Bridging languages and memories to foster multiple identities: "Never leave your backpack behind!"

About the project

BACKPACK ID is an innovative intervention for promoting the inclusion of refugee children at school in 4 European countries (Greece and Italy, Germany and Sweden), which are met with acute and very diverse challenges by the ongoing refugee crisis. Informed by these differences, the present approach on social inclusion advances a common account of social inclusion challenges; it sees the social inclusion of refugee children as a function of addressing the needs and perspectives of those children and their families, and local communities and stakeholders, while affirming common European values.

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Backpack ID using a bottom-up participatory method produced the following outputs in order to address social inclusion interpersonal and intergroup understanding in the school environment.

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Who we are

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I was born in Frankfurt/Main. Until the age of 4, I lived with my father’s family, the family of my mother lived in Tunisia. My poppy in Tunisia suffered a dangerous illness and we had to move to Tunisia. I had to live and go to school there. At the beginning, everything was very difficult, I was only able to talk in German to my parents and when I wanted to buy something, I always had to bring my cousin along. With time I learnt Arabic and went to school and made lots of friends. The first time I had to introduce myself, I was very embarrassed, but I managed well. The next day I got to know many children and all the boys were my best friends and we all had adventures together. For 5 years I lived at my nan’s with my mum. She was very cool; every time there was an event, the whole family had to gather at my nan’s, we always had a great time. But we almost always met up on ordinary days also. One day, we wanted to go back to Germany, my mum’s cousin lived in Berlin and spoke German well. My mother had to organise a lot of paperwork, because she didn’t have a German passport. A year later we went to Berlin and my cousin picked us up. That was the first time I met him. He was so nice and cool and played with me every day, even though I was a lot younger than him. He always bought everything I wanted. I like it better in Berlin than in Tunisia, I hope to stay in Berlin.