The Final Conference of the INVOLVE project was held on September 21 in Veynes with the participation of the whole consortium of the project. The international event was hosted by one of the seven European local hubs of INVOLVE.
The event, that took place this Tuesday, September 21, counted with the participation of over 30 people coming from around the world, the partners of the project and members of the community of Veynes. They also made an act of presence Stephanie Soliva, director of the temporary accommodation center of France Terre d’Asile, Bruno Faure, former president of the Syndicate intercommunal a vocation Unique (SIVU), Robert Vargoz, president of the association of Abbey of Clausonnne and Joelle Noguer, project manager of the Parc des Baronnies Provençales.
“For the team of the municipality, the social link is really important. Often there is a lot of mistrust from people coming from outside. For the village of Veynes (this project) is important” mentioned Françoise Bellanger, member of the Municipal Council: Culture and Participative Democracy. She also added that the village was able to develop a community garden together with migrant families. “It is not only about coming and helping, but to work together. It is really important to share this engagement”.
The social inclusion of third-country nationals (TCN) in the EU communities, empowerment of the migrants to participate in the community life and the engagement of institutions and hosting communities in the adoption of inclusion models fostering the wellbeing of the communities were the main topics of the final conference, which was held in Veynes, (France) at Le Gare du Buffet at 15.30 pm.
The Conference was the final event of the INVOLVE project. It highlighted the activities carried out and the main outcomes achieved, inviting representatives of the partnership and local stakeholders. Furthermore, participants had the pleasure of being guided through a photo exhibition by Local Community Hubs.
“Involve showed our capacity as civil society organisations to adapt and implement significant activities for local communities, in times that are needed the most. We are extremely happy to share the results of this project and develop further actions and cooperation with partners and stakeholders” Matina Deligianni, National Delegate of Solidarites Jeunesses.
After a break, a round table composed of local stakeholders and facilitated by Pujiarti, training manager of the US Peace Corps Indonesia, and Cíhan Kiliç, Trainer of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, hosted a discussion on integration and inclusion of Third Country Nationals in local communities. The event closed with a networking discussion with another European project, NEMO, cofounded by AMIF- Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, in order to think and share present and future synergies.
The meeting takes place at the end of the project, after almost 3 years of work. Among the participants, representatives of the partnership, local stakeholders, local administrators and participants of the “International Training Seminar on the Role of Intercultural Voluntary Projects in The Process of Inclusion and Participation of Young Migrants and Refugees”.
INVOLVE (INtegration of migrants as VOLunteers for the safeguarding of Vulnerable Environments) is a project co-financed by the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission through the AMIF. It aims to enhance the inclusion of third-country nationals by involving them in voluntary activities, bringing them together with European host country citizens to build safer and more cohesive communities.
Fabio Brandoni, Legambiente, INVOLVE project coordinator marked that “The reception and inclusion of people in a fragile state in Europe are one of the greatest civilisation challenges of our time. Despite the diversity of national policies in the various member states, there is still much to be done on these issues. The Involve project breaks down barriers, both real and cultural. That is why our Local Community Hubs are places where migrants and locals meet and interact. Women, men and children living in these areas, each with their own backgrounds and needs, come together to create experiences of connection and civic participation, imagining a new and more inclusive form of citizenship”.
The project built on and explored a model of social inclusion that is adjusted to small, medium and larger cities. This model has been tested in seven pilot locations: Rovigo, Paestum and Scicli in Italy; Veynes and Communauté de communes du Pays de Saint-Aulaye in France; and the Pankow and Muehlenkiez districts in Berlin, Germany reaching at least 600 third national and local citizens and involving about 50 stakeholders. These areas represent small, medium and large towns where numerous migrants have resided for some time now, but are not yet fully integrated into the social fabric of their host communities.