"Education and Empowerment". Seminar 3 of “A Europe of Diasporas” project

Project seminar

The Sofia seminar on “Education and Empowerment” is the third in a series of events taking place under the umbrella of the European project “A Europe of Diasporas”. The project aims to promote cooperation between Europe’s diasporas and to raise awareness of the existence and role of diasporas in the making of Europe.

The topic of the seminar – education and empowerment – is a central concern for the transmission of culture and identity and ultimately for the welfare of the members of any group. Education is about integrating young people, equipping them with values and social skills to find their place in society, for their own benefit and for the benefit of others. The transmission of values, language and culture are therefore an integral part of the educational process.

The situation of diasporas is exceptional in Europe in that they are dispersed. As a result, they are also frequently poorly served by the institutions of the states in which they live. Although situations vary, diaspora cultures frequently cannot rely on school institutions for the symbolic recognition of their group identity or transmission of their culture and values. Indeed, public educational institutions have often traditionally served as a vehicle for the assimilation of traditional diasporas and the destruction of their cultures.

The consequences of this situation vary widely; but there is no doubt that they are significant. They range from alienation from school institutions to the suppression of cultures.The Sofia seminar will explore the current situation from different angles, in order to exchange experience and seek solutions.

The Europe of Diasporas projects is funded by the European Union.