The goals of this project were to involve young people in the creation of easily accessible educational tools suitable for cultural education and language training (listening and understanding text and learning new words and expressions from the specific language). Faced with the reality of living and working in a multicultural environment, we need to know more about the culture and values of each nation so we can avoid misunderstandings and communication problems. Additionally, the numbers of migrants in Europe and in Egypt have grown rapidly, and they are facing serious challenges not just in terms of learning the local language in order to communicate with others, but also the struggle of understanding the rules of the respective culture. The idea behind our project is to create easy-to-use training tools. Those tools are short stories based on myths, legends and tales from different cultures, which were translated into several languages to help as many people as possible. Their added value is that they show values and models for good behavior, care and mutual assistance. They come from folklore and help us to we find the right path in difficult choices and challenges that we face today. There were 10 young people from Bulgaria, Italy, Latvia and Egypt in volunteering activities in Bulgaria and Egypt, who took part in the project and: 1) acquired and developed knowledge and skills for working with digital technologies and programs; 2) participated in the creation of an instrument for cultural and language distance learning; 3) developed the so-called soft skills: independence, critical thinking, orientation to a new environment, time and resources management, and, most importantly, setting learning goals (in personal terms and planning trainings for other learners). The project was a compilation of training modules and implementation of practical tasks. In the framework of the special trainings, the young people: 1) were taught how to analyze information and compile training materials; 2) were taught how to work with recording equipment and process audio files (knowledge which is also applicable for video files); 3) participated in activities for the testing and promotion of the educational material, with analysis of its impact and applicability; 4) worked on their own personal projects; 5) participated in a team with local youths (14 from Bulgaria for the project in Sofia) and 6 from Egypt (for the Cairo project).
The results we achieved:
1) We have created training materials based on myths, legends and tales from over 10 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia.
2) We have translated them into 7 languages: English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Italian, Latvian, Spanish and Hindi.
3) We have created an online based platform with free access (www.myths.studio) ;
4) We got local youth to join and help with the content and with reaching more people;
5) We have held product promotion events in Bulgaria, Italy, Latvia and Egypt.
6) We have trained young people from partner countries, so they could have the knowledge and the ability to create training content in other topics, and to use modern technologies for their goals. Four of them are already applying what they’ve learned in their work.
Today’s daily life is very busy and dynamic. This is why we created and released a user-friendly training tool. It is convenient and can be used in any free moment of the day, like when a person is waiting at the bus stop. Any user can use it via their own smart phone and listen and check their own language competencies while learning more about the world. The training tool has a wide range of activities (cultural learning and supplementing language training in 7 languages) and life unlimited in time.