A total of 476 migrant women participated in the 24 Key Competences courses delivered in the 4 countries of the InCommon project (Austria, Cyprus, Greece and Spain). It means 700 training hours in Digital Competence, Personal, social and Learning to learn competence as well as Citizenship competence and Cultural awareness and expression competence. The training programme was supplemented with 5 courses on Leadership followed by 104 participants.
The profile of participants showed the diversity of provenance throughout Europe:
Austria: participants came from Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Irak, Congo, Morocco, Uzbekistán, Somalia, Syria and Somalia. They have lived in Europe from 1 to 9 years.
Cyprus: the main group consisted of women from Philippines, although there are some from Sri Lanka, India and Zimbabwe. There are newly arrived women but mostly women who have been in Cyprus more than 3 years and speak basic Greek. Most of them have migrated to Cyprus as house helpers with a fixed term visa. All of them are quite fluent in English. Therefore, the lessons were held in the English Language.
Greece: the trainees were refugees and beneficiaries of the ESTIA project in Greece, meaning that they are staying in the city of Larissa and are mostly newly arrived. The biggest barrier was the one of language. All the women were previously assessed and the conclusions showed that they mostly needed to develop their digital competences.
Spain: the group was composed by a mixture of nationalities, mostly from Latin America (Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua or Santo Domingo) but also from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey or Malaysia. They range of age was wide (18-55), likewise the time living in Spain, from 1 month to 10 years. A numerous group of them has recently arrived to Spain and were assisted by the social services of Red Cross Cantabria.
The training experience
It is important to note that, not all the women received the same training in each project country. First of all, Key competences‘ learning needs were detected through an in-depth assessment. After that, each country adapted the content and activities of the training programme to the group. This is a strong point of the InCommon training materials: adaptability and flexibility taking into account the diversity of origins and background of migrant women.
A Leadership course was planned as a complementary training for the group of women in the last stages of the Cultural Citizenship Scale. The aim of the course was the empowerment of women individually and collectively. The team working and collaborative sessions helped women to analyse their own needs and capacities and perform as a group for getting a common goal. The results of this course was the layer foundation of the local interventions in the next stage of the project.
It is not easy to summarise in a few lines the different experiences of the courses but the general feedback was very positive: migrant women learnt practical things useful for their daily performance, improved their language skills communicating each other and sharing their thoughts, they felt more confidence and they established bonds with other peers that ended in a mutual support outside the InCommon project that helped themselves in their daily routine. Finally, they shared their living experience and testimony with their own voice.
If you want to learn more about the project methodology and training programme, feel free to visit the InCommon toolkit