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On February 11th MF - Norwegian School of Theology will organize the closing conference presenting the results of STRAPAC project.  The conference marks the end of the two and a half year long Erasmus+ STRAPAC cooperation, while being open to all students at MF and other interested stakeholders. Current understandings of diakonia or Christian social practice, stress the element of reciprocity in practices of care. Understandings of diakonia as reaching out to people in need from locations of power and privilege, call for a critique of such positions of power and privilege as well as for a critique of those structures that create and maintain inequality. Diaconal work therefore includes the dimension of power critique and action for justice at various levels, from the local to the global. Such a relatively recent programmatic shift calls for reflection:

  1. Does the focus on reciprocity erase power imbalances?

How is reciprocity to be perceived in the interaction among people with different assets?
How does the principle of full agency of all people involved contribute to the reconfiguration of diaconal practice?
How does such a reconfiguration of diaconal practice contribute to knowledge production?
How are theory and praxis related in studies on diakonia and diaconal practice?
These are some of the issues that will be addressed at the upcoming conference.


The programme of the event can be found here.

A documentary film with training purposes was shot in the five countries involved in STRAPAC project


A STRAPAC documentary film with educational and training purposes was shot in all five countries, involved in STRAPAC project by the Bulgarian coordinator of the project  "Fondatsiya za regionalno razvitie - Фондация за регионално развитие" (Regional Development Foundation). The film will show best practices on how local religious communities in Bucharest, Oslo, Sofia, Novi Han, Thessaloniki, Bologna and Piacenza organise their work to tackle social exclusion.
It will introduce an innovative approach in order to strengthen the non-formal education and training paths of people, belonging to different religious communities, by showing good practices and experiences about how the social work is organized in the five STRAPAC project partners’ countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania and Norway) and what methods are used to achieve this goal. The film presents the experience of the churches/local faith communities active in different European contexts and their work with vulnerable groups of people, children and people in need, including Roma, immigrants, prisoners, disabled people and so on and will create conditions for learning from each other experiences and for exchanging of ideas and practices and their transfer to local level. The film is expected to be released by the end of November 2018. The documentary film will be translated in 5 languages (the languages of the partners), including in sign language.


Five field studies conducted under STRAPAC project



Five field studies were conducted in the last months in the STRAPAC partner countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Norway and Greece) to analyze the current work of local religious communities acting in rural or marginalised situations. The results from the studies will be soon available here.





Intermidiate meeting between partners of STRAPAC project took place in Thessaloniki


An intermediate STRAPAC project meeting was held in Thessaloníki, Greece. The meeting took place from August, 27th to 31th, a little bit before  the end of the first project year.  The purpose was to analyze the outcomes of the field study led in the 5 project countries and to plan forthcoming activities, such as blended mobilities and the final conference. Plans and criteria for the selection of the participants who will attend the forthcoming courses and the conference has been elaborated and a programme of the course in Italy has been drafted. The content of the film has been also commented and the Bulgarian partner in charge of has told to the other partners what has been done till now. Another important aspect of the meeting was the analysis of the project weaknesses and strengths, based on the project evaluation and ways of overcoming the weaknesses, by suggesting protecting measures for preventing future risks. The meeting has gathered representative from each partner institution and representatives from the host organization, the Social Research Centre for Religion & Culture (SRCRC) Εργαστήριο Κοινωνικής Έρευνας Α.Π.Θ. at the Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης; In addition to this, 2 staff members, representing the Bulgarian staff members have also attended it to make the forth shooting of the film, that has took place during the project meeting.


Transnational project meeting will be held in Thessaloniki

A meeting of the STRAPAC project partners will be held at Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίης - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece starting from Monday August 27th. The analysis of the results of the field studies realised in the previous months will be the main topic. Christos Tsironis Diana Petrova Gelu Calina Nicoleta Călina Presură Carla Cavallini Andrian Aleksandrov Karoline Oftedal and Gunnar Heiene will attend the meeting.