24 May 2019. The Symposium brought together 60 participants from ERASMUS+ alumni, youth organisations, start-ups, and researchers from over 20 countries to facilitate young people in building coalitions, exchanging perspectives in a cross and inter-disciplinary setting, and developing sustainable grassroots solutions for their communities. In addition, the project developed a set of policy recommendations from the participants in SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 10 (Reducing Inequalities), SDG 13 (Climate Change) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) which can be found on our website. w What were the biggest challenges? Some of our biggest challenges were coordinating the core team remotely as our three co-founders were spread across three time zones volunteering in their free time. It often would mean endless coffees or waking up at the crack of the dawn on some days. But we have to say that the result was worth it! w What have you learned for your future (personal and professional development) being part of an ESAA project? From project management, to conflict resolutions to managing crisis and doing logistics. It was certainly a fuelled project. I believe one of the biggest learnings however was in managing differences of opinion and using criticism to make our project better. w How would you encourage other alumni to be part of ESAA projects and what would be your recommendations to them? I would encourage other alumni to apply for these calls to further their own innovations and ideas for their own grassroots! Working on these projects is a challenge but it’s worth every minute you work on it - not only in terms of the skills you develop in project management but also partnerships for your future endeavours! p
OceansNetwork: DC Community by Tyler Underwood w Please describe your project shortly. w What were the biggest challenges? OCEANS Network: DC Community is a local community of ESAA/OCEANS members in Washington, DC. This community has an informal gathering once a month and focuses on membership growth for ESAA/OCEANS, professional development, and networking as well as having fun. Reaching out to people and convincing them to come out after a long day at work was difficult. I had to adapt and change my idea from more of a speaker presentation setting to a livelier networking style while facilitating the group. w How was the work together with your teammates? I was the only person planning the project, but I had members who created working sessions on what topics they wanted to cover in future meetings and who helped with planning. Working with the group was great and I love hearing other ideas since everyone has different thoughts on events that would be helpful for members. After all, this isn’t Tyler’s community but rather the DC Community. w What have you learned for your future (personal and professional development) being part of an ESAA project? Personally, I learned that a lot of work goes in to event planning with lots of tiny details you do not think of at first and it’s even more difficult to get people to come to your event. Professionally I have learned many things from our meetings such as about the US State Department, federal résumé writing, project management, and the difference of working in the commercial vs the federal world. w How would you encourage other alumni to be part of ESAA projects and what would be your recommendations to them? Base your project on something fun and do not overthink it. These projects are meant to help others but are also to have fun and make our world a little more connected. Once you start your project, learn to adapt if needed and do not be scared to ask for help. w Anything else you want to tell us about your ESAA project? Thanks to all my members here in Washington, DC and thank you to the ESAA team for keeping us all organised. I look forward to reuniting with you all abroad soon! p w What is the main focus of your project? Aside from having a good time together and meeting like- minded people who studied in Europe, the main focus is on professional development for members which is achieved through networking and presentations. w What is the added value to ESAA of your project? This project adds a more global aspect to ESAA as well as rises awareness of ESAA. In the United States people do not know what Erasmus or ESAA is, rather they simply know that you studied abroad in Europe. With these meetings we are educating new members and the community on what ESAA exactly does and what its mission is. w Why did you choose to organise this project? I wanted to grow the member base and spread awareness of ESAA and OCEANS Network so that we can have our own community of members here in Washington. Being in an international city with a competitive job market, I wanted to work on the professional development of members so that we could have a supportive community and share our knowledge. w What do you like the most about your project? I like seeing all the members together making new connections at each meeting. w What were the biggest achievements? Reaching out to around 100+ potential new members as well as finding a partner of sorts with an organisation called YPIE. At my first meeting, another group was in the meeting room beside me. I saw their sign saying “international education” so I walked in, introduced myself and told them about ESAA and OCEANS. We have been chatting since then and some of their members qualify for membership in ESAA. Also, the 29 offline events held in 22 countries through which a total of 19.000 European citizens were reached (including both online and offline outreach). 22
“ BASE YOUR PROJECT ON SOMETHING FUN - - - - - and do not - - - - - OVERTHINK IT “
THANK Y for the amazing projects!
THANK YOU ALL for the amazing projects!
F O L L O W U S T O K N O W M O R E A N D g et i n t o u c h !
esaa-eu.org ESAAeu.org esaaeu ESAAeu Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Alliance info@esaa-eu .org em-a.eu ErasmusMundusAssociation erasmusmundus erasmus_mundus esn.org esn esn_int ESN_Int Erasmus Mundus Association Erasmus Student Network Erasmus Mundus Association ESNInternational garagerasmus.org garagErasmus garagerasmus_foundation garagerasmus garagErasmus Foundation garagErasmus Foundation oceans-network.eu OCEANS Network Oceans Network OCEANS_Network OCEANS Network firstname.lastname@example.org