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ARTEM: Training migrants and locals in interculturality

ARTEM is an Erasmus Plus project coordinated by Pistes-Solidaires (France). It aims to bring together local communities and newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers more effectively. The integration of migrants at the local level is based on a dynamic and reciprocal process: mutual understanding is not only a question of language but also of cultural codes to which attention must be paid if reception and integration are to be successful.

The first step of the ARTEM project logically consisted of a literature search - an inventory of existing practices, tools and methods used to train professionals/volunteers and migrants in intercultural skills and competences. The question was simply to see what existed in the field, in France and in Europe and how, if need be, it was set up and participated in the reception and thus in a quality integration.

In the second phase, focus groups or focus groups were set up in each partner country. Several groups were facilitated, migrant groups on the one hand, groups of people in charge of their reception on the other, whether professionally or on a voluntary basis.

The results confirmed in particular that for both groups there was a real need to improve their intercultural skills in order to better understand the Other, to better welcome and integrate into the local community.

This process was held in all project countries (France, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Austria and Denmark) and a report summarized the results of this work and highlighted needs and expectations. It is available in English at the following address: is external)

The following phase of the project took place from 9 to 15 September 2019. Pistes-Solidaires welcomed its European partners for two training sessions:

  • Training for migrants
  • Training for the staff in charge of welcoming them.

It was not easy to gather the first target group of this training, but the mission was carried out with Afghan, Iraqi, Congolese, Kenyan, Serbian participants who were accompanied by each partner during this week.

Together, we worked on the story mapping, we tested the activities planned in the training with the objective that each participant could reuse the methods upon his return, in his own context.

The second group worked in echo on the contents of the training that was more specifically dedicated to it, again with the objective that the techniques and animations tested, that the subjects covered (present in the guide) could be appropriate and reused in the context of each person, upon their return.

Mission accomplished! The evaluations of this/these training(s) clearly indicate the rich nature of knowledge/skills development and the ability of each individual to be able to reuse the content of the training at the local level. Special mention should be made of story mapping, a demanding introspection activity that has met and even exceeded expectations.

The next step in ARTEM is therefore there: adaptation and testing at the local level. Because obviously if the contents are good, the necessary training, the framework of this training must be adapted to the different contexts. Should we do continuous or discontinuous training? What group size, what frequency of sessions if discontinuous, what framework, what duration for each session, what equipment needs, etc...

To be continued!

Author: Mathieu Decq


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