The kick-off meeting of the Erasmus+ Urban SOS project took place in Ghent 6 – 8 Nov 2019. We were a group of over 20 people from work partners and 10 from the associated partners from Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Finland. The meeting consisted of discussions around our phronetic approach, teamwork, visits to social work organizations and attending a student project seminar.
The first day was all about getting to know each other and collaborating. To get collaboration started we played an investigative game where we formed groups as Sherlock Holmes’s assistants trying to solve a murder. Afterwards we formed the framework and timeline for the project and its outputs. The other big theme of the whole three-day meeting was phronetic analysis. We created a joint understanding about how we are using that to achieve the goals of our project.
Visiting students’ project seminar and a local social work organization
The second day started with digging deeper into the framework and timeline of our project. Afterwards we visited the mid-term Social Work in Urban Areas project seminar by the students studying at Artevelde University of Applied Sciences. The first project presented was called “A 21st century neighbourhood” and was focusing on globalization, segregation, super diversity and gentrification. The second project was called “Rabot” and presented the Manoeuvre center for migrant women. The center is a place where women can gather together, do handicrafts, and have discussions.
We also visited two local social work organizations. I joined the group that went to Overkop, a center supporting youngsters with mental health issues, between 12 and 25 years old, to take life into their own hands. The center provides the youngsters with the opportunity to meet each other and professionals without needing to know which social service they should apply for. The center is in contact with the local community and gets support from the city and the government. It´s easy for the organization to get the youngsters to participate in the activities provided but it´s difficult to get them to participate in the mental issues process. Quite a few of the participants are willing to talk about their problems.
Attending the seminar and going on a visit to Overkop was the most interesting part of the trip for me. It was eye opening to hear about the students’ approach to urban social work and to hear about how the local social work organization functions. Overall, I had a very good experience of my first work trip abroad.
More information about the project:
Social Media: #urbansos
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