12 October 2018- ERASMUS+ Press Release

CAST4Innovation Erasmus+ Project - Cultural Awareness Supporting Training for Innovation

CRAICNI is delighted to confirm that funding has been granted by the European Commission for a two-year Erasmus+ project (2018 - 2020) in partnership with colleagues from Greece, Italy, Scotland and Turkey. The main aim is to design innovative, accredited transnational training, both online and person-to-person, which will enable the participating trainees to progress afterwards to expand the delivery of cultural awareness courses throughout the UK and Europe. As well as a general exploration of the elements of culture, trainees will be able to explore the use of music, art, poetry, sport and cuisine as creative illustrations of pathways to equality and social cohesion. A toolkit will be devised which will facilitate the training of more cultural trainers and facilitators in the future. Eileen Chan-Hu, Executive Director of CRAICNI will act as coordinator of the project.

Dr. Brian Caul, Chair of CRAICNI, states:

"The acronym of our community interest company stands for Cultivate Respect and Appreciate Inclusion in Communities in Northern Ireland. Co-founded by Eileen in May 2015 as a community interest company offering training workshops in cultural awareness, CRAICNI strongly believes that celebration of diversity is a positive pathway to a healthy society, and has worked with a wide range of groups over the last three years from statutory to voluntary, from young to older, from local to newcomer. All of our trainers are from ethnic minority and local backgrounds. We look forward immensely to working with our friends from the other four nations, with whom we know we share so much common ground".

Iain Stewart, the Executive Director of MAPS (Scotland) adds:

"We at MAPS were delighted to hear of the announcement of receiving Erasmus Plus funding and are looking forward to working in partnership with our European colleagues. As an organisation we believe in the power of the arts and cultural programmes to break down the barriers that divide us which is we are excited to work on this programme. Our own work uses a combination of the arts focusing on music and the testimony of survivors from racial/sectarian conflicts to bring people together to learned from their shared experiences".

A further welcome is added by Sofia Dimitrou, President of OIKO.POLI. S (Greece) :

"OIKO.POLI. S is an association with interests in environmental and cultural initiatives and activities. A significant number of Oikopolis members are involved in the accentuation and promotion of local and global environmental and cultural issues. Our members also participate in a number of volunteer activities aiming at the protection and conservation of natural life and as well as at the preservation and accentuation of our cultural heritage.

Our main aim is to encourage the contribution of the local community to sustainable development and the Greek society's synchronization with the broader European Community. Therefore we look forward to working with our partners on this exciting project".

Elmo de Angelis, Director of Training 2000 (Italy), confirms his organisation's reaction to the good news:

"We are very happy to be part of the consortium. Training 2000 is an adult training and education organisation certified in the Marche Region for regional training in different sectors. At EU level, we are involved in research and development of new methodologies in training, development of evaluation tools, and training courses to facilitate social and work integration with special focus on migrants and refugees. Training 2000 is a founding member of GINCO Network - a network of adult education organisations to improve the quality of training in Europe and the INAPP , "Innovative Apprenticeship in Europe,"

Sibel Sanci, English Language Teacher and Representative of Nazilli Public Education Centre (Turkey) adds the following:

"It will be a very exciting and extraordinary experience for us to make a contribution to this cultural project because by means of this project we will have some opportunity to experience the positive atmosphere of shared works while tackling the prejudices towards those amazing cultures and the lifestyles of our partner countries. Of course, we will benefit from sharing these tried good models of learning of our partners relating to cultural awareness training.

Nazilli P.E.C. is a non-profit governmental adult education in the western part of Turkey. It gives services to about 5000 learners per a year with about 100 hundred educators. With some courses like handicrafts, sports, art, music, languages, computer and literacy the center aims to apply to non-formal education programmes for the people in all ages and education levels."

The partners in CAST4Innovation wish to thank the European Commission, the NSS UK and EPALE for their support in making this project possible. The content of this news release reflects the authors' own views, and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.


For further information, please contactEileen Chan-Hu at: ; +44(0)7411236220. Website: Twitter: @craicnireland

Notes to Editors:

  • CRAICNI was a finalist in CO3 Leadership Awards 2017 in the Social Innovation category.
  • CRAICNI's mission is to Cultivate-Respect-Appreciate-Inclusion- Communities, Northern Ireland as in its acronym.
  • CRAICNI is a social enterprise set up in 2015 to deliver Inclusion and Diversity services in training and educational programmes by a diverse team from different backgrounds, experiences and nationalities. Diversity training by diverse trainers.
  • Our vision is "Working towards an inclusive and understanding society."