InFusion (Infusão) (Unofficial translation)
Type of Information
Ana Quintela (Login to send email)
Contact Person Function
The InFusion (InFusão) project is a platform to facilitate the participation of Third-Country Nationals (TCNs) in the process of integration, using a multilevel approach. The project is focused on the areas of health, education, and employability.
InFusion intends to create local instruments and synergies that will take advantage of existing resources and ensure sustainability. The project works within the framework of the GABIP office (Support Group for Priority Intervention Neighbourhoods) for the Almirante Reis borough of Lisbon, where the project is based. The project is implemented in the context of the GABIP’s Local Development Plan (LDP - Almirante Reis).
The project consortium includes the following formal partners: Refugee Association in Portugal, Lisbon City Council, Kindergarten of Anjos civil parish, Portuguese Movement for Artistic Intervention and Education for Art (Movea), and Largo Residências.
Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption
InFusion is implemented in Arroios, a civil parish located in Lisbon’s historical centre, where the proportion of foreign citizens (13.3%) is higher than the proportions for both Lisbon (6.3%) and Portugal as a whole (3.8%), according to the 2011 census. Thus, the integration needs are higher in this area than in other parts of Portugal.
The objectives of the project include:
- Promoting the participation of TCNs in the identification of problems and implementation of solutions to improve the living conditions of the TCN community
- Identifying existing knowledge and know-how, with a view to its diffusion to other audiences and actors
- Promoting roadmaps for TCNs on local resources
- Producing pilot projects for the integration of TCNs with respect to health and education
- Promoting the production and dissemination of materials on health and education services
- Promoting the production and dissemination of materials for better knowledge of the different cultures present in the area
- Developing synergies among relevant actors to facilitate the employability of TCNs
How does it work
InFusion is organised into several areas of action.
The project has organised several discussion forums addressing the themes of health, education, culture, and employability. Project staff members set up spaces for the gatherings, which provide TCNs a chance to talk about the topics that concern them the most.
Education and training actions
Voice in Pictures. The project has organised three video-making workshops for TCNs. The video products will accompany the final project documents.
Leisure itinerary. Crescer has partnered with local kindergartens and Movea to develop this itinerary for kindergarten-aged TCN children. The itinerary promotes familiarity with the Arroios area of Lisbon. Children helped to develop the itinerary, which allows them to take a field trip where they learn to use the stop-motion technique to make an animated film. More than 20 field trips have been made and small films have been produced by children with the help of teachers and educators.
Expressions and fusions. This initiative aims to organise 60 arts-related workshops in the various schools of the Nuno Gonçalves group of schools. The workshops are led by Movea. Five workshops in fine arts have already been held at School Number 1 in Lisbon.
Educational brochures. The project is preparing brochures in English, Bengali, Nepali, and Mandarin to facilitate communication between parents and schools. The brochures provide information pertaining to the organisation and working methods of the Portuguese education system. The initiative involves partner schools of the project and schools that are part of the Local Development Plan. These schools range from the crèche level to kindergarten and the 1st cycle of basic education.
Stories & themes. This action intends to translate thematic stories into five languages, to be available digitally and distributed online. The action will be implemented by the Association CRESCER and the Refugee Association in Portugal.
Informational materials. The project has produced booklets on access to the National Health Service and family planning in English, Urdu, Bengali, Nepalese, and Mandarin. The booklets were made with help from health professionals of the Central Lisbon Health Centres Group. The project also produced audio recordings of the booklets’ contents for use in medical appointments.
TCN Kid. This is a pilot project in kindergartens and elementary schools that aims to anticipate language disorders that manifest as emotional and developmental difficulties. These disorders affect learning and therefore also impact integration. The pilot project organises sessions on school culture. It is also creating a document about how the education system works in Portugal, which will be translated into three languages.
The project’s Next Stop initiative is creating multicultural informational and artistic interventions along the green line of the Lisbon Metro (between the Martim Moniz and Alameda stations), aimed at enhancing TCN communities and showing their cultures to all those who live in or visit the area.
Cycle of entrepreneurship / business creation workshops. These entrepreneurship workshops are oriented either to TCNs who want to start an activity on their own or to TCNs with businesses already formalised. The content of the workshops is under re-evaluation.
Match Point. This event brings together potential employers or funders of business creation initiatives.
- 61 migrants with different geographic origins and experiences participated in enumerating the challenges that TCNs face. More than 30 people from migrant communities took part in other events related to the forums.
- At least 5 types of challenges and/or barriers were identified.
- The project created a new entry in Wikipedia on ‘Access to health care for migrants in Portugal’, providing basic information on healthcare rights, payment, and related information.
- This pilot project has involved 15 children and 26 parents.
- There has been an increase in the knowledge and understanding migrant families have of the education system and school services.
- School staff report better understanding of migrant families.
- Two groups of four families (i.e. four children and eight parents) have been attending sessions on parental competencies and infant emotional development.
- Immigrant families have become closer to the paedo-psychiatry services of the Dona Estefânia Hospital, and the healthcare professionals have better awareness of their cultural specificities.
Health informational materials
- 11 TCNs were involved in translation services and audio recording of the booklets produced.
- 1,000 copies of the booklets were produced, empowering immigrants through deeper knowledge concerning two important health issues.
- More than ten groups of children were mobilised in preparing the itineraries, involving a total of 48 TCN children.
- As a result of the project, there is a strong relationship between the civil parish authorities that sponsored the activity and the resident families.
The project interacts almost daily with TCN participants, through various project activities. This allows the project team to gather informal, qualitative information on the impact of the project’s activities on TCNs.
Health informational materials. The project conducted a debriefing with doctors, translators, graphic designers, voice recording speakers, etc. involved in the production of health informational materials. This was done in order to systematise what was learnt through the translation of the two booklets.
Education system. The project conducted a debriefing with parents, children, and teachers in one of the schools involved in the project. This debriefing collected information on what families needed to know about the Portuguese education system and what they want the school to know about them and their cultures.
AMIF reports. The team regularly submits an executive report to authorities administering project funds from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). The most recent report dates from 13 August 2018. Results from this report include:
- 59% of the actions defined in the AMIF funding proposal had been completed.
- More events had been organised than defined in the proposal, so the execution rate for events was 140%.
- 68% of the documents that were defined in the funding proposal had been produced.
- 5% of the total number of the copies of the documents (defined in the initial proposal) had been distributed to beneficiaries.
- 35% of male TCNs to be reached by the project were reached; the proportion for female TCNs was 29%.
Who will benefit?
Third-Country Nationals are the main beneficiaries of the project activities. As of August 2018, 139 men and 88 women have benefited directly from the project. Their main geographical origins are Bangladesh, Nepal, India, China, and Pakistan, reflecting the fast-growing and vibrant Asian communities living in the area. Children, together with their parents, are the focus of the project.
Source of funding and Resources used
The total budget is €157,571. Between September 2017 and September 2019, the local GABIP is funding 25% of the project (€36,700). The main source of funding is the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, with a co-funding rate of 75%.
- 1 full time social economics specialist (coordinator) employed by Association CRESCER
- 1 manager and 1 producer employed part-time by partner Largo Residências (Next Stop)
- 1 producer, 1 accountant, artists, and teachers employed by Movea for the realisation of art education workshops, as well as image technicians for the production of video workshops. Production and communication trainees are also involved. These resources are hired as needed.