Archive of European Projects

From Expats to Experts: United Civil Society through Inclusion and Empowerment of Young Immigrants
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Driven by its mission to create space for dialogue, the NGO Crossing Borders as well as its partner organisations People for Change Foundation (PfC), Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers des Pays-de-la-Loire (CNAM) and Centro Studi ed Iniziative Europeo (CESIE) perceive the lack of awareness of positive impacts of immigration as a significant problem in many local communities in Europe. Therefore, the project “From Expats to Experts: United Civil Society through Inclusion and Empowerment of Young Immigrants” (FETE) aims at combating harmful prejudices and broadening the debate on positive effects of immigration in EU countries with a particular focus on Malta, Denmark, France and Italy. During the project, a labor market inclusion strategy is developed, which is based on research conducted by all involved partners. This strategy will be implemented in San Gwann (Malta), Humlebaek (Denmark), Nantes (France) and Palermo (Italy). The project targets 60 young first generation immigrants between 18-30 years who are mainly from non EU-countries and currently living in the EU. The main goal is to improve their labor market inclusion by providing them with the opportunity to deepen their skills through the participation in workshops and gain work experience through the implementation of an internship ("Seeds"). During the internship each intern carries out a small-scale project that is beneficial for the intern as well as the local community as a whole. In order to strengthen learning results and improve the inclusion of the young immigrants, a mentoring programme ("Mentors and Mentees in Action") provides assistance to each participant during the whole learning process. Furthermore, the developed online platform "Inter(n)changes" provides useful practical information for interns but also space for exchange regarding their success stories or problems. In addition to young immigrants, the project also aims at strengthening capacity building of NGOs, social enterprises and public institutions in order to create space for dialogue about positive impacts of immigration in European societies. All project partners use their network with other NGOs, social enterprises and public institutions in order to provide each intern with the most suitable internship considering each person’s individual level of experience and field of interest. The inclusion of various stakeholders in the project strengthens the capacity of particularly NGOs as mediators and facilitators for creating dialogue between young immigrants and civil society. However, the impact of the project is not limited to directly involved participants and stakeholders. The development, publication and dissemination of the “Inclusion in Action” strategy as well as the mentoring guidelines (“Youth Empowerment through Mentoring: a Guide for Youth Workers”) and the online platform "Inter(n)changes" provide useful information for successful inclusion of young immigrants in EU countries for everybody who is active or interested in that particular field. Moreover, two high school workshops in each participating country ensure that the rationale behind the project is disseminated particularly among young people in Europe. The aim of the workshops is to convey young students with the message of how it feels to be excluded from a community and why inclusion is a vital part of an open, fair and dynamic society.
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