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EU-PREPARE, COMICS AND GAMES FOR INCLUSION


Our aim of providing help with the integration process for vulnerable people with few prior language skills in the host country has been achieved by evoking situations in our curriculum that they are likely to encounter during the transition period. For example, in our comic strips, we dealt with the material difficulties and psychological ordeals that await them: less than ideal living conditions after their arrival in Europe, the difficulty of learning a new language as an adult, the complex nature of administrative and medical systems, and so on. In order to interest and engage, we have created stories in which all these ordeals are portrayed from the point of view of the beneficiaries.

So that the curriculum could also be used as a tool for learning the languages of the host countries, we translated all the comic strips and games into six languages. This means that these tools can be used in parallel and bilingually with beneficiaries whose native languages are Arabic, Turkish or Ukrainian.

The inclusion of English in the curriculum - in addition to the languages of the host countries (French and German) - makes it suitable for use with other English-speaking people or, alternatively, for learning English, which considerably widens the circle of beneficiaries previously targeted.

The partners' prior knowledge of the culture and traditions of the host country (French and German) makes it suitable for use with other English-speaking people.

We have created a balance in the choice of themes so that the comics and games are aimed at people of different ages and genders. We have taken care to depict issues and situations typically encountered by women, LGBT people and families, as well as children.

To raise awareness of the need to protect the environment, the second cycle of the curriculum is entirely devoted to environmental and health issues. The integration of games, which support the subjects covered in the comic strips, enables the beneficiaries to deepen their knowledge.

The curriculum's potential to be used to improve the digital skills of beneficiaries is guaranteed by the third cycle, where comic strips and games explore the use of different digital tools and applications that can help them carry out daily administrative and other tasks.

Comic strips and interactive games, widely used in teaching children and young people, have been adapted for the specific target group of vulnerable adults such as refugees and asylum seekers in the EU-PREPARE project. Based on preliminary research, we identified not only methods of using comics, but also styles that would appeal. We used different visual languages in order to attract as many readers as possible. The variety of artists involved in the project, from different cultures (Turkish, Egyptian, French and Ukrainian), gave us the opportunity to create this diversity of styles.

We explored the therapeutic, educational and entertaining uses of comics, taking care to adapt the subjects covered to the prior knowledge of the beneficiaries. In our workshops set up as part of the evaluation of the results, we were also able to test activities such as the collective creation of comic strips to deal with sensitive or important subjects identified by the beneficiaries themselves. Individual or group reading of the comic strips as an initial activity for more in-depth conversations also proved useful. The activities designed for the workshops were in part based on the experience gained in other European projects on learning and teaching.



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