NEET migrant community from Germany spoke: Outdoor Education Works

In response to the pressing need to support the integration and well-being of migrant and NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) youth, our consortium embarked on a project aimed at researching how to use outdoor education as a method for integration, through its benefits on mental health improvement, resilience building, improved adaptation to challenges, decision-making skills, teamwork, leadership skills, and community building.

The following report summarizes the research conducted and insights gathered in Germany, through focus group discussions with young migrants; interviews with four youth workers and trainers specialized in outdoor education; and through dissemination of an online survey for integration services providers and civil society.

Recommendations from focus group research: Based on the findings, the focus group discussion underscored the significance of integrating outdoor education approaches into programs targeting migrant and NEET youth. By addressing barriers to participation and providing necessary support, such initiatives can enhance the well-being, social integration, and personal development of participants. Moving forward, it is necessary to develop tailored educational programs and foster collaborations with local institutions for sustainable impact.

Recommendations from case studies: Based on the insights gathered through interviews with 4 outdoor trainers and youth workers, it is recommended to incorporate elements of experiential learning, adventure-based activities, and inclusivity into outdoor education programs. Furthermore, fostering partnerships between organizations and services can enhance the accessibility and impact of new and existing initiatives, ensuring that they reach and benefit a diverse range of participants.

Limitations from survey dissemination: The challenges encountered in obtaining responses to the survey highlight the perceived inflexible nature of integration services, particularly in their communication and collaboration practices. Additionally, the prioritization of immediate needs over participation in research initiatives reflects how these services are understaffed and ultimately can only focus on addressing immediate challenges with minimum capacity to consider the broader long-term benefits of collaboration.

In conclusion, the findings emphasize the importance of integrating outdoor education approaches into programs targeting migrant and youth in NEET situations, with a focus on addressing barriers to participation and providing necessary support, as well as fostering collaborations between organizations. By creating tailored and informed outdoor educational programs, there is potential to promote personal growth, resilience, and community integration among participants, thus enriching people’s experiences and ultimately contributing to their overall well-being and success

This project (Pr. Nr.: 2023-1-IS01-KA210-YOU-000160096) is funded by the European Union through the Erasmus+ program. Its consortium is assembled by Culture Goes Europe e.V. from Germany, Eurobug from Ireland, and The Opportunity from Iceland.

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