Funded by the Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission, under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).
“Harnessing the potential of migrant women as integration experts”
What is the INTEGR8 Project?
INTEGR8 is a new project being developed by seven organisations across Europe with the aim of training migrant women to become champions of integration in their communities.
We want to support migrant women in developing their confidence and skills so that they can help to link members of their community with mainstream services in their host communities and participate more in their local communities.
INTEGR8 training will be delivered through a series of practical workshops, networking and social events, and with the support of a dedicated online platform trainees will have access to a suite of e-learning modules, information resources and an integration toolkit.
The INTEGR8 project commenced in December 2016 and will run until November 2018.
The INTEGR8 Approach
INTEGR8 is based on the belief that integration will not be achieved by doing to migrant communities, or doing for migrant communities, but rather only by doing with migrant communities. Therefore, migrant women will play a significant role in the development of all project products and actions.
Project partners will ensure that migrant women and the professionals who support them will be consistently involved in decision-making throughout the project life-cycle, through their involvement in local working groups.
These groups will have an active role in the project and will be responsible for the following activities throughout the project:
• Supporting the research activities
• Testing and evaluating the suitability of training programmes and materials
• Testing the use and suitability of the project’s online platform
• Acting as a source of constant and consistent feedback for all development activities of the project and
• Championing the project by promoting it with others in their communities or with other agencies working in this field.
A key desired outcome of this project is a change in attitude and understanding within both the migrant community and the organisations that support them. By training migrant women to be leaders of integration locally and by supporting them to establish local women’s networks, we hope to make the case that, if appropriately trained and supported, migrant women are best placed to support the integration of other migrant women.
We will reflect on this approach and will make recommendations for future work in this field which will be presented in the policy paper to be written and published by the end of the project.
Meet the Team
The INTEGR8 project is led by Meath Partnership and is promoted by a consortium of seven organisations from across Europe with vast experience of working directly within local migrant communities.
These organisations come from Ireland, Cyprus, Portugal, Romania, United Kingdom, Italy and Austria – seven European countries each with differing experiences of receiving and integrating migrants.
In bringing together this project team, Meath Partnership has ensured the team has a blend of skills and experience that is relevant to the focus of the project.
The project team are as follows:
Ireland – Meath Partnership
Cyprus – CARDET
Portugal – ISQ Formação
Romania – University of Pitesti
UK – Learning Unlimited
Italy – FormAzione Co&So Network
Austria – Jugend am Werk Steiermark
Who is INTEGR8 for?
The INTEGR8 project has two target groups:
1. Migrant integration professionals and educators who work in migrant centres and support agencies, specifically those with targeted programmes for women.
2. Migrant women and communities.
What will INTEGR8 do?
The project aims to:
• Research the training needs of migrant women in each partner country
• Develop training programmes to address the needs of migrant women, and also to train adult educators to support migrant women in their new role as community liaisons;
• Support migrant women who complete the training to establish local networks of migrant women;
• Host local events to raise awareness of the project.
Rationale Behind the Project
Why INTEGR8? Why Now?
Immigration is not a new phenomenon for Europe and migrant communities have always made a major contribution to the economic development of the Union and to the cultural diversity which characterises European society today. However, immigration and the civic and social integration of new ethnic minorities remain important policy challenges in all EU countries, especially in recent years.
Recent research highlights a number of key challenges facing new immigrants in host countries that initiatives to date have failed to overcome. There is a significant information gap as migrants experience a lack of knowledge where to go to access information, education and training supports and basic services. There is also a network gap where, although migrant organisations may help to build networks within migrant communities, they do little to tie these organisations to groups outside of the migrant communities.
Considering these challenges, there is a real opportunity to empower migrant women to become local leaders of integration through the design and delivery of appropriate training materials and supports.
INTEGR8 project partners regard these activities as the critical first steps to a more inclusive and equal Europe for all.