ESN Cartagena brings international solidarity to the city.

Social Eramus efforts that change lives.

ESN International counts several social projects related to poverty, disability or discrimination and now, the Cartagena Section has joined them to search for equality in the city. As an ESN member involved in social projects I was asked from the European volunteer, Chrysa Maladaki, to explain what Social Erasmus is and its initiatives. Chrysa has become a dynamic and active part of the association , as well as a commited fellow ,always willing to help. I just couldn’t say no to her..

First of all, I consider that the role of ESN is quite clear around Europe. The organisation is understood as a bridge between cultures, and a vital support for foreign students. Hundred of volunteers work hard with the motto “students helping students”. ESN has several initiatives and bodies integrated and one of them is designed to raise public awareness about social issues. This initiative is named SocialErasmus.

What is SocialErasmus about?

“We have performed many activities such as food collecting, beach cleaning, open air activites with children on the verge of social exclusion and events to raise social consciousness about accessibility limitations for disabled citizens. SocialErasmus is considered as an important initiative in the organisation that can bring real changes to our society”, claims Coque López, Local Coordinator of Social Erasmus Cartagena.

SocialErasmus is an international project that aims to involve young citizens ,during their mobility,to voluntary activities that have a social impact. The Cartagena ESN Section is really young,it has just become an official one this year, and it decided to bring this initiative to the city in order to strive for a fairer and more equal society. They try to involve both Erasmus and Spanish students in their activities.Breaking down the barriers.

“We carry out several projects to enhance the quality of life of those with special needs. We’ll make a university enabled for disabled students”

ExchangeAbility is another project of our organisation which is mainly focused on people with disabilities. “We carry out several projects to enhance the quality of life of those with special needs. Now, we are working on a University map that will contain information about the accessibility: access ramps, classrooms enabled for deaf people, etc..”, says Nacho López, Coodinador of the project.

There is another project within the SocialErasmus framework called ErasmusInSchools, whose goal is to introduce Erasmus students to five-year- old children that have never seen a foreigner before. Mariangeles Patiño, Coodinator of EIS is proud of this project: “We have a really good result since there are many Erasmus students taking part in the programme and also the kids are excited about having foreigners in their classroom”, explains the volunteer. The Erasmus students make presentations of their countries and culture for the children and play some games with them. Overall, this programme gives the opportunity to young people of taking part in the social changes this city is experiencing and I am sure it will leave its mark in the society and the next generations will see the result of todays effort”, Coque López says.

Luis Cañivano Heredia

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Originally published at svecartagenaerasmus.wordpress.com on May 17, 2016.