According to the latest data from Eurostat, millions of Europeans are still at risk of poverty, both in the labour market and in terms of social inclusion and integration. 21.9% of the total EU population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion (e.g. Bulgaria 32.8%, Greece 31.8%, Latvia 28.4%, Cyprus 23.9%, Poland 18.9%, Germany 18.7% in 2018). Young people, older people, people with disabilities, migrants and national minorities, among others, are often insufficiently integrated into social and cultural processes. These groups have less access to educational and cultural opportunities due to the need for financial resources, information about opportunities and often encouragement to participate. In the European Union, only 11.1% of adults participate in lifelong learning (e.g. Bulgaria 2.5%, Greece 4.5%, Poland 5.7%, Latvia 6.7%, Cyprus 6.7%, Germany 8.2% in 2018).
While cultural heritage has been defined as something inherited from the past, it is in many ways a contemporary and 'living' cultural resource in Europe. Both the preservation and valorisation of cultural heritage open up significant opportunities for local and regional development. Cultural heritage has an important intrinsic and social value. In its tangible and intangible manifestations, cultural heritage is crucial for local identity, as it promotes common understanding and a sense of community and has a positive impact on social cohesion. Cultural heritage can play an important role in promoting civic participation and heritage-based participatory processes in cities and regions, fostering new models of multi-stakeholder governance. Cultural heritage is also particularly relevant in promoting intergenerational dialogue and lifelong learning. Supporting and mobilising local actors to facilitate societal integration and social inclusion through accessibility of cultural heritage will lead to inclusive growth with a well-functioning democratic, inclusive society based on solidarity and equal access to culture and related services.
The project is linked to the European Year of Cultural Heritage (2018). According to a Eurobarometer survey, 8 out of 10 Europeans believe that cultural heritage is important, not only for them personally, but also for their community, their region, their country and the EU as a whole. A very large majority are proud of cultural heritage, whether it is in their own region or country or in another European country. Throughout 2018 and beyond, thousands of initiatives and events across Europe will enable citizens from different backgrounds to explore Europe's rich cultural diversity and reflect on how to preserve it for future generations.
The objectives of the project are:
- To increase the accessibility of educational opportunities for disadvantaged groups;
- To increase opportunities to explore European heritage for vulnerable groups;
- To motivate and empower people from vulnerable groups through new training opportunities in European cultural heritage.
The operational objectives of the project are:
- To produce a comparative study of traditional festivals and foods or activities related to these events in each country/region;
- To produce a collection of workshops that present the cultural heritage of each country and provide an opportunity for everyone to explore European cultural heritage;
- Develop a guide for trainers with a collection of recommendations and best practices for heritage promotion to empower vulnerable groups;
- Create a Heritage4All online learning platform with online learning resources;
- Provide training opportunities for adult trainers and adult learners from vulnerable groups.
The target groups of the project are:
- Adult educators, organisations working in the field of cultural activities, organisations working in the field of adult education and training, representatives in the field of social affairs, local, regional and national public authorities and policy makers;
- Final beneficiaries: vulnerable groups in society, including migrants, ethnic minorities, young people, senior citizens, people from disadvantaged areas, people with disabilities, etc;
- Indirect beneficiaries: local communities.
The project has a real European dimension in its design. The partners come from six different European countries and the project has been designed in such a way that each partner contributes its experience, expertise and capacity to solve common problems. The transnational cooperation will use the previous experiences and competences of all project partners in adult education, thus also adding value to the previous projects and activities carried out by the project partners. The transnational team will help us to take a European approach to adult education by sharing experiences and best practices and working together to ensure the best possible quality. The joint action in this field will contribute to mutual openness, respect and support for cultural diversity.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.