Sharing life stories of immigrants with the local community
São Brás de Alportel (Portugal)
The municipality of São Brás de Alportel (Portugal) produces the Intercultural Section on ‘Our Immigrants’, featuring informative pieces for regional media relating to immigrants’ initiatives. The Intercultural Section presents interviews with and life stories of immigrants and intercultural groups in the community, with the aim of sharing their personal qualities and showing the value that they bring to society. The interviews reveal the difficulties experienced during the integration process and how they were overcome.
Areas of integration covered by practice
- Integration of migrants in political and civic local life
- Fighting discrimination and the promotion of diversity
Background and purpose
The aims of the Intercultural Section are:
- to promote the participation of immigrants in cultural initiatives, where they can share their customs, culture and traditions
- to foster dialogue and the integration of different immigrant communities and to combat prejudices
- to promote the role of immigrants in local development and share models that can be used as benchmarks for quality, competencies and results
- to raise public awareness of the inherent benefits of integrating migrants and their communities
The Intercultural Section began in July 2015, and it continues to reach a wide audience through monthly publications, the local newspaper, the local centre to support migrants’ integration (CLAIM) and the local group ‘Friends of the Museum’.
How does it work?
After staff of the municipality hear about the story of a migrant individual or intercultural association or group, they contact key actors in the story and conduct interviews. The interviews form the basis for a written feature, which is published on the municipality’s website or in local media outlets. The articles are presented to the interview subjects before publication.
Results and evaluation
The aim of the project is to involve the immigrant community in the wider community. The project’s success can be seen in the interest and engagement of the participants and their eagerness to share integration stories, as well as the engagement of those who were able to conduct interviews in a productive and inspiring way.
The Intercultural Section is part of the São Brás de Alportel Municipal Plan for Migrant Integration, which is a strategic priority of the São Brás de Alportel municipal council with respect to local policies on the reception and integration of immigrants. The project is promoted by the São Brás de Alportel municipal council via the local support centre for migrant integration (CLAIM) using its own human, material and financial resources in partnership with the other bodies involved.
Municipality of São Brás de Alportel
São Brás de Alportel Community Support Centre
Phone: 289 840 020
Source: Committee of the Regions