Expanding Social Orientation & Integration for Newcomers in Rural Areas in Europe
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Short description of the project
The SHARE SIRA project, implemented from January 2021 to December 2022 and co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), fosters inclusive territorial approaches in rural areas in Europe, which are playing an increasingly important role in receiving newcomers. The project strengthens and expands the social orientation and overall integration of newcomers in 10 rural territories in France, Greece, Poland and Spain, through innovative approaches involving active participation of local communities, including refugees and migrants themselves, and piloting of grassroots social orientation actions.
1. Regional multistakeholder cooperation platforms assess, coordinate and strengthen local actions for the social orientation of newly arrived migrants and refugees in smaller municipalities and rural areas;
2. New approaches to support the social orientation of newly arrived migrants and refugees involving local communities are piloted and evaluated in smaller municipalities and rural areas, and the capacity of regional/local actors and local communities to support the social integration of newly arrived migrants and refugees is built.
3. Experiences and best practices in models of regional coordination and actions for local social orientation for newly arrived refugees and migrants in smaller towns and rural areas are shared across European stakeholders.
Coordinated by ICMC Europe’s SHARE Network (Belgium), the project is implemented in four countries, working in 10 predominantly rural regions classified under the NUTS System.
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The action is conducted in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (Belgium, Poland, Spain), the Development Agency of Karditsa (Greece), Association Entraide Pierre Valdo (France), and Fundacion Cepaim (Spain).
Established in March 2012 and led by the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) Europe, the SHARE Network provides a platform for mutual exchange and learning amongst regional and local actors to foster welcome, inclusion, and integration of newly arrived migrants and refugees in Europe.
ICMC Europe serves as the ICMC regional office for the EU, promoting cooperation, networking and exchange on integration, migration and development and resettlement and complementary pathways through the European Resettlement (ERN) and SHARE Networks. Established in 2012, the ICMC-led SHARE Network has engaged more than 4,000 regional and local stakeholders in 27 EU countries in dialogue, capacity-building and advocacy.
International Organization for Migration (IOM) -
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a leading international intergovernmental organization in the field of migration, committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. With partners in the international community it assists in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management, advances understanding of migration issues, encourages social and economic development through migration and upholds the human dignity and well-being of all migrants. The IOM Regional Office in Brussels acts as project development and liaison office in the region and is a longstanding partner of the EU having solid integration expertise and extensive experience in coordinating transnational projects. The IOM country office in Madrid has excellent relationships with various actors involved in the integration process of migrants on all levels, and longstanding experience in implementing projects targeting migrants inclusion. IOM Poland similarly has valuable expertise in supporting migrants’ orientation in society and is included in a network with a wide range of national, regional and local partners.
ANKA is a development agency whose key purpose is to implement programmes and projects for the development of both rural and urban areas of Karditsa district, while promoting at the same time the local initiative and entrepreneurship. Since the last 3 years ANKA has become increasingly engaged in coordinating and implementing inclusion actions for both migrants and refugees including in the framework of the ESTIA (Emergency Support to Integration and Accommodation) programme. An Intercultural Hub under the name “Crossroads” hosts activities for the refugee population, although also open to the migrant and local community of the district. Karditsa is part of the Athens Coordination Center for Migrant and Refugee issues (ACCMR) and is currently supporting the formation of a Council for the Integration of Migrants and Refugees (SEM).
Association Entraide Pierre Valdo is a French non-profit organization aiming at welcoming, integrating and supporting socio-professional inclusion of vulnerable persons and/or persons seeking protection in France, regardless of nationality of origin, gender or religious or political convictions. Its main missions are: Integration of statutory refugees and support to asylum seekers; Social and professional Inclusion of people in great need (hosting and fight against exclusion); Childhood and Youth.
Fundación Cepaim is a Spain based not-for-profit NGO working and advocating towards an inclusive intercultural society to facilitate full access to human rights for the most vulnerable people in society, particularly migrants. As a partner, Cepaim offers the strength of 27-year background both in fostering social cohesion and implementing action methodologies in cultural diversity management and local development, both rural and urban. Active member of: European Council on Refugees and Exiles; European Anti-Poverty Network; National Rural Network in Spain; among others.
The project establishes multi-stakeholder platforms in the 10 regions, involving – inter alia - regional/local authorities and civil society organisations, while also ensuring active migrant and refugee participation, to design and implement coherent and inclusive territorial approaches for orientation and integration. Through targeted training and information provision, the project builds the platforms’ capacity to engage stakeholders and communities and develop an evidence base to guide orientation and integration interventions.
The project pilots and evaluates innovative grass-roots social orientation actions, launched by the regional platforms in the 10 target regions. Pilot projects address specific needs for newcomers in rural areas, such as combatting geographical and social isolation, involve local communities and promote the participation of newcomers in local social and cultural networks and activities.
The project ensures experiences and best practices on regional coordination and actions for social orientation of newcomers in rural areas are shared across local, regional, national and European stakeholders, including through transnational exchange and learning activities, capacity-building activities, and the production of tools and resources.