EU scorns notion of “citizens of nowhere” to invest in Scottish projects for global citizenship

Nathanael Williams

EU funding confirmed for 3 global citizenship programmes

THREE groups in Scotland will receive European funding for international projects aimed at aiding the development of education in global citizenship and environmental action.

The funding will be deployed despite a speech last year by UK Prime Minister Theresa May told the Autumn Conservative Party conference that those who questioned her party’s move to a more hardline “patriotic approach” were citizens of nowhere. This was said in the context of Brexit and the new calls for a stronger clamp down on immigration, freedom of movement and refugees. It also follows the refusal by the UK Government to make provision for lone refugee children stranded in Calais.

£900,000 over the next three years will be given by the European Commission and comes under their Development Education and Awareness Raising funding stream.

The International Development Education Association of Scotland (Ideas), which is a global citizenship network in Scotland, is among the organisations receiving funding which it hopes will help it carry out its three-year global citizenship project alongside Finnish development education platform Kehys.

Called Galvanising Global Citizenship Education – Bridge to Sustainable Development, its aim is to build support for Scottish citizens who want to be educated and contribute to solving the global challenges of poverty, climate change, sustainable urban development and educational access.

“We need to make sure that we are informed and empowered to work towards a fairer future.” Dr Tanya Wisely

Dr Tanya Wisely, the coordinator of Ideas, said: “This project will build wider understanding of why people of all ages must be supported to understand the global challenges that we face. We need to make sure that we are informed and empowered to work towards a fairer future.”

Two other education centres in Scotland will also receive funding for projects from the EU. Highland One World which is based in Inverness and Scotdec based in Edinburgh.

Highland One World will be a partner in the Start the Change! project, whose aim is to work with secondary schools and educate children about the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. There will be a special focus given to educating the pupils about current problems the world faces such as the relationship between migration and inequality.

It will also support teachers to address complex, controversial global issues such as migration and will be implemented with partners across nine European countries.

Scotdec, a charity dedicated to educating young people in Scotland to be motivated about global inequality, is a partner in a project led by Polish organisation Foundation Centre for Citizenship. This body set up in 1994, a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, is tasked with the development of democratic institutions and public involvement in democracy in Poland and several countries around Europe.

Although 3 Scottish organisations obtained funding, the project will involve partners groups from 12 participating nations and is led by Italian charity ProgettoMondo Mlal showing the continental scope of cooperation.

Yesterday (Wednesday 29 March) the UK began the formal process of exiting the EU. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hopes to protect Scotland’s place in Europe with a second independence referendum.

Picture courtesy of European Parliament 

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