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In the context of big socio-economic changes taking place in Europe over the past few year due to the forced migration of millions of people fleeing their countries in search of better life conditions, this project wanted to train staff from the 8 national consortium organisations to be better prepared to deal with these changes. All partners in the consortium work at different levels on migration related issues such as research on policies, education and training, inclusion and employability, and mental health issues.
The project, as also reported in the participants organizations, helped all the participants gain a greater understanding of issues that affect non-EU migrants and people from disadvantaged backgrounds when integrating within European cities. The project also wanted to understand the effects of migration management practices on people on the move. During the training, facilitators, practitioners, academics and most of all migrants gathered together to analyses how do these practices affect displaced people’s trajectories to and across Europe, and what are the mental health issues that many of these people face.
Through his project we wanted to:
– Provide an adequate training to the staff of the consortium in their work with migrants
– Helping migrants overcome main barriers with the help of well trained practitioners
– Help and motivate adult migrants dealing with the difficulties they go through while settling in
– Understanding the link between migration, social and spacial exclusion and possible solutions
– Developing new educational skills and methodologies in adult education to help participants to approach migrants they work with with a broader and better understanding of the difficulties and needs of adult migrants
– internationalization of the consortium members and the creation of a network of organisations sharing common professional values
– Give participants the right tools/skills to cope with the pressure and the psychological distress they often face when supporting traumatized migrants
-Develop a different narrative around migration in Europe, and especially in the UK – one that does not perceive of migrants as a burden or threat – and make this narrative part of the academic, professional and public debate, and better respond to the needs of irregular migrants and refugees with whom they are in contact on a daily basis
In line with what we planned in the original application form, we organized a first flow in January 2020 in Rome and everything went very well. After that unfortunately the original project implementation plan was affected by the several Covid-19 waves across Europe in 2020-2021
therefore the consortium partners decided to adjust the activities as best as possible considering above of all 2 factors: participants’ health&wellbeing, and Countries restrictions. For these reasons we agreed to ask for a 12 month project extension and wait to see how the pandemic would evolve. The earliest we managed to send participants safely again was a year and an half later in Oct 2021 and after that we had another flow in Nov 2021 both flows went to Spain hosted by INCOMA. In 2022 there were 1 flow in Italy hosted by Itaka training, 2 in Greece in May and Sept hosted by Inter Alia and 2 in Spain in June and Sept . In every country there was a focus on different aspects that have to be taken in consideration when working with migrants: from first reception to the role of education, inclusive architecture and sustainability, climate emergency and mental health.
Some of the impact of the project include:
– Acquired new ways and methodologies for promoting common adult education paths across Europe while working with migrants
– Participants have been equipped with the right intercultural awareness and communication skills necessary to relate with people from diverse linguistic and cultural background
– We have established new partnership with host countries local organizations dealing with refugees, local communities, ecological and sustainable projects and partnerships in the future
– We have a clearer understanding of the fundamental role that adult education and an inclusive architecture has in helping local community to become more welcoming by creating common spaces and tackle segregation and have established close collaborations with the Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources The School of Art, Architecture and Design London Metropolitan University
– Partnership with the KCL Digital Humanities department https://www.kcl.ac.uk/cultural/artists-in-residence/artists-in-arts-humanities/lizhingley
– Participants are more confident in their job and highly committed to social changes
To conclude here is what a participant wrote after the training in Calabria hosted by Itaka training:
“this mobility training was excellent and it made me more aware of how the migration system works in Italy, the power of personal stories and how we can learn from them, the different approaches that can be used to tackle the issues migrant communities face around mental health, the importance of cultural
integration, the realities of migrants and that migrants should not be seen only through an economical, labour market lens.
The programme was well-paced, well-structured, diverse with lots of speakers, visits and engagement with the community of migrants. I
learnt that there is a huge need to change the ways in which we consume , we see, we speak and we engage with migrant stories and migrant communities. I also learnt that the concept of vulnerability changes according to the context and that is why the question of inclusion is such a complex one.
I also became more introspective in the way I perform my role at work and in society understanding that the matters we face in Europe around migration are not only a matter of policies and debate but of hearts, minds and individual effort . I have learnt to listen without judgement, to be curious, solution driven and to look at what migrants bring to the table in every culture and how they enrich it rather than seeing this phenomena as problematic.”
Here is a participant feedback after the training in Seville:
“I participated in the training program in Sevilla. The new knowledge I gained includes mental health of refugees, particularly of minor refugees, the dramatic effects of climate change on migration and the different legal systems concerning climate migrants, refugees and unaccompanied minors in countries of the European Union. Concerning skills and competences, I strongly improved my intercultural competences and my ability to understand and support migrants in their mental health struggle. In my opinion, the program was one of the best experiences I have had this far”.