On 24 September, the Portuguese network launched “Welcoming Cities”, a project to increase RPCI members’ capacity to interculturally welcome the new residents.
Most RPCI members develop a Migrant Integration Plan for 3 years, together with local migrant groups, organisations, and services. These plans are adjusted to each city reality and needs. Nevertheless, some actions will certainly benefit from a wider implementation. This is the case of awareness raising campaigns and public communication activities.
Moreover, the information available regarding service delivery is fragmented and most of the time available in Portuguese only. This undermines the efficiency of service providers in delivering information and support to migrant population on health, education, housing, social and financial support, all fields that are relevant for effective inclusion.
With this in mind, the RPCI is finalising the setting up of a welcoming app for migrants; putting in place a database of events and campaigns, and developing a customisable welcoming course for newcomers and other groups. The aim of the welcoming pack will be to enhance the sharing of information in several languages, as well as information on cultures and traditions, with the view of encouraging connections among migrants and between migrants and long-term residents. A training module and a specific guide for facilitators of capacity building activities addressing both the public and private sectors is also under preparation.
In addition, RPCI members will carry out joint work to assess their municipal integration plans, with the view of preparing a joint municipal plan that should ensure harmonisation of welcoming policies and practices around the country. A public awareness campaign will boost the communication around the work of the cities in this field.