SONETOR Seminar - Contribution of intercultural mediators to the social inclusion of migrants
Patras, Greece, 15 January 2013
The European project SONETOR is the first systematic effort internationally to design services that meet the professional needs of intercultural mediators1.Within this framework, a seminar on, the “Contribution of intercultural mediators in the social inclusion of migrants" was held on Tuesday 15th January 2013 in Patras with great success, both in terms of audience numbers and the level of presentations and debate.
During the workshop scientists, representatives of migrant associations and specialized services managers discussed the facts of education and employment of intercultural mediators, focusing on the experiences recorded in Patras and other Greek cities, from efforts to integrate immigrants into local communities.
The on-line Training Platform for Intercultural Mediators was presented alongside which is combined with social networking applications and training methodologies so that to help intercultural mediators during their work through specialized educational content and services.
Of particular interest were the six workshops held in the second part of the event, in which various topics were addressed especially training of cultural mediators, and specific incidents and problems they face in their communication with migrants in the fields of education, health, housing and legal support.
The event was organized by the Laboratory of Educational Material and Educational Methodology (EEFEM) of the Hellenic Open University (HOU) and the Vice-Municipality of “Support of Citizens, Volunteerism, Gender Equality and Integration of Immigrants” of the city of Patras, in cooperation with the ITYE "Diophantus" Development and “Patras Municipal Enterprise for Planning & Development-ADEP SA”.
At the start of the meeting the respective Vice-Mayor Mayor Mrs Maria ANDRIKOPOULOU-ROUVALI presented all recent actions of the Municipality of Patras aimed at the integration of migrants and the awareness of the citizens. Emphasis was put to international initiatives and partnerships accomplished through the active participation of Patras as the only Greek city in the international network "Intercultural cities" coordinated by the Council of Europe (CoE).
The President of ADEP SA, Mr Antonis KOTSALIS reported on the importance of the initiatives undertaken by the city of Patras so that to integrate migrants as well as the need for awareness by all of the historically formed intercultural character of Patras. He also stressed the role of ADEP SA as a "tool" to support the work of the Municipality through the submission and implementation of transnational projects and operation of networks. Specifically, regarding interculturalism, he emphasized on the "Intercultural cities" network coordinated by the Council of Europe (CoE) and the excellent cooperation that is maintained for this regard with the Dpt. of “Programming-Networking & International Affairs” of ADEP SA acting as a direct and strong link with the Vice-Municipality and the CoE.
The event provided an excellent platform for the organization of the international SONETOR conference to be held in Patras, within 2013. The CoE and the “Intercultural Cities” network is expected to be actively involved since the role of intercultural mediators in the inclusion process of migrants into local societies, is fully respected.
For further info, please contact:
Mrs Chrissa GERAGA
ADEP SA-Head of Dpt. “Programming-Networking & International Affairs”
1 The project, led by the Hellenic Open University, involves six partners from five European countries, and is funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme Leonardo da Vinci of the European Union.