The ESF Thematic Network on Migrants met in Brussels on 19th and 20th April 2018.
At the meeting participants learned about the Belgian project Duo for a Job that provides intergenerational mentoring to people with a migrant background to support their integration into the labour market and into Belgian society. The project involves older people who are willing to transmit their knowledge and experience to young migrants who are seeking work in a related field.
Another initiative presented at the meeting was ‘We Exist’, a Syrian catering and cultural project that was established by Obada Mohamed Otabashi, a Syrian ‘new-comer’ to Brussels. ‘We Exist’ aims to facilitate access to the labour market for other newcomers who have fled conflict and persecution. They also aim to raise awareness about Syrian culture and traditions through catering, their restaurant services and the organisation of other cultural activities.
The meeting was an opportunity to inform the Members of a number of TN activities since January 2018 (promotional leaflet, study visit video and report, presence at ESF Committee meeting).
The meeting was also used to plan the network’s future activities and final products. One of the suggested final products was a capacity-building, 1 day event involving a ‘simulation game’ to help service providers develop multi-stakeholder approaches to migrant integration. Participants could discuss and ‘play-out’ challenging, but realistic situations in a fictional environment in which they are assigned different roles in a municipality or region that is trying to improve migrant integration. The facilitator would then host a discussion afterwards in which observations of the ‘game’ constructively feed into the development of strategies and tools to develop multi-stakeholder/ partnership approaches to migrant integration.
The next meeting of the network will be a study visit to three projects working in the field of employment/training of migrants in Paris in June 2018.