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In the first part of this quest, you’ve already learned how to support intercultural integration through social entrepreneurship and promote personal and enterprise development for people from a refugee and asylum-seeking background. Now, we will give some recommendations, tips and tricks on how to get in contact with migrants and asylum-seekers situated near you, establish contact and analyze their strengths in order to create more opportunities for their personal and professional development by exposing the identified strengths and making them visible.
An easy way to begin is by “writing your homework” and do small research related to the topic. Before diving into all possible activities, it is important to learn more about the refugees and asylum-seekers in your local/regional context, e.g. if there is a specific place located near you, where you will be able to find those groups. This step is of high importance, since if there is not, you will need to think big and start researching for existing places not only on local and regional levels, but on a national level as well.
You can start the process by researching directly for various support institutions/organizations that work with refugees and asylum seekers, and that are located as close to you as possible. In order to do this, you can either search on the Internet (of course) or contact local entities (such as the Municipality) which might be able to help you with your research and assist you in establishing the link between you as a stakeholder and the refugee community.
Once this is done, you can approach the identified organizations/individuals representing people with a refugee/asylum-seeking background and plan face-to-face visit/s in the form of informal meetings or interviews in order to establish personal connection. These personal meetings will be of crucial importance for getting to know better representatives of the refugee community and work together with them in order to establish a clear vision about their strengths that have the potential to turn into much more by creating various opportunities.
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels
Once you have identified specific organizations/entities working and facilitating people with refugee background, you can start thinking about organizing individual meetings with a number of individuals representing this specific target group. If your idea is to showcase their strengths and turn them into advantage, the only way to do this is by making the most of your time in trying to identify which these strengths are (whether they would be cooking, language translations, handcraft, etc.).
You will be able to find detailed instructions on how to execute your task in the next "Process" section.
In order to be able to execute your task properly, we strongly recommend you to go through the following steps:
- Establish contact with entities working with refugees/asylum-seekers and try to set up individual meetings (whether face-to-face or via online means) with such representatives;
- Before the first meeting (or we can also call it personal interview) create a visual presentation, trying to explain what your idea is and what are the main aims of the interview in order to make the other person feel more comfortable and engaged during the process;
- Use your imagination and create a list with questions you would like to ask the person during the interview in order to use your time wisely – keep it short and concrete. Also, do not forget what the main idea of the interview is: to identify the existing strengths of the person in front of you. Therefore, make sure that your questions match the aim of the interview – for example, questions which you can include in your list might be, but are not limited only to, the following: “What do you like to do in your spare time?”, “What are you good at?”, “What do you value about yourself?”, etc.
- During the interview, make sure to take notes or invite another person to participate to be in charge of this task;
- Once you are already done with the interview, make sure to summarise all your notes and thoughts, analyse the results and draw some general conclusions.
- Think about possible ways to present the identified strengths to the society (whether it would be to create a website, traditional marketing, social media, etc.).
Identify the appropriate entities, engage with them and establish personal connection. Fix specific dates and times for executing personal meetings and make it happen.
Make sure you are prepared and plan everything in advance: create the best presentation to showcase your idea to the person standing in front of you, identify preliminary questions which you can use during the interview in order to help you identify the person’s strengths, be cautious and take notes and finally, draw some general conclusions derived from the analysis of the received answers. Be creative!
- 1.1) I can explain what makes an opportunity to create value.
- 1.2) I can identify opportunities to solve problems in alternative ways.
- 1.5 I can experiment with my skills and competences in situations that are new to me.
- 1.10) I can develop (alone or with others) an inspiring vision for the future that involves others.
- 2.2) I can judge my strengths and weaknesses and those of others in relation to opportunities for creating value.
- 2.7) I can reflect on the social incentives associated with having a sense of initiative and creating value for myself and others.
- 2.16) I can explain that value-creating activities can take different forms (a business, a social enterprise, a non-profit organisation, etc) and can have different structures of ownership (individual company, limited company, co-operative, etc).
- 2.21) I can use various methods, including social media, to communicate value-creating ideas effectively.
- 3.3) I actively face challenges, solve problems and seize opportunities to create value.
- 3.7) I can prioritise the basic steps in a value-creating activity.
- 3.21) I can reflect on my interaction with others (including peers and mentors) and learn from it.