Barriers to integration for non-EU migrants
Non-EU adult migrants face a range of challenges when they move to a new country and community. One of the biggest challenges is integration, which can be a wide obstacle . It can take the form of a language or cultural barrier, or it can occur when a person lacks vital skills - this particular issue can seem quite daunting to those that face it.
As a key focus for adult migrant education, many organisations explore how they can break down barriers to migrant integration and to encourage migrants to become involved with their new communities. This can lead to a huge, beneficial impact – not just for participants, but for the organisation itself.
The adult education and youth organisation Kairos Europe discovered this in their Erasmus+ funded project, ‘Southern European migrant dilemmas: better integration methods’. Through the project, staff gained a greater understanding of issues that affect non-EU migrants and people with disadvantaged backgrounds when integrating within European cities.
The impact of Kairos Europe
Kairos Europe taught participants, who were staff from the organisation, how to update their methods for helping migrants and refugees in need. This was achieved through a range of workshops, teaching and learning activities, panel discussions and networking. They also aimed to widen participant understanding on the migration issues surrounding non-EU refugee and migrant communities in Mediterranean countries.
Kairos Europe mobilised 15 participants to Southern Italy where they undertook a professional development course. During the international placement, they compared and contrasted Italian methods of working with migrants against their own.
They also explored the extending issues of integration - not just focusing on communicating effectively with people of different backgrounds, but also gaining hands-on practical skills that will be useful in their day-to-day work to better the lives of integrated non-EU migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
Beyond integration, Kairos Europe also aims to:
Establish intercultural dialogue and tackling social exclusion with a focus on non-EU refugee and asylum seeking communities
Acquire new skills for training teachers, mentors, trainers in migration issues, community workers and leaders
Develop a deeper understanding of the current changes taking place in a European society, with a focus on Southern Italy and its multiculturalism
Understand and make sense of diversity, and be able to talk about it productively and meaningfully
Generate new ideas on how to update approaches and methods to help migrants and refugees in need
Making a difference
The Southern Italy visit lasted for seven days, during which staff undertook an extensive training programme around migrant education. As part of the programme, they visited locations that have benefitted from immigration which provided a strengths-based perspective. Participants were able to bring back to their organisation a better understanding of the issues migrants face upon arrival in Europe.
During the visit, Director Daniele Trevisan said:
“The project will have a huge impact on the organisations involved. Our staff will get refreshed, more motivated and have a better value and attitude.
The mobility will give our staff the chance to better understand the changes taking place in European society and understand more in-depth the problems migrants and refugees go through on a regular basis.”
The video below shows an interview with Kairos Europe Directors and Trainers discussing this enriching trip; the project’s journey; and its impact on migrants, Kairos Europe and its partners.
Kairos Europe is one such example of how Erasmus+ funded projects can help improve the lives of adult learners. This specific project has the potential long-term benefits of increasing awareness and prospects of international actions, as well as promoting social inclusion of migrants and intercultural exchange.
|The Erasmus+ programme offers many funding opportunities for organisations to create a valuable contribution in this sector. Discover more about applying for adult education funding on the Erasmus+ UK website.|
Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. The Erasmus+ UK National Agency is a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK.
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