“Rethinking Inclusion” aims to identify innovative solutions for migrant inclusion and social cohesion across Europe, to harness their learnings and help them scale and/or transfer their knowledge to other countries facing similar issues, thus contributing to a new paradigm for migrant inclusion in Europe.
Migrant inclusion begins on the first day of their arrival and hinges on positive social interactions between migrants and other members of the societies they are part of.
This process of inclusion may, however, be hindered by various social challenges, ranging from limited access to the labour market, cultural or linguistic obstacles, and social tensions. Such challenges may be particularly acute for migrant women, in particular those arriving through family reunification, or those who identify as asylum seekers, refugees, (single) mothers supporting extended family systems, elderly women, women born of migrant parents without access to citizenship, those living in remote areas and women working in low skilled sectors (e.g. domestic sector).
A number of factors can contribute to a migrant woman’s risk of exclusion. Such factors can include, among others, reception and placement procedures, gendered norms, family situations, the level of education attained, and the knowledge of the language. While migration can increase access to education, income, autonomy and status, migrant women (even when skilled) continue to face a labour market that remains largely segmented by gender, with an over-representation of migrant women in low skilled sectors. In combination with these various factors, age and (ethnic) discrimination may also limit opportunities for social interaction and can lead to social isolation, loss of informal support networks, and increase risks of exclusion.
One-way approaches, whereby migrant women are expected to assimilate into an existing society, are still the most common approaches, though such challenges may also be shared with other members of the society at large. Despite the attention that inspiring grassroots initiatives have received from policy makers and funders, little has been done so far to share knowledge and learn from them in order to inform policy, funding and practice to eventually bring these initiatives to scale.
While the challenges above are shared by several European countries, EPIM has selected countries where its support could add the most value based on a needs and opportunities assessment of several European national contexts. As a result, EPIM will support the adaptation and/or knowledge transfer from solutions selected under this call in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Portugal and Sweden.
The European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM) is a collaborative funding initiative of international foundations which supports civil society organisations’ work on migration and integration. It is hosted by the Network of European Foundations (NEF). Both EPIM and its partner foundations have a longstanding experience working on and supporting initiatives in the area of inclusion. This call for expressions of interest is launched in the framework of the EPIM Fund on “Building Inclusive European Societies”. With this Thematic Fund, EPIM aspires to see migrants and other members of the societies they live in benefit from collective and individual improvements of quality of life and mutual understanding, thanks to greater social cohesion.
EPIM aims to identify socially innovative solutions (project, process, service, practice) located in an EU, EFTA or Western Balkan country that address the aforementioned inclusion challenge, with a whole-of-society approach, i.e.
- are developed and driven by local communities and put the emphasis on the role of migrants and other members of the society they are part of, and
- hold value for society as a whole by targeting not only migrants as beneficiaries but also other members of the societies they are part of.
Solutions should contribute to enhancing at least one of the following five drivers of inclusion:
- Labour market and economic inclusion;
- Social empowerment;
- Literacy and language learning;
- Inter-cultural dialogue and cultural participation;
- Participation in (local) public life.
Applicants will receive different types of support assistance to learn from, scale, transfer, adapt and evidence the social impact of their solution.
- On the basis of the expressions of interest, up to 20 solutions will be selected across Europe to participate in a case study analysis where social impact experts will take a closer look at essence and impact of the solution as well as possible scaling opportunities. (Multimedia) case studies will be made available to all solutions initiators and can be used as communications and fundraising materials as well as strategic tools to maximize the impact of their work.
- Based on the case studies, up to 8 solutions will be selected to be matched with stakeholders interested in adapting the solution in one of the target countries.
- EPIM will support pairs consisting of the solution initiator and (an) interested stakeholder(s), in developing a proposal for capacity support to prepare for the scaling/transfer of the solution.
- Selected pairs will be awarded with grants of up to 30,000 EUR for a timeframe of up to 9 months to prepare for the scaling/transfer of the solution.
All applicants, included non-selected ones, will receive a set of useful resources to increase their knowledge and capacity to improve and scale their projects. All eligible solutions will be featured on the Social Challenges Platform and will also be included in an internal mapping of initiatives that gives them visibility to a group of funders.
The Challenge Owner
The European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM), an initiative of currently 25 private foundations, has the goal of strengthening the role played by civil society in advocating for constructive approaches to migration in Europe.