Multicultural understandings and working in Multicultural Environments with Youth Refugees

Who is this Toolkit for?

It is designed to support youth workers carrying out activities with, and supporting, young refugees and asylum seekers to provide these practitioners with reflexive analysis of their own practice, practical tools and ideas for use in increasing their knowledge, skills and techniques of working in multicultural and multi-ethnic environments. It is targeted primarily at youth workers but also people working in broader contexts: health and social welfare, NGOs, Civil Society Organisations and humanitarian work. A host of practitioners may find the materials of use to their practice with youth refugees. The toolkit provides exercises and activities that can be used to work on your own knowledge and in training courses with refugees and young people with refugee backgrounds but also foregrounds the need for practitioners to work to reflect on their own attitudes, ideas and understandings to improve services for youth refugees across Europe.

Contents of Toolkit 1

The  toolkit examines the issue of one’s own attitudes, assumptions, knowledge and skills as a youth worker working with refugees. It asks you to reflect upon and audit your own cultural background and cultural competence. This is a process that should be continually a part of individual professional development; constantly enhancing the examination of our skills as youth workers and how we might need to develop them in order to best meet the needs of young people we support. Self-reflection and its action component, reflexivity (creating change through self-reflection) is therefore a crucial stage in thinking about how we might improve our practice and services, seek information or ideas that would enhance our individual knowledge or challenge assumptions that may negatively affect our practice. This toolkit is therefore, not just a ‘how to work with youth refugees’ resource (as can be found in other places on the web) it is also about how to develop the best skills in oneself to be a skilled youth worker in this field, drawing  from knowledge and understanding from across Europe.

In the last section of the toolkit, we offer practical activities that can be used with young refugees, explaining the aims of each activity, how to organize them and a commentary on how you might modify these to your own setting and context. We also offer some examples of how some of these have worked in practice from members of the Consortium team and hints, comments and aids as to how you might integrate some of the activities into your own work, or even run dedicated workshops on this area. The PAPYRUS team recognizes that some youth workers will integrate the activities intermittently across other activities and schedules they have in their work and others may opt to create dedicated and focused days. This is up to you and the activities can be adapted  to make sense within your own programmes, recognizing that you may already have some materials that you regularly utilize yourselves.