Le logo du projet Art-Connection

Art-Connection in Portugal

Dance, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, 1938


Conversas Associação Internacional, works with and for vulnerable groups, some on street situation

Conversas Associação Internacional (CAI)

A young Portuguese association, Conversas Associação Internacional is an association specializing in the implementation of practices and methodologies to support “social street work”. These practices are focused on connecting with vulnerable groups, some on street situation, according to active and participatory pedagogical practices, including education through art. With the support of SwTI (Street Work Training  Institute), part of the Dynamo International – Street Workers Network, present in 51 countries, CAI offers a strong potential for observation internationally of innovative pedagogic practices.

Role in the Art-Connection project

CAI is leading on the 3rd and 4th deliverables (co-construction of the cultural accompanist’s guide and its educational toolkit) and is contributing to the production of all the deliverables of the project; CAI is conducting its own action research in Portugal and is in charge for organizing the second dissemination event to be held in Lisbon.

Project Referent: Helder Luiz Santos. Project manager.

CAI action research

CAI through the SwTI (Street work Training Institute) team of researchers, will carry out with partners and stakeholders from their local networks one participatory action research project that aims to identify which are the street-based youth workers skills needed to become promoters of cultural competence among their target populations.

The literature is prolific demonstrating that increasing the use of learning methodologies connected with cultural competence impacts directly in vulnerable groups boost self-learning and social inclusion including the skills that allow them better access to the labour market.

The Social Street Work methodology has been used for a long time by the education, cultural and social sectors aiming social inclusion. This methodology has developed in particular from educational strategies based on cultural, intercultural and non-formal activities. Street Educators use a comprehensive socio-cultural background-based approach to develop an educative relationship with target populations (vulnerable groups or in vulnerability conditions). The aim is to develop technical and social skills that enable them to deal with some important issues; for example, issues regarding issues for youth NEET, such as early dropout from the formal school, antisocial behaviours, illiteracy or the lack of learning pathways required to enter the labour market.

This participatory action research will be co-constructed, implemented and evaluated by a group of 3 types of actors: street educators working in the field of adult education, trainers of these educators, and a group of adults selected from the target population. The group will work together according to their own lines of study or objectives, to feed the action research outcomes in a circular mode of production of knowledge.

Focus on Art-Connection pedagogic tooling (3rd and 4th deliverables)

Objective: develop pedagogic tooling with the entry by cultural situations

The purpose of these two productions is to develop with the Art-Connection action research participants, a pedagogic tooling to all professionals and organizations in charge of education and accompaniment for young people and adults.

This tooling will consist of educational materials, reference guides and methodological guides to contribute to innovations in training curricula, training devices and training actions, educational practices and methods.

Both productions aim to contribute to:  

  • (r)establish a positive and constructive dialogue, with cultural entry, between education professionals and the target population,
  • promote the speaking of the target populations, facilitate the development of their capacity to act, accompany them in a process of identity questioning in relation to their own culture,
  • make users express themselves about their identity, their place in society, the process of inclusion using the cultural dimension and interculturality as the driving force behind this expression,
  • increase user participation and dialogue around the cultural dimension as a means to build a more active and participatory citizenship, that will ultimately promote social cohesion in the territories,
  • get individuals becoming actors to a positive defusing of the processes of exclusion,
  • encourage people to empowerment and a stepping back posture,
  • promote socioprofessional skills using intercultural interaction as gateway to their recognition.

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