The UNIPD Mentorship Committee had the opportunity to be represented at the Includ-EU event “Intercultural Regions: Active Participation & Social Inclusion” that took place online on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.
The webinar, organized by AER – Assembly of European Regions (and facilitated by the European Council) had as main topic the regional and local experiences that facilitate migrants’ active participation and social inclusion.
The Includ-EU project, in close collaboration with the Intercultural Regions Network, has in fact the main purpose of sharing knowledge, resources and experiences to promote intercultural integration at regional level, building on the experience and tools of the Intercultural Cities Network of the Council of Europe.
Policies and practices that promote intercultural interaction and inclusion are fundamental to enable cities and regions to positively manage diversity and realize its benefits; the Mentorship Project fits perfectly into this framework, having among its objectives those of encouraging the creation and sharing of mentorship schemes and best practices, while promoting inclusion and interculturality.
The panel consisted of several participants from Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia and Italy; there were several insights and presentations by experts, engaged for years in policies of social inclusion and active participation of migrants in Europe.
In particular, the webinar saw the participation of Irena Guidikova (Head of Division, Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Programmes, European Council), Conny Brännberg (Co-chair of the Intercultural Regions Network, Regional Minister of Culture, Västra Götaland), Angeliki Petrits (Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, DG HOME, European Commission), Jobst Koehler (Senior Specialist for Migrant Integration and Training, IOM), Arancha Garcia Fresneda (Representative of the Secretariat for Equality, Migration and Citizenship of the Government of Catalonia) and Jossie Rocafort (EAMISS – Intercultural and Socio-Healthcare Mediation and Assistance Team, Catalonia).
The UNIPD Mentorship Committee’s contribution to the discussion was to present, as an example of best practices on the topic of inclusion, the Needs Analysis of International Students at the University of Padua. This analysis, conducted through a questionnaire and Focus Groups between November 2020 and January 2021, had the objective of gathering the students’ needs in order to help mentors design a plan of appropriate and effective activities to best support and include them in the area.
The webinar proved to be a unique training opportunity; there was no shortage of insights and practical advice, as well as stories of on-field work experience.
The Mentorship project and the work of the UniPd committee was appreciated by OIM and other participants.
The presentations were inspiring and motivated us to do our best and keep working to make university environments more and more inclusive and intercultural.
At this link https://aer.eu/event/intercultural-regions-participation-inclusion/ you can find the material presented during the webinar, including the one of the UNIPD Mentorship committee, and on the AER Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzJ5Wmbf8oLsE2ebz15fA_w/videos) will shortly be available the video recording of the event.