Since 2017, Cesvi is implementing educational interventions to support migrant women and mothers living in territories densely populated by immigrants, with low incomes and lack of access to social services. Cesvi works in Zingonia, an urban area in Lombardy, located between Milan and Bergamo, where the presence of foreign citizens (mostly families with children between 6-14) is constantly increasing. Here Cesvi is testing the “Migrant Mentoring” (MM) approach to strengthen the educational and relationship skills of women, encouraging relationships with other families, schools and other services. After three years of work, Cesvi feels it is time to reflect on the MM’s achievements, issues and challenges, so as to learn more about different social contexts and engage community members in the program activities.
Cesvi chooses to seize the opportunity offered by EPIM through the Joint Learning Initiative program to exchange good practices, involving three organizations experienced in mentoring programs:
Artemissziò Foundation (Hungary) has been providing a mentoring program since 2011 in Hungary. The goal of the mentoring program is to help refugees and immigrants that live in Hungary to find their place and become successful members of society.
VEREIN FUR JUNGE AFRIKANISCHE UND ANDERE DIASPORA VJAAD e.V. (Migrafrica – Germany) is a diaspora association of refugees and migrants in Germany, founded to provide support to migrants and refugees who arrived recently and help them integrate well in the host communities. The Centre for Migrations of the Municipality of Fundão (CMMF – Portugal) is a residential center created and managed by the Municipality of Fundão (Portugal) in 2018. At a national level, the CMMF works with the High Commission for Migrations of the Portuguese Government (ACM) and the Portuguese Border Force (SEF).
Despite the peculiarities of the migratory phenomenon in each country, the Joint Learning Initiative was an opportunity to improve knowledge on “Migrant Mentoring” applied to different target groups (namely women and young migrants) through the mutual learning experience among European organizations working in similar contexts.
An additional challenge is represented by the Covid-19 pandemic, which temporarily interrupted the activities in the various territories: these meetings were an opportunity to support us and share useful tools for interacting.
In the past months, Cesvi and the partner organizations met during two online workshop sessions and shared their different experiences, best practices, and challenges related to implementing migrant mentoring programs.
This compendium arises from the reflections made during this initiative and briefly describes what was shared during the workshops. This work is intended not only for the partners and their territories but also for all those who wish to read an introduction to the migrant mentoring approach.