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Multidimensional training of adult volunteers to foster migrants’ integration

The Guide for trainers is aimed at trainers and tutors in adult education who wish to support volunteers to assist migrant and refugee integration. It was developed within the framework of the project – Multidimensional training of adult volunteers to foster migrants’ integration (MAV) – with the support of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission.

The integration of migrants and refugees happens in the neighbourhood where people live. MAV supports and qualifies volunteers to serve as “companions” or mentors for migrants, supporting them in their professional and social integration. Its primary focus is to address, motivate and train migrants themselves to serve as volunteers. MAV will train and motivate migrant volunteers, with participants taking a very active role by sharing their knowledge, experience and insight. To motivate people to become trainers or mentors, there needs to be something in it for them – MAV delivers something to all players:

One essential goal of the project is to design a learning tool kit for trainers to self-train and qualify volunteers. To determine the nature of the guide, each project partner selected experts who work in migrant services to survey. Overall, ninety-two professionals were surveyed; the data, together with established best-practices in partners’ countries, were collected and analysed to assess the importance of each topic that should be in the Guide.

The specific groups of migrants identified that could be trained as volunteers are migrant women, first generation migrants with language skills and second-generation migrants. The training course will use the principles and methods of Non-Formal Learning and will focus on motivational strategies. Trainers will guarantee that the project is not aimed at promoting volunteering as a form of unpaid work, but as a means of active citizenship.

 MAV takes inspiration from the OED approach (Outreach, Empowerment and Diversity) to teaching and learning which contains methods and principles which were developed to support adult education and specifically aimed at disadvantaged groups like migrants and refugees. The MAV Adult training tool kit will also include sections on migrant entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship enables people to take advantage of opportunities and use them as a means of self-realisation.

To establish a system that identifies, documents, assesses and certifies the learning undertaken by migrants, MAV could use The European guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning developed by CEDEFOP (The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) as a means of confirming that an individual has acquired learning outcomes against a relevant standard.

The MAV project aims to deliver improved migrant integration through the provision of know-how, social skills, education and language improvements, which, by virtue of the volunteers’ “multiplier effect”, will boost the sustainability of the project once it has ended, thereby becoming a beacon for other integration projects.

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