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 have drawn a human being that represents myself. In the middle there is a heart which is my past, because in our heart you can find whatever has happened ahead and leads us to the present. All around I have drawn branches with key words on, texts and photos. The key words crystallize the story of my family from both sides. The difficulties of surviving and of coexisting, fear for the unknown, hard years, losses, love and passion, optimism, dedication, trust, understanding and help.

Let’s start from my mother’s past. She is Arvanitissa* and Sarakatsana**. Sarakatsani celebrated in open air festivals at Parnitha Mountain in order to revive their customs. The photos are taken from these festivals…

Let’s see now what happens from my father’s side. My father’s last name is Sarakinos. There is an aspect that it comes from the Saracens pirates. My father is very proud of his last name and he likes to tell us all the time the story about it…

*Arvanites: a bilingual population group in Greece who traditionally speaks ‘arvanitika’, a dialect of the Albanian language, along with Greek.

**Sarakatsani: nomads shepherds living in the Balkans.