About the project:
The integration and full inclusion of migrants is one of the key challenges of Europe and one that might bring about despicable consequences, in case it is not successfully attained by a united Europe. This effort is echoed also by the United Nations. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, has stated that „to make diversity a success, we need to invest in social cohesion so that all people feel that their identities are respected and that they have a stake in the community as a whole”.
„Cities of Welcome – Improving the Participation of Young Migrants at Local Level“ is Key Action 2 Project between Migrafrica (Germany), DYPALL Network (European Network based in Portugal), Fundació Catalunya Voluntària (Spain) and Citizen Association United Youth (North Macedonia) which aims to improve the conditions, overall integration and participant of young migrants and youngsters of migrant background in their local communities by sharing good practices and examples of integration and collectively trying to find better solutions together with and for the target group.
This project will allow municipalities in partner countries to exchange best practices and models coming from the South, North and East Europe, and compile experiences and integrated ways to facilitate and support the participation of young migrants and youth with migrant backgrounds and thus easen their integration in society. The main need is alleviating some of the challenges that municipalities are facing when it comes to integrating the participation of migrant young people, such as structural and social barriers. There is a general understanding between the project partners that the specific needs of target groups regarding civic and political participation fall between the cracks of existing youth and inclusion policies. The project aims to highlight this situation and proposes a new approach. This project will also allow local authorities and youth workers to avoid the “tokenization” of young migrants, ensuring that their inclusion in participation is meaningful, which is a requirement for their full integration.
The project consists of the following activities:
- Kick-off meeting in Cologne, Germany
- Study Visit “Welcoming Cities: Good practices of Participation of Youngsters with migrant background“ in Lisbon, Portugal.
- Development of innovative approach „Models and strategies for improvement of young migrants participation in decision-making processes at the local level“.
- Monitoring meeting in Ohrid, North Macedonia.
- Training on practices and guidelines on young migrants participation at local level in Cologne, Germany.
- Four Multiplier Events in each partner country and one online Multiplier Event.
- Final Evaluation Meeting in Barcelona, Spain.
The duration of the project is 24 months and funded by the European Commission.
The first transnational partners meeting:
The first transnational meeting of the project took place in Cologne Germany on the 12th and 13th of May 2022. The meeting participated representatives from Migrafrica (Germany), DYPALL Network (European Network based in Portugal), Fundació Catalunya Voluntària (Spain) and Citizen Association United Youth (North Macedonia). As a kick-off meeting, the event brought all the partners to discuss about the management and administration of the project, plan the future transnational partners meetings, launch the development of the toolkit and plan the study visit in Lisbon, Portugal.
On the occasion DYPALL network also provided a workshop on stakeholders mapping, out reach and engagement strategies. Throughout the project we will work closely with the local actors such as the local municipality, CSOs and migrant young people themselves.
“Welcoming Cities: Good practices of participation of youngsters with migrant background“ in Lisbon, Portugal
(7th – 12th November, 2022)
The study visit was the second activity of the project “Cities of welcome” and it took part in Lisbon, Portugal from the 07th -12th of November 2022, hosted by DYPALL Network.
In the 4-day program, nine different organizations and municipalities from North Macedonia, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Finland participated.
It offered the opportunity to visit different spaces of migrant youth participation in the areas of Lisbon and Sintra as well as to discuss diverse approaches to these topics.
On the first day, the focus of the program was to built a common ground on the involvement of the migrant youth in decision-making processes. There was also enough space to get to know each other and to present the different organizations.
On the second day the participants were welcomed by the director of the IPDJ – Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth, where the study visit took place.
Afterwards, we had a roundtable with the organizations Crescer, ComParte, O Lado Negro da For and IPDJ which work in Lisbon and the surrounding. .
They shared exciting insights into their fields of activity and also their experiences in tackling the challenges of participation of young migrants in decision-making processes. Afterwards, an interesting discussion round with the participants resulted.
In the afternoon, we visited the Associação de Moradores do Per 11, an organization for inclusion of the migrant community at local level.
During the next day, we visited PEM Pendão em Movimento in Sintra Area which is a community space with shared management by several local organizations and informal groups like The one Zion, Criagentee, Gave Artistas and APDJ. They intend to involve community members in different activities and in participatory processes, for example participatory diagnosis. After that the deligation went to Casa da Juventude da Tapada das Mercês. In this place, we had three more interesting presentations from the local organizations Ass Comunidade Islamica, ACAS and Jipangue Association from the Sintra municipality.
At the last day of the study visit, the participants did a group work on the final task to identify general indicators for participation, impact, motivation and knowledge of the young people in decision-making processes and put them all together. The last activity was an overall reflection about the study visit with all participants and the facilitators of the study visit.
- Participating organizations and municipalities
- Citizens Association United Youth (North Macedonia)
à NGO that aims to achieve international collaboration with organizations, institutions and individuals to bring them closer to European policies, cultures, traditions and trends
- Centre for Education and Development (CED) (North Macedonia)
à NGO that works in the municipality of Tearce and aims to stregthen the capacities, skills and knowledge of young people in order to raise self-initiative and responsibilities
- Municipality of Cascais – Youth Division (Portugal)
à Aims to empower young people from ages 12 to 30, provide a sense of agency and ownership, inform about opportunities to participate in order to create a better community
- Fundació Catalunya Voluntària (Spain)
à Foundation promotes solidarity, non-formal education, intercultural learning and a culture of peace
- Youth Service Montbui (Spain)
à Service in the municipality of Santa Margarida de Montbui (Catalonia) that aims to promote youth participation and organizes various activities for young people from ages 12 to 35
- Migrafrica (Germany)
à NGO based in Cologne that aims to be an intercultural intersection in order to build bridges between people with migrant and flight history and migrant organizations on the one hand and society, institutions and locals on the other.
- Municipality of Cologne – Office of Integration and Diversity (Germany)
à Office that aims to strengthen the cooperation of key institutions in the sector of migration and integration in order to improve corresponding municipal structures.
- German Red Cross (Germany)
à Humanitarian Aid association at local and international level that works in the field of civil protection and crisis management, especially in order to support and protect vulnerable groups.
- ijgd / Diakonie Hessen / Volksbund (Germany)
à Organization that promotes social and intercultural exchange for young people and aims to foster self-development.
The study visit has the following impacts. Firstly, it provided a framework for representatives of different organizations and municipalities from different European countries to exchange and network. This is an important cornerstone for cross-border cooperation in the field of migrant youth participation.
In addition, the participants were able to learn from the different local practices. These ranged from small neighborhood centers to citizens‘ offices up to organizations working on participation throughout Lisbon and beyond.
At the macro level, the study visit contributes to European integration and international cooperation in the field of integration and inclusion of people with migrant history.