“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 young migrant men (around 18-35 years old), in particular (single) asylum seekers, (single) refugees, men born of migrant parents without access to citizenship, those living in remote areas and young men working in low skilled sectors.
A number of factors can contribute to a young migrant man’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 country’s language. Furthermore, many young migrant men have come to Europe alone, either through the help on some relative already living there or through family reunification processes. While migration can increase access to education, income, autonomy and status, young migrant men are at particular risk of unemployment or underemployment in low skilled sectors. Moreover, often featured in the media and public debates as a problematic group, their experience of inclusion may be highly influenced by negative, gendered public perceptions which may increase risks of social isolation.
One-way approaches, whereby young migrant men 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.
Solutions should contribute to enhancing at least one of the following five drivers of inclusion:
Applicants will receive different types of support assistance to learn from, scale, transfer, adapt and evidence the social impact of their 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.