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Meet Your New Neighbours | Civic Europe
Community development, Social inclusion

Meet Your New Neighbours

Fostering social cohesion and harmonious co-existence of migrant workers and their family members within their new community


Who is behind this?

Dominik Raduha

Slovenian Red Cross - The Regional Association of Red Cross Maribor



Idea pitch

Migrant workers face social exclusion from their new community because no integration programmes are emplaced. They live in a parallel world with few interactions with the locals. We would like to bridge this gap by organizing capacity building activities, workshops/events to connect locals and newcomers. By raising awareness and advocacy we will influence local authorities and NGOs to address this problem. Locals will be actively involved in the integration process by socializing.

Where will your project idea take place?

5 municipalities in NE Slovenia: Maribor, Hoče - Slivnica, Miklavž na Dravskem polju, Ruše, Pesnica

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Slovenia is positioned in the crossroad of the Balkan and central Europe. Out of 2.1 million inhabitants 7.7% are foreigners. The number of new work and residence permits issued is higher every year, especially among citizens of the former Yugoslav republics, Russian Federation and Ukraine. Slovenia remains a country of immigration primarily for reasons of employment and family reunification.
There is no integration strategy emplaced for economic migrants and their family members. Employers struggle with providing basic assistance with documentation. No programmes or activities are provided to connect the newcomers with locals. Thus, they face social exclusion and segregation. We would like to fill this gap and mainstream migration into local social development.

Who are you doing it for?

Key target group consists of economic migrants and their families mostly from former Yugoslav republics (BiH, Kosovo, N. Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro), the Russian Federation and Ukraine. In Slovenia there are 7,7 % of foreigners, but in Maribor city 12 % of all inhabitants represent the foreigners. In other municipalities live 9.5 % foreigners in Miklavž na Dravskem polju; 7.1 % in Hoče – Slivnica; 4.2 % in Pesnica and 4.1 % in Ruše. 77.5 % of foreigners in the Drava region are from former YU republics. Migrant workers are mostly employed in construction, manufacturing, transportation, storage and in administrative and support service activities. Since integration is a two-way process, we will address locals as well. Locals would like to meet newcomers and share ideas.

How do you plan to get there?

We will offer a holistic approach to integration and combat social segregation by:
- establishing one-stop shops in 5 municipalities (once per week at every location);
- prepare events, workshops, activities, etc. for locals and newcomers to meet;
- involve locals in the integration process of migrants providing mentorship and/or constructively spend time together;
- establish, document and promote good practices;
- connect NGOs and public, policy making institutions.
At the one-stop shop beneficiaries will get all the information and support needed. We will prepare informational leaflets and leave them at relevant institutions, like the Centre for Social work, the Employment Service, Healthcentres, etc. Using a participatory approach migrants will contribute to drafting effective strategies and programmes that prevent their marginalization and enable them to reach their potential. Integration programme will provide non-formal activities, thematic training sessions, capacity building initiatives for local authorities, NGOs and population of concern. With all the knowledge sharing and activities we will prepare a proposal of migrants' integration for local municipalities.
We will build an active role of the local population as something crucial to raising awareness and improving opinion on migration related issues in local environment

What are the expected results?

The expected results should be welcoming communities where migrant workers and their family members live in harmony. Locals and migrants should be capacitated to actively collaborate in preparing the local integration strategy. Locals should also be encouraged to act as advocates in promoting ideas that foster social cohesion. Migrant workers and their family members should feel empowered in reaching their potential as full members of the new community.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Our own observation and the feedback from community members - employers and RC volunteers - stipulates that the whole community struggles with segregation of migrant workers and their families. Locals would like to get involved and get to know them but they lack tools to bridge this division. With this project we will create numerous possibilities for them to meet and build social networks. Employers would like to come forward and address this issue because workers need support strategy to settle and strive in new community. Employers are usually overwhelmed providing help but it is insufficient. We will capacitate employers and local individuals with basic tools to draft proposals for local authorities. Together we will present possible durable solutions for the inclusion of newcomers.

Why is this idea important to you?

Behind the idea is a team of two co-workers at Red Cross Maribor. Dealing with community issues and vulnerable persons daily motivates us to search for durable solutions to help our beneficiaries. Small fixes don’t change peoples’ lives, we need strategies and programmes emplaced at the systemic level. Bottom-up initiatives stimulate local authorities to prepare actions in combating exclusion of certain groups in our community. Everyone benefits from the measures.
One lives in the urban, the other in the rural area of the proposed implementation location. We are well embedded in our local societies and aware of local issues. The influx of migrant workers isn’t a crisis. Local economy depends on them and they should feel welcome. We will bring people together and build prosperous community

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Direct personnel costs (field coordinator/officer, accountant): 12.600 €
Subcontractors (professionals): 4.800 €
Direct costs of local Red Cross units: 8.000 €
Direct travel costs: 2.000 €
Promotional materials (designing, translating and publishing leaflets, banners, etc.): 3.000 €
Costs of local events/workshops (consumption, learning materials, etc.): 2.000 €
Office rent and expenses: 1.200 €.
Other direct and indirect costs: 1.400 €

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Any feedback would be appreciated.





Idea created on April 21, 2021
Last edit on April 23, 2021

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