A sustainable society: transnational project against xenophobia - France

Our Comenius project "difFUSION" is to promote cultural awareness amongst students in our schools, with a view to foster empathy between students of different ethnic backgrounds, both male and female, and/or immigration status (new immigrants, 2nd/3rd generation immigrants, asylum seekers, etc.). It is meant to serve as a means of combating xenophobia and racism.

All of the countries participating in this project have recent and historical experiences of immigration or issues arising from the relationship between different groups of people in their communities. For example, France, Spain, Sweden and the UK have seen migrants from North Africa, East Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Indian Subcontinent.

The immigrant presence is culturally enriching but can sometimes lead to problems, for example with schools experiencing difficulties in communicating with parents who do not speak the local language. More generally, there are sometimes tensions arising from economic factors such as unemployment.

The project allows groups of students and teachers to visit each other’s countries to share information about cultural experiences, history and heritage. Students are encouraged to tell their own stories in a highly personalized way, promoting self-esteem and equal opportunities. Each visit has a broad theme (for example culture, history, paedagogy) which provides an additional focus for each visit.

The project makes extensive use of ICT and incorporates video-recorded vox pops, presentations, role-play and drama to promote the theme of cultural awareness and empathy. This also develops students’ skills of communication. These items are uploaded online and the project‘s fruition is an online resource showing the activities that make up the project.

This website is now available to all teachers and students in and outside Europe to use as a means of teaching and learning about this important topic.

You are kindly invited to have a closer look at our e-books:
- Volume 1
- Volume 2

France