The Welcome guide ¡Hola! was created between April 2016 and February 2019. Following the Council of Europe advice through ICC, the Children’s Participation Working Group “Amiguitos y Amiguitas” which is part of Juntos En la misma dirección (Together in the same direction) moved to create a Welcome guide for all starting the life in Tenerife. The project required collaboration with various sectors with the aim to improve the welcoming and social integration of migrants and refugees through education and art.
Initially cooperation was sought within the working groups of Juntos En la misma dirección, and the project was then shared in the Intercultural Open Space, where others joined. Through this means it was suggested to use art as a key aspect and communication channel.
The aim of “Amiguitos y amiguitas” was to make a remarkable guide, providing key information and advice that cannot be found on the internet. The statement of the team was that "The Welcome guide should communicate affection, love, and warmth". The elaboration process took three years, during which three hundred persons and seventeen organisations participated. Finally, the welcome guide ¡HOLA! was presented in the Tenerife’s Auditorium Adán Martín on February 10th 2019.
The launch of the welcome guide brought together 1,200 spectators to an event of dance, theatre and music. At the launch the pocket version of the guide was handed out and the full version made available online on the page of Juntos En la misma dirección. The “Welcome Guide ¡Hola!” received a warm welcome and the guide will be under continuous work. Many official actors and private persons have also requested a copy. As the guide brought together a large portion of the civil society actors it has succeeded in creating a collective feeling.
To follow-up, data on the geographical implementation of the guide is being collected. Further, a previous evaluation has shown an increase in positive attitudes towards welcoming migrants, as well as increased communication and capacities of participants in the Children Participation Group during the process. Additionally, it is worth highlighting that the creation process brought together a large number of actors who do not normally work directly with interculturalism.
One of the major achievements of the project is the participatory process. Though this, four commissions were created: an art commission, a design commission, a dissemination commission, and a drafting commission. As a result of the wide-spread participation in the creation of the guide, a culture of welcoming migrants has spread in new sectors of society.
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