Sem Diferenças E7G is the new project of Cáritas Coimbra

In 2018, the percentage of men and women between 18 and 24 years of age who dropped out studying without completing the high school in Portugal was of 11,8, almost achieving the target of having a school drop-out rate of no more than 10% under the ‘Europe 2020 Objective’.

With the objective of producing substantial social changes, Cáritas Coimbra presented its 2nd candidacy to the  National Programme “Escolhas 7ª Geração” – Sem Diferenças E7G. It was recently approved and the resulting social interventions will be implemented in the parishes of Marinha das Ondas and S. Pedro – Gala, in the municipality of Figueira da Foz.

Social housing has a pronounced expression in these parishes. At Marinha das Ondas, Leirosa’s Social Neighborhood has 79 households, 16% of which are of gypsy ethnicity; in the Lusiaves neighborhood, there are about 240 migrants from Nepal, Bangladesh and India, with a total of 35 children integrated in the school context between the 1st and 3rd cycle. In the Social Neighborhood of Gala there are 86 households, of which 29% are of gypsy ethnicity, and 4% are migrants (Brazil, Angola and Eastern European countries). Marinha das Ondas, with a total resident population of 3179 people, has worrisome school indicators: 62% of the resident population has only one level of education until the 6th year, including in this number those who do not have any training at school level. From the 38 percent of the remaining resident population, only 7% went to higher education, with the frequency in the 3rd cycle and high school with equal division, with a total of 15%. S. Pedro has a total resident population of 2695 people, with worrisome school indicators: 53% of the resident population only have a level of education up to the 6th year, including in this number those who do not have any training at school level. From the 47 percent of the remaining resident population only 6% went to higher education, with the frequency in the 3rd cycle and high school with equal division, with a total of 12%. Compared with the municipality of Figueira, Marinha das Ondas and Gala have much lower educational levels, since in Figueira only 50% of the population has a level of education up to the 6th year. As education levels are so low, the chances of success are also low for these children, resulting in considerable higher failure and drop-out rates.

The intervention areas of the application are Education, Employment and Citizenship and Multiculturality. With several actions proposed in the course of this project, it is intended to promote educational and social change in the medium term.

By consolidating the work carried out by the schools, activities to promote the acquisition of personal, social and relational skills aim to motivate the continuation of school attendance and, consequently, contribute to the reduction of school drop-out. Social inclusion should be a factor of promotion of sociability of different groups, in an environment of respect, tolerance and promotion of cultural and religious differences.

Issues related to education for equality and equal inclusion of all participants will be adequately addressed in the context of the development of the project itself. It is intended to promote social responsibility and sharing based on a spirit of neighborhood and social symbiosis, that favors well-being and promotes social inclusion.

The work of the various participants in the project should benefit from adequate publicity through expositions and promotion in multicultural actions, promoting individuals as “social agents” and “benefactors” of the community to which they belong.

On Friday, March 1, the activities of the project Sem Diferenças E7G started. In a working group with gypsy women, expectations, dreams and tastes were worked out. An aesthetic office was set up in the Centro Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem, which will allow them to put into practice the training they already have and will have in the future, with a view to integrating these people into the community. The objective is to make this office a reference point in the locality.

On March 4, the beneficiaries of the project traveled to Coimbra to participate in the Carnival parade of Cáritas Coimbra. Twenty-three children and youngsters, accompanied by their mothers and siblings, dressed in rigor, participated in the already famous parade. The girls presented themselves as Amália Rodrigues and the boys of her guitarists, since the theme of the Carnival of Cáritas Coimbra this year was “Icons of History and Education”. The Participation in this activity was supported by the Figueira da Foz City Council, which offered the transportation that allowed the trip to Coimbra.

During this week, literacy sessions will also begin, which will initially involve 10 people of gypsy ethnicity, five men and five women. The arts and crafts workshops will also begin.

This project counts on a consortium of several Institutions / Companies – Cáritas Coimbra, Figueira da Foz City Council, Marinha das Ondas Parish, S. Pedro Parish, CPCJ of Figueira da Foz, Celbi SA, Novo Olhar Association, Figueira Domus, School Group of Paião and School Group Dr. João de Barros.

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