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25 October, 2010

InterACT celebrates its first birthday!

October marks the end of InterACT’s first year, and we celebrated by holding an evaluation session with the partner organisations we have worked with this year in Cardiff, Swansea, Birmingham and Bristol to find out what we have achieved.

In one year, we have delivered over 150 hours of activities to 51 young asylum-seekers and refugees and 49 local young people. The young people have taken part in sessions covering team working skills, diversity, communication, project planning and budgeting, identifying local decision makers, identifying key contacts and allies in the community, and promoting projects through local and social media. They are now busy working on social action projects to address issues they have identified in their local communities.

In Swansea, the group is organising a social action project to address racism and discrimination in the city.  They are using each other’s personal stories and have decided to call their project 'I Teach You, You Teach Me' - using their stories to increase understanding and raise awareness of the challenges faced by young people in the community.

As a result of InterACT the young people have reported an increased knowledge of local issues.  Ninety-two per cent have reported improved leadership skills; 75 per cent report feeling more connected to their local community and 83 per cent feel more responsible towards society. The project has also been hugely successful in breaking down barriers and building mutual understanding between the groups of young people.

When we asked what the best thing about InterACT was, one young person said, 'Feeling free to express myself, improving my English, and making new friends. The friends I’ve made on this project, they are like my new family.'

InterACT is currently looking for organisations in Bradford, Barnsley, Liverpool and Belfast who are interested in participating in InterACT in 2011. For further information on how to get involved please contact Xenia Davis on 020 7566 4153 or email Xenia Davis.
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