IMAEFE learns the Italian way

By May 24, 2017 Features No Comments
The full IMAEFE team in Rome with CIAPE

The first Learner Week for Innovative Methods of Adult Education for the Future of Europe (IMAEFE) was underway last week with a strong Superact contingent exploring integration, communities and education. Stu Packer and IMAEFE Project Manager, Kirsty Winnan shared their favourite things from the first learning phase of this new project.

Day 1

After having met the evening before for a light ice-breaking workshop and an International Aperitif, it was brilliant to forge deeper relationships with our partners. This was easy! CIAPE from Rome are lovely attentive hosts, Cotopaxi from Poland are good deep thinkers and doers (I feel a brotherhood coming here) and Magenta from Gijon, northern Spain are full of smiles and laughter. This may all sound glib but all of us have aired our passions for wanting to lift the lives of marginalised peoples. I feel very privileged to be here!

Written by

Stu Packer, Superact

Day 2

The IMAEFE project had a visit arranged by CIAPE, our Roman hosts. We all arrived at MaTeMù, Rome’s Centre for the Arts for Young Refugees aged 11 to 26. The location is shared with a Police Station!

The Director shared the purpose and day-to-day running freely with us. A simple, gentle Italian who smiles as he talks. I was curious. He has helped so many many strangers, learning music, dance (break dancing mainly!) and art. I wondered, “What kept him going. What was HIS motivation”. He said that his job was all consuming but that he got energy from the Young People themselves.

Then he wistfully left us with this, “I believe in a world without borders”. John Lennon’s Imagine started playing in my head.

Day 3

Today’s favourite thing came as a lovely smiley shock. (Shock is way too much in this context, but it got my attention at least).

On the way to the morning visit to the Istituto Luigi Sturzo, a research foundation in Rome,we changed metro at Termini Station. The crowds were very crowdy. Both the Poles and the Spanish were some 15 to 20 minutes behind us. I’m not really competitive but this little feeling was somehow nice.

Then, there they were. On the same platform. Thumbs up from our friends the Poles, smiley waves from the Spanish. The carriage pulls up; 150 million people try to enter; thoughts of Oxford Circus, London, in my head.

The doors close. I am free. Free of team Superact, and free of both of our other partners. City training had won! I was on a crowded tube with many work-travelling Italians. Getting advice in Italian from an Older Man, who pats me on the back. You probably had to be there yet that was my favourite thing!

Oh, and lunch. What glorious food here…

Written by

Kirsty Winnan, Project Manager IMAEFE

Here are a few of my favourite things from the first Learner Week in Rome, with The Sound of Musicin my head as I write.

 Team Superact

Because of the way the week was organised, we spent a huge amount of time together. We talked and talked, and laughed and ate and walked.  But mostly talked. We have returned with well-formed ideas for a superb learning week in the UK for this project (Innovative Methods of Adult Education for the Future of Europe). This week will take place in Cheltenham in June 2018 and we can’t wait for it to happen.


One of the most enjoyable things about all of our wonderful EU projects, is the opportunity to meet and communicate with wonderful people from all over the EU.  I love learning other languages and have considerably increased my Polish, Spanish and Italian repertoire this week. However, as a former teacher, I have personally struggled with the language of the EU since I joined Superact.

Integration and Interaction

These words have become very important to me this week.  We have focused a great deal on how (and how not to!) train adults.  My inspiration came from seeing ‘travellers’ or migrants taking control of their own lives.  This was very much in evidence at Matemù, the Youth and Integration Centre and Art School. We plan to involve our own migrant communities in the heart of the UK project.

Wearing my TEFL hat, I have found policy-speak meaningless, clunky and lacking in clarity.  Stu has helped me this week to ‘lighten up’ and accept ‘Eurospeak’ as a new version of English, as a dialect.  As for correction?  I must desist, relax and smile.

Innovative Methods of Adult Education for the Future of Europe

IMAEFE is an Erasmus+ project exploring methods in adult education to form a response to current challenges across the European Union particularly regarding the migration crisis and society’s reaction to it. Find out more about IMAEFE on our Project pages and on Facebook.