DIGIMI field research: What are the challenges of to boost Migrant integration involving the local communities in EU
Can Digital Storytelling and image use Make Refugee Voices Heard? From the European project DIGIMI.eu we think it is: a powerful tool for integration and communication. DIGIMI is a consortium in which Fundacion Cibervoluntarios work together fwith organizations from Italy, Holland, Cyprus, Greece, Austria, Portugal and Lithuania. A challenge that we love: DIGIMI has as the key objective the participation of local communities to facilitate the social integration of migrants through their own eyes and digitally narrated stories and volunteer activities as a vehicle for mutual understanding, knowledge and social cohesion.
We have the first findings of the Field research and Gap Analysis conducted byFundación Cibervoluntarios in Spain and other partners in Lituania, Italia, Holanda, Grecia y Austria. Five main integration challenges for Migrants have been detected in the evolution of the Focus Groups developed:
• The language Barrier
• Bureaucratic hardships related to migration and integration
• Challenges in finding a stable job
• Negative attitudes towards migrants and stereotyping
• Difficulties in establishing relationships with the locals
38 people participated in these focus groups. 19 Countries, majority from Nigeria, Syria, Venezuela and Cameroon. Most of them with an average of 3 years living in the new countries. In the field research it was obvious for all of them the need of personal traits with locals to feel part of the new communities. This is difficult as most of them don't have family members in the host countries. It is critical the support. Of organizations and NGOs.
Training needs findings with the focus groups
The main topics of the trainings that were articulated as important can be divided into several segments:
• Storytelling as an opportunity to heal or promote oneself
• Storytelling as a way of telling other migrants about situations of migration
• Storytelling as a way of telling about migration process
• Storytelling as a way of generating cultural exchange
Results of the Online questionnaires for migrants/refugees
In total, 134 responses of migrants have been collected across all 8 partner countries. 47 percent of respondents were women, 53 – men. The countries of origin varied, yet most of migrants came to the countries of destination from non-EU states. The most common reason for migrating was asylum, identified by 38.1 percent of respondents. Other 3 main reasons for migrating were a family / partner, identified by 26.1 percent of respondents, work (24.6 percent) and studies (23.9 percent). Most respondents had temporary residence permit (50 percent), followed by persons who had permanent residence permit (28.3 percent), were undocumented (6.7 percent), had visa (3.7 percent), citizenship or were asylum seekers (3 percent each). The number of years migrants lived in their destination countries varied, with the average of 3.8 years.
Expected results of DIGIMI for 2022:
700 migrants and refugees
500 professionals and NGO mediators trained in digital storytelling techniques
Reach 500 organizations across Europe
Sensitize public opinion and national and European institutions.
This project is co-financed by the European Commision - Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF)