Connected.Dots is a sequel to our 2016 project We For Refugees. This previous project taught us many valuable things about working with refugees. On top of that, we want to make our work with refugees more sustainable. That’s why we created a new project with the following goals:
- making people aware of the refugees around us
- empowering refugees
- developing the skills of refugees
We achieve this through several tracks:
TRACK 1: Photo exbibition
The photo expo that Annick Donckers created for We For Refugees, will also be travelling through Flanders in 2018. This exhibition tells the stories of the refugees !DROPS works with. Through this, we want to make people aware of the presence of refugees and their difficult past.
TRACK 2: Energy
We guide participants in discovering their own (entrepreneurial) potential and stimulate them to challenge themselves. It is important to us that refugees feel like they’re more than ‘just a refugee’: like anyone else, they have many valuable qualities which we want to (re)discover with them.
TRACK 3: Skillbuilding
Within this track, participants decide for themselves which skills they want to (further) develop. A choice can be made between Participatory Video Making and Non-Digital Making (rolling up the sleeves to physically make something).
The skills around which we provide training, always meet some specific conditions. This ensures that the skills can still be used in future: anytime, anywhere in the world.
TRACK 4: Supporting skills & tailored guidance
In this phase, we focus on the skills that people need to use their talents commercially. We do this by offering trainings on entrepreneurship and individual coaching for the interested participants. In addition, !DROPS also offers refugees the chance to run a trial business, by involving them in other projects. Through this, the refugees experience what it’s like to work for clients and they can adjust their products or services based on their own experience.
The Connected.Dots results are very diverse because they are products coming from the personal needs and talents of individuals. Prototypes, ideas, products and policy changes are only a few possible results of a fruitful co-creation. During 2018, Connected.Dots will yield many results, but we can already introduce you to a few:
Cookbook ‘Women For Food’
A couple of Afghan women who live in the refugee shelter of Linkeroever, connected over their love for cooking. Together they created a cookbook filled with recipes from their home country. The book is currently being published and will be for sale soon!
Catering on the PeaceCraft Theatre premiere
During the premiere of the Peacecraft theatre play, three Afghan women from the refugee shelter of Linkerover handled the catering. They spent an entire day in the kitchen, preparing Bolani and Kobli Palau for over 100 people. These two dishes are also featured in the cookbook.
This project is made possible by the American Embassy.