In February and March 2019, Slovene Philanthropy piloted a training program on Competences of working with migrants. The training has been created as part of EU-funded project WELCOMM together with project partners from Austria, Croatia and Italy. The aim of the project is to facilitate the successful integration of third-country nationals in need of protection through development of innovative online tools.
The aim of the training was to strengthen the intercultural competences of people working with TCNs in need of international protection and other migrants and also to effectively facilitate and support their integration.
The training was created by all of the project partners during a 5-day seminar in Zagreb (Croatia) in December 2018 and piloted in Ljubljana and Maribor (Slovenia) in March 2019. Altogether, 41 participants who work (directly or indirectly) with migrants of different statuses attended the piloting. They were divided in three groups: public officials, NGO workers and volunteers.
Public officials who attended the training work in various institutions (social work centres, schools and student dormitories that host migrant children) and all have extensive experience in working with refugees and migrants. NGO workers came from various organizations involved in helping and supporting migrants. There were also many volunteers, actively included in assisting refugees and migrants.
The training consisted of five workshops altogether, covering many important topics:
- Introduction to migration (identity and culture, stereotypes and prejudices, basic terms in the field of migration)
- Interculturalism (cultural shock, cultural diversity, intercultural sensitivity)
- Communication in working with migrants (principles of connecting communication, burnout and setting the limits in work relations)
- Mental health of migrants (stress, crisis, trauma and recovery)
- Challenges in working with migrants
The trainings were designed interactively, so participants’ engagement was required. Besides gaining theoretical knowledge, participants learned by doing and by exchanging opinions, experiences and good practices. At the final workshop, they discussed the most common problems and challenges that their work with refugees brings.
After the piloting, all the workshops were modified and Intercultural Awareness Training Handbook for Slovenia was designed. We hope people working with migrants will find it useful and use it in their work.