Mentoring helps to build bridges between people from different living environments, encourages migrants both young and adults in their integration and development, supportsting immigrants to settle into their new setting.
Adult migrants face challenges in their new countries and communities of stay.They are forced to lean new basic skills to cope up in their new environment. The challenges are many and overlapping, involving linguistic, cultural and social aspects that need to be seen as a whole. Recent mass arrival of asylum seekers and refugees to the EU is still a new challenge for researchers, trainers/educators and policy makers as they face a new category of adult-learner which cannot be efficiently addressed applying established teaching approaches. Linguistic barriers are the biggest cause for poor integration of migrants. This makes learning of other basic skills very difficult, being therefore a vicious circle that prevents many migrants to integrate. This is especially true for low educated people, that represent a large number of all migrants, since their learning strategies and abstract thinking are underdeveloped.This calls for new approaches tailored to the needs of migrant/refugee adult learners.
– to design and test an effective approach to basic skills in learning and teaching
– to provide a reflection-based insight into the learning process of migrants from the migrants’ point of view
– to train migrant-mentors
1. Migrant Mentorship model teaching plan containing recommended standards of knowledge in the area of literacy, numeracy, ICT and social competences.
2. Migrant Mentors training curriculum containing guidelines for the training of migrant-mentors in the area of literacy, numeracy, ICT and social competences.
3. Handbook with recommendations for trainers/educators working with migrants.
4. Handbook with recommendations for employers to provide a better understanding of migrants as workers and to facilitate their integration in the workplace.
Mentoring for Migrants by Migrants:
There are special conditions, strengths and limitations in mentoring done by migrants and refugees.
1. Strengths are that migrant mentors can act as role models, know the problems of a life as a migrant/refugee and that they might speak the same language as the mentees. They can also give them the feeling of being home, when they share the same cultural background.
2. On the other hand, it could also be a limitation or disadvantage, if mentor and mentee come from similar regions as they could come from competitive/rival cultures and mentoring coordinators might not always be aware of all present conflicts and disregard such problems in the matching process. Additionally, a refugee might not have a deep experience in specific topics as he or she is new to the country. Their similarities might also create a relationship, which is too close to be a professional mentor relationship as the mentor might identify.
3. Furthermore many migrants and refugees don’t have a lot of free time as they need to get themselves settled in a foreign country. It is important to be aware of their possibly rare time resources and to make sure that the mentoring is not an extra burden for the mentor in regards to time and emotional or logistical factors.
4. It is important to be aware of the challenges and the complex structure migrant mentoring might have and, hence, to adjust the structure of such specific mentoring programmes to involve this target group of mentors.
5. Migrants and refugees have various individual talents , skills and knowledge. However, due to cultural, linguistic and religious factors they are often unable to find suitable training, career path and employment. This forces most of them to end up in manual, low paid occupations, e.g. cleaning and hotel work.These people also are often grappling with basic survival needs, e.g. housing and food, and are unable to invest time on acquiring new skills to advance their livelihood and reach their full potential. This is where our mentorship program comes handy to help create a buffer intermediary that can be helpful,
6. Statistics also shows that some refugee and migrants have developed extremely successful businesses and achieved satisfying careers, demonstrating the value that they can bring to society if given the opportunity.