SEN-CIT: The sensitization of citizens in the field of immigrants' and refugees’ inclusion to the hosting society (Exchange of good practices in adult education)

The Methodology of Informal Language Learning for Immigrants

PART 2

Project Name and ID

SENCIT: The sensitization of citizens in the field of immigrants' and refugees’ inclusion to the hosting society (Exchange of good practices in adult education)” 2018-1-PL01-KA204-050850

Project Scope 

The central aim of the project is to develop and pilot sensitization methods and tools, addressed to the hosting society in the participating countries. Project partners compile and exchange good practices for sensitization of local community as it regards to migrant and refugees’ inclusion process.

Good Practice Example

Title of activity

The Methodology of Informal Language Learning for Immigrants

Description and scope of activity: 

Context
The Polish Council of Ministers (the Prime Minister was Donald Tusk) adopted in 2012 the document "Poland's migration policy - current status and postulated actions", the current government (since 2015) annulled this document due to - as it was explained by the Ministry of Internal Affairs - the migration policy was not valid anymore in the situation of 2015 year - the European migration crisis.
One of the priorities of migration policy was: "Development and implementation of an effective integration program for foreigners (including introduction of pre-integration programs for asylum seekers, improvement of integration programs for people covered by international protection, inclusion of other categories of foreigners in this type of programs, increasing the focus on education of migrant children and providing foreigners with free access to legal advice."
This document also indicated the necessity of activities aimed at the host society and pointed to the low sensitivity of the Polish society towards immigrants. It was defined by the government migration policy experts as "the fear of the unknown". This aspect of migration policy was insufficiently implemented, and large-scale funding of programs sensitizing the society of Poles on the situation of immigrants was lacking. It seems that the main reason was a small percentage of immigrants in Poland, compared to countries in the western world, oscillating around 4% of the population.

Gdańsk Model of Immigrant Integration
In 2016 the City of Gdańsk Office adopted the first in Poland "Immigrant Integration Model" developed by a wide range of experts (scientists, officials, immigrant representatives and local community), the report indicates an increase in immigrants in Poland in 2016 by nearly 37 thousand people (from 175 060 to 211 869). The biggest increase applies to citizens of Ukraine*.
The priorities have been formulated in the aspect of integration of immigrants with the local community: "The sense of having one's own place and community are the natural and important needs of everyone particularly important from the perspective of the migrant and refugee. Integration takes place at the local level - neighborhood and district. At the same time, the emergence of migrants or refugees it creates a new social situation that can give rise to fears and misunderstandings resulting from linguistic and cultural differences as well as prejudices. Integration and peaceful coexistence of different people nationalities, languages and religions will not happen alone - it must be animated through various forms of work with the local community. Animations and solutions that would support integration are missing." Currently, the Gdańsk "Model "is the only official official document on migration policy.

*According to the newest statistic data of 2018, Poland accepted 200 000 economic immigrants from Ukraine mostly and 0 (zero) refugees. 

Working method used:

Working in 8 thematic groups, 120 persons in total (public clerks, representatives of non-profit organisations and immigrants themselves – 20 persons); monthly meetings: general and in smaller groups. The meetings took place in a very special place – European Solidarity Centre
There were the following thematic groups and leading organisations:
Education / Primary School np 16 from Gdańsk
Work / Labour Office from Gdańsk
Culture / European Solidarity Centre from Gdańsk
Local communities / Gdańsk Foundation for Social Innovation
Violence / Support Centre for Immigrants (Men and Women) in Gdańsk
Social aid / City Centre for Family Aid in Gdańsk
Housing / Gdańsk Foundation for Social Innovation
Health / Department for Social Development, Municipality of Gdańsk
The work coordinators were the clerks from the Municipality of Gdańsk

The work in thematic groups were supported by the experts from different organsiations and institutions, such as: IOM – International Organisation for Migration, The association “Homo Faber”, Rescue Foundation.

The whole team participated in a series of trainings realized by specialists in multiculturalism, Polish immigration policy, and European immigration policy standards. 

Outcomes:

The most important achievements of the Team's work are:
- integration of the immigrants' environment - the environment currently organizes many initiatives, eg immigrant festivities, cultural events, cooperation with libraries, self-help activities, integration events (eg Ramadan dinner)
- significant improvement in cooperation between services, institutions and organizations in all fields - this translates into everyday cooperation on specific immigrants
- coherence and unification of actions taken against immigrants (common front) is a very bottom-up activity
- positive reception of works of some residents of Gdańsk, an example of what can be reported by a city resident who offered to rent a destroyed apartment (only maintenance costs). The flat has been renovated and equipped by the City of Gdańsk together with the Center for Social Integration. At present, the Chechen family resides there.
- development of competence and professionalism of the non-governmental sector, which is currently prepared for the implementation of tasks in this area
- significantly better identification and early response to crises related to immigrants,
- consensus on the meaning of the concept of "integration", that is, the inclusion of immigrants in the social life of Gdańsk, maintaining the identity and respect for cultural diversity, but placing the limits for the acceptance of certain behaviors (even legal or moral). Rejection of the trends of "assimilation" (eradication) or "separation" (lack of integration).

Defining the Operating plan for accepting refugees – some crucial points:
-The admission of refugees to Poland may take place in two forms - the resettlement of Syrian refugees (from countries outside the European Union) or the relocation of Syrian, Eritrea or Iraqi refugees (from Greece, Italy and possibly Hungary). Poland declared that within 2 years it would accept as a part of relocation and resettlement a total of 2,000 refugees. They will be mainly Syrian and Eritrea citizens. Refugees will be accepted in stages.

-Providing shelter for refugees in Poland will be financed by EU - EU funds will refund Poland after 10,000 euro for every refugee accepted from the Middle East and 6,000 euro for a refugee staying in camps in the EU - in Greece and in Italy. 

Participants’ Testimonies: 

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication (communication) reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Project number: 2018 - KA2 -1474192