Building good relations

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Co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals

6. Building good relations

6.3 Building confidence

A key way of addressing some of these tensions is to put appropriate measures in place to help build confidence and social capital within local communities, so that they can eventually become self supporting.  Each community is different, and approaches will need to be tailored to the particular needs of local communities.

When developing local strategies or approaches, it is important to bear in mind that how you do things, is as important as what you do.  Here are some measures that you might want to consider:

  • Fostering good communications - working with local communities to build better links between migrants and host communities (even across migrant groups), to help promote mutual understanding and to combat misunderstanding.
  • Developing new leaders – creating an environment where community leaders and ambassadors can emerge and work together to overcome local problems and tensions.
  • Encouraging volunteering – supporting recent migrants to contribute their own time and skills to solving community tensions, for example, through volunteering or becoming members of local groups or committees.
  • Improving co-ordination and signposting – encouraging service providers to work together to improve access to local services and facilities, and also improve their awareness of the needs of migrants.
  • Encouraging better integration – for example, by developing a local ‘buddy’ system this can help migrants to integrate better, improve their language skills and also access local services.

Find out more...

The Europa Diversa project run by Newry and Mourne District Council in Northern Ireland includes a number of programmes designed to empower the local migrant population.  For instance, they offer training to build the capacity of newly arrived migrants to become involved in civic, community and political life, and also offer a shadowing programme which pairs migrants with elected members and officials.