Intercultural Awareness Training: Introduction

Context

The WELCOMM Project – Supporting integration of third country nationals through developing learning and collaboration tools to build welcoming and inclusive communities, funded through the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, aims at contributing to the pre-departure and post-arrival integration of persons in need of international protection who have been relocated within the EU or resettled from a third country.

The project uses innovative online tools, such as the WELCOMM web portal, to support information dissemination to TCNs, —includingactivities and materials aimed at learning the language of the host country—, and promoting socio-cultural orientation in host countries and communities. Furthermore, the project partners in Austria, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia have developed information packages for TCNs relocating / resettling in these countries as well as guides on access to relevant support services. Likewise, the partnering organizations have developed a curriculum and ran pilot trainings on socio-cultural orientation for TCNs.  These activities have contributed to a better preparation of the receiving communities for the integration of 6000 TCNs that will be relocated and resettled.

Moreover, in order to raise awareness and to prepare host communities for the integration of third country nationals, the project partners join forces to improve professionals’, practitioners’, local CSO activists’ and volunteers’ capacity to effectively facilitate and support the integration of TCNs in need of international protection. For this purpose, an intercultural awareness and competency-based training was designed and developed by the partnering organizations to be piloted in the participating countries. The objective of this training is to raise awareness and develop the abilities of professionals, practitioners, CSO activists and volunteers in host communities in terms of intercultural sensitivity and competency. This activity is based on the idea that successful integration is a two-way street,  and that, for the successful integration of relocated, resettled TCNs, capacity building and awareness raising need to be conducted with both the TCNs and the receiving communities.  

Training procedure

The preparation of the present training material has been undertaken by the partnering organizations, under the leadership of Südwind. Each chapter focuses on one of the aspects involved when working with TCNs and has been developed by one of the partnering organizations. The handbook has been prepared in three versions, each meeting the specific needs of one of the following target groups: a) administrative bodies, b) CSOs, c) volunteers in host communities.

The content was presented and piloted in the context of a five-day Training of the Trainer (TOT) seminar in Zagreb in December 2018. It was then updated based on the input from the TOT seminar and finalized by Südwind. This training handbook is a working document that will be translated into national languages of the WELCOMM partners and further fine-tuned and adapted based on the lessons learned during the pilot phase of the trainings.

Each training module has been prepared to build up a session amounting to four training hours (16 training hours in total) and uses an interactive methodology. The structure contains the objective(s), the learning outcomes: knowledge, skills, attitudes participants will gain as well as the estimated duration of each activity. Each activity is then described, together with a list of required material(s). Each chapter includes tips and advice for trainers to make sure the trainings are carried out smoothly. At the beginning of each day of the training you can do an introduction session, and at the end do a closing session during which you can refer to the expectations set in the introduction session. You will find suggestions for such introduction and closing sessions below.

Welcome, introduction and best hopes

Duration:

10’

Material(s):

·      flipchart board, paper and markers

Description:

The team trainer introduces the topics that will be covered during the day, the purpose of the workshops and the way of working. The trainer also reiterates the rules for group work.

The trainer invites the participants to share their best hopes for the day: “At the end of this part of our work together, what needs to happen for you to say that it was worth your while (that it was useful to you)?”

Trainers keep track of the answers on the flipchart paper with the headline “Best hopes”. The paper is hung on the wall for the rest of the day.

 

 

Feedback and evaluation

Duration:

10’

Material(s):

·      flipchart board, paper and markers

·      post-its and pens

Description:

The trainer asks the participants to revisit their best hopes from the beginning of the day –written on the flipchart poster. Each participant receives a post-it on which they have to draw a symbol that represents them.

The trainer prepares two scales (0 – 10) on the flipchart paper.

On the first scale, 10 means that the participants have gained information and knowledge on the topics of the day just as they hoped, and 0 means the opposite. Participants are invited to pin their post-it with their symbol on the scale.

On the second scale, 10 means that the participants are willing to do whatever it takes to implement the knowledge that they gained from the day in their work, and 0 means the opposite. The participants are invited to pin the post-it with their symbol on the scale.

The participants are then invited to share how they can notice improvement in their daily work as a result of the knowledge that they gained from the topics of the day. 

Finally, the participants are invited to share what they found most useful in the workshop of the day, e.g. something they will take away from it. They can also share what they would want done differently and/or what else they would like to learn about said topic.