Mediation as a key-factor for intercultural inclusion in Patras
The role of intercultural mediators in a diverse society was in focus at the international conference "Improving the skills and enhance the identity of intercultural mediators in a multicultural Europe" held on 8th & 9th January 2014 in Patras, Greece.
The aim of the conference was to identify the profile and needs of education, training and communication of intercultural mediators, the presentation of good practices on Intercultural Mediation, development of tools with emphasis on web-based training for intercultural mediators (www.culturalmediators.eu/), and the exchange of views on the role of intercultural mediators within the inclusion process of the migrants. Intercultural mediation is one of the key components of the intercultural integration approach which is founded on the principle that increasing migration and ethnic diversity present a challenge but also a huge opportunity to cities - which they can and must realise. The conference participants explored the different forms and approaches to mediation and debated on the pros and cons for the professionalisation of mediation vs. the mainstreaming of intercultural competence among the staff of public administration, services and schools.
The speakers of the conference included representatives of local government, education, research, development, protection of society, active citizenship and governance from various European countries.
The Vice-Mayor for "Education, Transparency & Electronic Consultation" Mr. Andreas Filias launched the event by stressing the importance of intercultural education for social cohesion. Vice-Mayor Mrs Maria Andrikopoulou - Rouvali and Mrs Chrissa Geraga (Head of Programming & Networking dpt of ADEP SA) presented tools and structures for social integration and solidarity as well as strategic activities of interculturalism of the Municipality of Patras.
Bruno Ciancio, CoE Expert and representatives of cities members of the Intercultural cities network - Monica Diniz ( Lisbon -PT), Ana Filipa Sampedro Monteiro (Amadora-PT) and Ingrid Hauge Rasmussen (Stavanger, NO) (www.sonetor-project.eu/esicm/) made presentations. ICC representatives met the three deputy Mayors responsible for work in the field of diversity and integration and discussed the opportunities and challenges for the implementation of Patras’ intercultural strategy, in particular Roma inclusion, and the possible setting up of a national Intercultural cities network in Greece. The ICC delegation was impressed by the commitment and competence of the municipal team and the excellent coordination of the efforts of different departments.
It is noteworthy, that the Municipality of Patras through ADEP SA is a partner in a proposal coordinated by the Municipality of Amadora (PT) submitted in December 2013 under the PROGRESS social experimentation European programme. Currently, Patras through ADEP SA implements an approved PROGRESS-Antidiscrimination project, combating stereotypes for roma, muslims women and young people in labor market and entrepreneurship.
The conference was organised by the Hellenic Open University - Educational Content Methodology & Technology Laboratory (e-CoMeT Lab), within the implementation of «SONETOR» EU project (Training of cultural mediators utilizing new Social Networking Software, http:// www.sonetor-project.eu). The project is coordinated by HOU-eCoMeT Lab and is funded by the European lifelong Learning Programme, Leonardo da Vinci.
The conference was supported by Patras Vice-Municipality of "Support of Citizen, Volunteerism, Gender Equality & Integration of Migrants” and "Patras Municipal Enterprise for Planning & Development-ADEP SA" as done during the whole implementation of the project.
For more info, please contact:
Mrs Chrissa GERAGA – Patras ICC coordinator