BLEND IN aims to prepare and empower one of the most vulnerable groups of our times, young migrants & refugees seeking a better life in a third-EU country. The ultimate objective of the project is to develop the social, civic, intercultural competences of the young refugees and migrants resettled in a host country, inform them on their rights and promote their autonomy, active citizenship and participation in social life and labour market, thus preventing their social exclusion, combating discrimination and segregation by facilitating their smooth cultural and social integration in the host community.
To achieve this objective, the BLEND IN partners will develop a cultural, social and language integration toolkit in the form of a mobile application, orienting the young newcomer refugees into the hosting societies’ cultural and social realities and norms. As the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) underlines, cultural orientation is a very important part of a well-managed resettlement process, that contributes to reducing refugees’ concerns and overall anxiety, while at the same time increasing their chances of successful integration. Integration is essential for all stakeholders (migrants/refugees and receiving societies), not only as a way of providing economic and cultural benefits but also for ensuring the security and stability of societies as a whole. As refugee integration is a two-way process that involves both refugees and the receiving societies, the project will provide the young refugees and migrants, recently resettled in a new country, with the appropriate tools to help them safeguard their cultural and religious identity while empowering their integration in the new community by introducing to them the most important social, cultural and language elements in their hosting communities, promoting that way intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, tolerance and respect of cultural diversity and human rights.
In this effort, high quality youth work will be promoted, since youth workers and professionals, volunteers, NGOs, refugee organisations and civil society organisations, local authorities (these actors are referred to as “operators” for the purposes of this project proposal), among others, will play an important role both as facilitators and multipliers of the action. The partnership will involve directly youth actors/operators in the project with the aim to (1) build their capacities and equip them with the appropriate tools that will enable them to foster the inclusion and employability of young refugees and utilise effective methods to reach out to this youth group; (2) profesionalise their work by developing their competences; (3) set quality standards and define ethical and professional codes. For this purpose, a “Refugee Integration Handbook for Operators” will be developed, focusing on key areas such as: understanding and setting ethical and professional codes when working with young refugees; empowering young refugees and enhancing their self-confidence during the initial stages of resettlement by providing them with accurate information about the host country; understanding the cultural and age profile of the concerned refugee group and communicating respecting this profile; providing young refugees with pre-departure and post-arrival cultural orientation based on the developed orientation mobile application; and promoting the mobile application in the context of their work.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
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