Title of Product
Lived and Felt Stories (Histórias Vividas e Sentidas)
Name of Author(s)
Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo CLAII
Name of Producer
Município de Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, CLAII de Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo e ACIDI, I.P.-Alto Comissariado para a Imigração e Diálogo Intercultural
Language of the review
Language of the product
Type of product
Online Publication, Paper Publication
Integration of immigrants students
Description of Contents
This training product aims at publicizing life stories and contexts of immigrant children in Portugal. They are written in the first person and narrate difficulties encountered and differences felt by immigrant children and young people and how they were able to successfully overcome them. The collection of life stories also aims at giving access within school communities to some traditions and habits of the immigrant narrators’ countries of origin, so that differences can be better understood and better integration can be achieved.
This book is available in paper and on line. It contains testimonials of immigrant pupils from primary school, middle school and secondary school of their success and of how they measure their own success in integrating and overcoming difficulties. This collection of first person narratives is thus a good material for school education, because it portrays what children and young people felt and lived through. These experiences are therefore easy to identify with by other pupils, who thus learn how it feels to be an immigrant pupil at school and in Portuguese society. This will promote a better understanding and comprehension of experiences many students did not live through but can learn about.
After a brief introduction, the reader is given Dorin and Cristian Bujor’s narratives. They come from Moldavia and are 18 and 14 years old; next comes Maryna Sabolyeva’s testimony; she comes from Ukraine and is 15 years old; Yasmin Miranda Ribeiro is a nine-year-old Brazilian girl who writes about her experience as immigrant to Portugal; Nadkova Stoimenta is also nine years old, but she comes from Bulgaria; Andriy Karasov, a 14-year-old Ukrainian boy, Kalyushnyy Vladyclav Srhiyovich, another 12-year-old Ukrainian boy, and Anwar Calado Msaadi, an 11-year-old boy of Portuguese nationality, who was born in Spain and whose mother comes from Morocco, all write about their integration as immigrant pupils, what they felt, the experiences (good and bad) they lived through, and how they integrated successfully.
In their testimonies all children speak about the difficulties they felt when they arrived in Portugal and how they overcame them; they describe customs and habits of their own countries of origin, which they consider Portuguese young people should know about. These customs relate to religious festivals, cultural information on food and meals, as well as insights into the geography and the languages of their countries of origin.
This training resource can be easily used in schools, because it is to young people liking. The language is simple and direct, it is narrated by other young people who have a name and a specific identity, and it consists of little narrative fragments on feelings and emotions, food recipes, and foreign customs of the countries of origin of the young immigrant pupils. They narrate first impressions on arrival and how they changed through contact and lived experiences as time went by.
There is a logical sequence in the way testimonials are organized: they start by narrating those aspects that immigrant children felt stranger; then they give information on habits, customs, recipes and ways of feeling and being; next there is a brief section where the immigrant children adopt the point of view of the native Portuguese to explain to them which cultural differences in relation to their own cultures they feel may affect the relations between Portuguese and immigrants.
According to the age of the narrator, narratives are simpler or more complex in terms of structure, vocabulary and content, but they are nonetheless always adequate for readers of the same ages. There is no common sense information, but rather cultural data and facts that they believe people in Portugal don’t know about, such as for example, religious rituals and celebrations that may be experienced in very different ways by Portuguese families and immigrant families.
The main educational value of this training resource lies in the fact that it is a ten-page compilation of immigrant children’s and youngsters’ testimonials, which may be reused in any other educational context in Europe. It may also be used directly as reading material for intercultural awareness with young students across the 10 to 18 year old range. The simple language used invites other testimonials and the narrative gender chosen narrows the space between writer and reader. The fact that this resource is available on line also facilitates its dissemination among students and schools.
The quality of this training resource is high because the reader feels that each testimony follows an intercultural education script that gives pride of place to main difficulties felt by the immigrant authors, which are described in relation to particular Portuguese contexts and give relevant information that may facilitate the acquisition of knowledge about the Other, about cultural difference and about negotiating intercultural meanings.From the perspective of intercultural education, this training resource aimed at young people underlines the intercultural understanding that can be gained by these immigrant students in their daily contacts at school with Portuguese pupils. This is a good reason to consider the resource as valuable for the integration of immigrant students and for a deeper understanding by host country students of the stumbling blocks to successful integration of cultural differences.
The fact that this resource was developed by a town council, local immigration center and national immigration center partnership is already a guarantee of its quality and its relevance for the successful integration of immigrant children in schools both at local and national levels. In what concerns immigrant children it makes whole sense to partner this way.
The transferability potential of this product is high, because it is available on line and because it can be retrieved from the national ACIDI web portal, but also because its structure may help to duplicate similar projects in each school and in each particular context where there are immigrant children.
The nationalities of the children and young people chosen to narrate their experiences in this collection are particular to a certain immigration phase in Portugal, when there was heavy immigration from the eastern European countries and from Brazil, which does not happen anymore. This may constitute a weakness in that the narratives are dated. However, the most important thing is the structure of the collection and how it gives young people a voice to express what they felt and lived through at school and how they managed their integration.
The product is a result of this previous project
Title of the project
Rumo à Diversidade
FEINT – Fundo Europeu para a Integração de Nacionais de Países Terceiros
Município de Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo and CLAII de Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo