Through Enterprise – TRUE project kick-off

Feb 1, 2019

The TRUE project kicked-off in Kristianstad, Sweden in September 2018, the project partners were hosted by Folkuniversitetet University. It was a highly productive meeting, we discussed the topics of vital importance to this project which are applicable all across Europe. The influx of migrants has impacted heavily on the economic stability and make up of many European countries, which is why this project and its outputs are so important to the future of migration and positive impact inclusion can have.

The outputs of this project will be tangible, they will have a real impact on our society and how we view integration and inclusion. Below are the outputs which will be researched and realised during the lifetime of this project:

  • A Project Management Handbook, which will include guidelines for the project.
  • A Reach and Teach Catalogue, consisting of good practices showcasing innovative and effective approaches to both engaging with and teaching women from immigrant and ethnic minority backgrounds for the purposes of entrepreneurship education.
  • A curriculum, learning framework and classroom course which will contain detailed learning outcomes, lesson plans, materials and assessment guides.

These materials will greatly improve the inclusion for these target groups:

Migrant Women who were previously excluded or marginalized in the labour market, will be empowered to unlock their professional and personal capabilities.

VET Colleges, Enterprise Centres and other education providers will gain greater awareness regarding the importance of inclusive entrepreneurship education and new and improved resources to cater to the needs of migrant women through the lens of inclusion, diversity and intercultural integration.

Community Organisations will understand the value of entrepreneurship skills thanks to new relationships with VET organizations, and will be able to refer beneficiaries to the open, online course as an immediate path for training and career development.

Project Partners will be the first to benefit from the ability to integrate new approaches to inclusive education and their work in synergy with organizations from other sectors. Staff will appreciate the more modern, professional environment and be more capable of work on high scale international collaborative projects.

Wider Stakeholders from across the VET, community and migrant services sectors will be exposed to new forms of inclusive entrepreneurship education and be more likely to commit to more practical strategies for improving inclusion and diversity on a wider level.

Communities will see a rise in entrepreneurship and innovation among migrant women and benefit from the increased social integration and cohesion that comes from enabling migrants to play a productive role in the economy and society.

Keep your eyes peeled for our innovation materials!

Empowering Migrant Women

Feb 1, 2019

“Unlike male migrants, women are more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse and need specific support to help them resettle in a new environment, according to the United Nations Migration Agency.”

”Freedom! that’s what I like about living in Britain,” says Salaam Al Farrah as she flicks some paint onto the canvas at a special migration art workshop for women held at the Library of Birmingham.

”Being at this workshop is important for me because I’m meeting people I would not usually meet. It’s difficult to meet people and socialise especially as a refugee,” she explained.

Salaam, like many other Syrian refugee women in the UK, fled her hometown of Homs to escape the ongoing conflict and has been living in the UK for two years.

”There was fighting and snipers in our street. I saw many people injured, the bombing caused a lot of devastation, buildings were destroyed and we could not go out of our homes,” she said while trying to hold back the tears.

According to recent local newspaper reports around 500 Syrian refugees are being accepted in Birmingham, those newly arrived are still struggling to integrate.

While Birmingham is a city which prides itself on diversity hosting many different migrant communities for decades, recent events such as Brexit and terrorist attacks have seen a rise in hate crimes across the city and the West Midlands region. More than 100 hate crimes were reported to West Midlands police in the week following the EU referendum, reports said.

Unlike male migrants, women are more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse and need specific support to help them resettle in a new environment, according to the United Nations Migration Agency, IOM, which supports migrants.

Female migrants, bring enormous benefit to the UK, according to the IOM’s London office. Whether they be Somali women working in the service and food industry in Birmingham, or Afghan and Pakistani women working to keep hospitals clean and functioning in London, or cutting edge female scientists at our top universities like Oxford and Cambridge.

At the creative workshop in Birmingham a group of 25 women paint their thoughts on what being British means to them. There were images of birds in relation to freedom, traditional British associations such as the English Rose and the flag, as well as creations related to protection of human rights.

”Integration is key in creating peaceful societies, in preventing hate crimes and ultimately prevents extremism,” Humanitarian Artist and workshop organiser, Salma Zulfiqar said. As part of her migration project creative workshops are taking place in Birmingham to bring people from all walks of life together to break down barriers between them and create greater understanding in communities.

”We live in a world where hatred in increasing and we know that art has the power to change the way people behave with one another. That’s why I’ve created this migration project to show the positive impact migrants have had around the world and to promote integration of migrants,’ she added.

The idea behind the workshop, supported by the IOM, the Amirah Foundation and Nasir Awan, the Deputy Leutenant for the West Midlands, is for the women to deepen their connection with the UK and share experiences of integration with each other to create deeper connections.

”With these kind of activities we can help female migrants turn their lives around,” said Shaz Manir, Director of the Amir Foundation.

Other participants, including Mariam Khalique, the long term teacher of Malala Yousafzai, who fled the Taliban and now lives in the UK, said that opportunities need to be available for women to be able to connect with others so they can fully integrate.

During the migration workshop Salaam Al Farrah put the final touches to her painting of a bird of peace and freedom while reflecting on what the future holds for her. ”I live in an area where there are Indians, Pakistanis and people originally from Jamaica and I like it. I know it’s important for me to integrate into society. I want to be part of this community and I want to learn more about the English culture so that I can support my family properly and so that we can enjoy our lives in the UK,” she said.