At the October 2013 SHARE Network Conference, SHARE partners and stakeholders identified volunteering as a priority area for development within the field of refugee resettlement and integration. In October 2014, to support SHARE partners and stakeholders to expand and improve volunteering activities in relation to refugee integration, ICMC launched the ‘SHARING though Mentoring’ programme.
‘SHARING through Mentoring’ adapted the methodology developed by EUROCITIES and MigrationWork in the 2012-14 Implementoring project, a mutual learning initiative to enable cities working on migrant integration to share practice and learn from one another. The programme aimed to produce and pilot tools and methodologies for structured peer exchange amongst regional and local actors in the area of volunteering for refugee integration.
To ensure the programme and the tools it developed drew on current expertise and best practice in volunteering for refugee integration in Europe, on 13-14 October 2014 ICMC and the Dutch Refugee Council in Limburg facilitated 'What makes volunteering work? Supporting reception, building integration & promoting independence through volunteering’, a 2-day expert seminar in the city of Maastricht. Follow the link to find out more and to download a copy of the conference report (including links to participant presentations). Seminar participants formed a SHARE Volunteer Expert Core Group, providing input throughout the implementation of the Seminar participants formed a SHARE Volunteer Expert Core Group, providing expert input throughout the implementation of the 'SHARING through Mentoring' programme and the production of the final toolkit publication.
The second stage of the ‘SHARING through Mentoring’ programme piloted the methodology and draft toolkit developed via the Maastricht seminar through structured peer exchange. ICMC engaged a SHARE Mentor Partnership of the Dutch Council for Refugees in Limburg with the municipalities of Sittard-Geleen and Maastricht, and a SHARE Learning City comprising the municipality of Tampere, the Lutheran Church and the Finnish Red Cross.
On 4-5 February 2015, a delegation from Tampere travelled to the municipalities of Sittard-Geleen and Maastricht to learn about the volunteer programmes established by the Dutch Council for Refugees. Click here to read a short report from the visit, view the visit programme and read an article on the visit by SHARE partner and visit participant the EUROCITIES Network.
The exchange continued when a delegation from Limburg visited Tampere on 21-22 April 2015, following a programme designed to explore the capacity of the city and its partner civil society organisations to implement the identified practice (a report from the visit will shortly be mae available on these pages - check back here soon to find out more).
The ‘SHARING through Mentoring’ pilot programme concluded with the presentation of a report by the SHARE Mentor Partnership detailing practical recommendations for the development of volunteering for refugee integration in the SHARE Mentor City of Tampere. Based on experiences in the pilot programme, and with input from pilot programme partners and the Volunteer Expert Core Group, this SHARE Toolkit Publication was finalised.
For more information about the 'SHARING through Mentoring' programme and volunteering for refugee integration, please contact Magdalena Boehm at ICMC Europe (firstname.lastname@example.org).