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The municipality of Odemira, Portugal has become much more diverse in recent years. In this changing context, the project Gira Mundo promotes the integration of third-country nationals (TCNs) through the involvement of the local community.

The project uses different forms of personal and artistic expression—such as gastronomy, dance, theatre, music and sports—as ways to build relationships between migrants and the host community. In addition, Gira Mundo produces informational products pertaining to the rights and duties of TCNs in Portugal. The project furthermore encourages interaction between migrants and services in the area.

Photo by Gira Mundo

 

Issue/challenge and goal/assumption

The goal of Gira Mundo is to develop activities that contribute to the integration of TCNs living, studying or working in Odemira through the involvement of the local community.

 

 

How does it work

The project implements a set of events and activities that contribute to the project’s goals:

Integration Workshops

Staff members conduct in-person integration workshops with the help of local enterprises that employ migrants. The content of the workshops is developed with integration stakeholders and keeps pace with the needs of newly arrived migrants. The project also creates and installs displays at enterprises to highlight key information for migrants employed there. Mediators for different nationalities provide translations for the displays. By installing informational displays at workplaces, migrant workers can access important information even if they cannot attend an in-person workshop, and a source of information can remain after the project is over.

The workshops include local integration stakeholders such as the police (GNR), the municipality, the Local Support Centre for Migrant’s Integration (CLAIM), Maritime Police and representatives of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina. By involving local authorities and stakeholders, the project hopes to foster cooperation among migrants, enterprises and local integration actors, as well as promoting cooperation beyond the project’s duration.

Photo by Gira Mundo

Integration Video

The project produced a video to highlight the most important information for migrants from the integration workshops. This helps to ensure that the information reaches as many people as possible. The video is available in Portuguese, English and Russian.

National days

The project organises celebrations on the national days of the countries with relatively large populations in Odemira (India, Nepal, Brazil, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Portugal). Cultural mediators from the relevant national group collaborate with local stakeholders to organise activities, which also involve the participation of schools (including pupils of the relevant nationality). The celebrations feature cuisines and cultural performances that are developed with the mediators (e.g., music, dance, cinema, theatre).

Additionally, the project promotes interaction between different cultures through sports tournaments. Multicultural teams compete in cricket, football and handball, which are popular among both migrants and Portuguese. The organisers also make an effort to encourage the participation of women. Prior to the tournaments, there are preparatory coaching sessions for the different sports conducted by mediators from India (cricket), Brazil (football) and Portugal (handball).

Documentary film series

The project has put together a programme of six, high-quality documentary films on the topic of interculturality. Some of the screenings are also accompanied by debates. To ensure that TCNs can attend, local enterprises employing migrants provide transportation to the Odemira cinema and theatre.

Discovering the municipality

Every three months, the project organises a tour of Odemira with migrant families who are in the process of integrating in the municipality. Because of their knowledge of the area, retired locals or leaders of local associations serve as the guides.

Photo by Gira Mundo

Integration through art

Various workshops explore interculturality through different forms of artistic expression (theatre, dance, painting, music). The workshop participants come from different countries. At the end of each workshop, the participants put together a presentation for the local community.

Gira Mundo newsletter

The project publishes a monthly newsletter in English and Portuguese. English is the most common language among TCNs in the community, while publishing in Portuguese supports Portuguese language learning.

The newsletter targets TCN communities and provides information on the project’s events and other happenings in the municipality, publicises workshops relevant to integration, highlights local and national policies and other issues that are important for migrant communities. The newsletter also passes on information from the Local Support Centre for Migrant’s Integration (CLAIM) and features a column with articles written by migrants.

The newsletter is available at the CLAIM, municipal offices and many enterprises employing migrants.

 

Results

Feedback from participants and partners has been very positive. There have been high levels of participation in the project’s activities among TCNs. One participant living in the village of São Teotónio stated, ‘To live here in São Teotónio has been very pleasant for us. I never thought that I would celebrate the 15th of August [India’s Independence Day] here with country fellows from India. TAIPA [Gira Mundo organiser] has been a great support. Living here has been great for us’.

 

Evaluation

An evaluation will be conducted after the end of the project, focusing on the execution of project activities.

 

Who will benefit?

TCNs living in Odemira are the beneficiaries of the project. Most of them come from Nepal and India, followed by Bangladesh, Ukraine and Brazil.

 

Source of funding and Resources used

The project’s total budget is €114,750. Of this amount, 75% comes from the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and 25% comes from a consortium of local agribusiness enterprises (Lusomorango, Sudoberry, Haygrove and Maravilha Farms), which are major employers of migrants.

 

Contact

Organisation
TAIPA
Name
Teresa Barradas
Email
Function
Coordinator

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