The InCommon Toolbox experience

InCommonExperienceThe InCommon Toolbox project has developed the Cultural Citizenship Scale (ECC), a methodology for the exercise of active citizenship through culture aimed at migrant women, third-country nationals and refugees.

The scale is intended to be a flexible and easily adaptable tool to offer migrant women the support they need at the right time. The reasons for migration, the motivation for migration, the conditions of departure from the country and the situation in destination, the duration of the migratory trip, the episodes of violence due to the fact of being women, cultural differences - not only with the host country but also among the different participants; the language proficiency, the gender perception or economic situation make up a diverse group with different needs.

InCommon project partners have implemented the scale in the field and tested its possibilities with a positive result. That is why we want to briefly present the different experiences that have been carried out in the participating countries of the project.

All under the same methodology but with different target groups:

The InCommon migrant women in AUSTRIA came mainly from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, India, Congo, Somalia, Egypt, China, Morocco, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Brazil. The common factor for almost all the migrant women is the challenge of learning German and finding sufficient financial means for actively participating in the cultural offerings. The volunteers’ network played a key role as intercultural mediators and mentored many cultural exchanges.

ACTIVITIES: 117 migrant women participated in the Key Competencies and Leadership training courses. The wide range of cultural activities addressed the needs of almost all the participating women: visits to the City Theatre in Klagenfurt to explore how cultural participation and economic opportunities can be aligned; visits to art exhibitions to reflect about critical issues like preservation of nature, caring for the environment and Urban Design Innovation; or The Interfaith Culinary Event 'Bread and Water' highlighting the power of culture in ensuring universal peace.

The target group in CYPRUS included mainly women from Philippines and some women from Zimbabwe who have migrated to Cyprus for work purposes. The group was mixed and consisted of women who have recently arrived to Cyprus as well as women who have been in Cyprus for some years. Women were reached through their group leaders and were willing to participate in all the activities of the InCommon Project.

ACTIVITIES: Women were very eager to participate in many of the workshops organized especially the ones for Digital literacy. The activities organized included visits to cultural sites, Digital Story telling, viewing of a theatrical play about migrants and creative activities.

GREECE has involved newly arrived refugee women that have recently came to the country and relocated to the region. This is a very specific group of women that have been through trauma in their very recent past and they were trying to accept their new forced reality. All the women started participating in the project, reluctantly, as they faced several barriers such as family obligations, lack of time, low confidence and self esteem. Through their involvement in the InCommon project and the development of their competences the women felt that they still have power over their destiny.

ACTIVITIES: What was mostly interesting to them was the similarities that their culture had with the one in Greece and even if they long to go back to their home countries one day, they started realizing that they may have a good life in the EU as well. Furthermore, they really enjoyed the interventions as they were based on their ideas and were organized by them and in the end resulted with a very enthusiastic group of refugee women that were longing to take part at the virtual events and are looking forward to participate in future activities and organise their own.

The target group in SPAIN was mainly made up by women from Latin America and other Eastern countries such as Russia, Moldova and Ukraine. The majority were newcomers and arrived to InCommon project through organisations responsible for the first reception of migrants and other projects that offer Spanish language courses for migrants.

ACTIVITIES: The training put a special emphasis on questions about the cyber security and privacy; the styles of communication and the body language according the different cultures and the expression of emotions and symbols through art. The cultural activities more requested were the guided walks and visits to the cultural and educative resources of the city. The participants organized themselves a musical evening and a cine forum.

 

Find out more on InCommon experiences in the InCommon toolkit:

http://www.documenta.es/web/incommon_toolkit/

InCommon Toolbox is a project funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the European Commission for the integration of refugees and migrants, with the participation of partners from Austria, Cyprus, Spain and Greece. The project has implemented, along more than two years, an individualized guidance pathway aimed at 400 migrant women to achieve their full participation in the host community through culture.