A City’s good practice towards the elimination of discrimination
Within the framework of the European Coalition of Cities Against Racism Ten Point Plan of Action, the City of Ghent has launched the Samsara project.
The Project is designed to support immigrant youth who are most prone to drop out of school. The main focus is on empowering immigrant girls by offering them support and encouragement in making good study choices. In this way, the opportunities for finding employment are increased and the chances of poverty and economic dependence are reduced. For girls who are not considering higher education, assistance in finding jobs is provided. This project is a pragmatic response to the higher proportion of school drops out in the immigrant population, because they do not receive support or advice from their relatives, who are usually not familiar with the educational system. The City of Ghent then takes over this mission, in order to improve the economic and social situation of the immigrant pupil, student or future worker.
The Samsara project is made possible by the help of volunteer mentors who are themselves of immigrant origin, which facilitates building trust between the mentors and mentees. In its first year, the project assisted 60 individuals between the ages of 12 and 18.
The City of Ghent is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. With 240,191 inhabitants in the beginning of 2009, Ghent is Belgium's second largest municipality by number of inhabitants. The port of Ghent, in the north of the city, is the third largest port of Belgium.
Ghent has been a member of the European Coalition of Cities against Racism since 23 October 2007.
For more information, please visit: www.gent.be (website in Flemish)