The mentoring programmes which are being developed in several European cities and which we have been trialling in Strasbourg since the beginning of the year, at the initiative of the Makers for Change association, are helping to involve newcomers in the life of the city, while at the same time including citizens and civil society in the implementation of reception policies. This simple idea consists of introducing newcomers to citizens who have been living in the city for a longer period of time. The aim is for them to get to know each other and to show the newcomer around the city.
But a further aim is to undertake a joint initiative highlighting the culture of the refugees’ country of origin and what it brings to the local culture. This type of approach is useful in so far as it enables migrants to become involved in the life of the city and the local population to see the reception of refugees as a real asset and a factor of development.
This project is a response to the desire expressed by many citizens’ to be involved in promoting diversity.