Austria: Integration is a an interactive process


The successful piloting of the 4-part training course “Intercultural Competence in Working with Migrants” in Salzburg and Vienna

In May and June 2019, Südwind held three training blocks on intercultural competency in working with migrants. Two of which were held in Salzburg and one in Austria’s capital Vienna.

The 4-part training was conceived within the framework of the EU-funded project WELCOMM together with project partners from Austria, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia. The aim of the WELCOMM project is to facilitate the successful integration of third-country nationals in need of protection. This can be achieved, among others, through strengthening the intercultural competencies of those who support refugees in their capacities as volunteers or professionals.

The sharpening of intercultural sensitivity and the expansion of intercultural competence follows the logic that successful integration not only requires the migrants themselves, but also capacity building and awareness raising on the part of the helpers. Successful integration processes require commitment from both sides.

The contents of the training ranged from reflection on one’s own cultural frame of reference to the concept of intercultural sensitivity, the topics of communication and burnout prevention to dealing with traumatised persons.

Among the participants, there were many who volunteer their time and resources to help refugees, some employees from NGOs in the field of refugee work as well as teachers who have a high proportion of pupils with a migration or refugee background in their classes. A special highlight for the participants was the 4th part of the seminar, where Südwind invited experts of trauma-therapy, with extensive work experience with refugee population.

Following the successful piloting of the three training blocks, the teams adapted the training concept once again. The final training materials will be made available to interested individuals as well as organisations from the fields of refugee work and integration to be used for future similar  trainings.

The training materials with accompanying manuals for trainers can therefore be downloaded free of charge from the WELCOMM platform.  The interested individuals or organizations can access the materials through a simple online registration.