How integration works best
The collective experiences of the participating organisations indicate that the most effective ways of engaging with asylum seekers include a combination of activities that involve:
- customised ESOL support
- new capacity-building models for individuals and organisations
- providing opportunities for volunteering
- promoting networks for organisations supporting asylum seekers.
All these aspects of support facilitate the eventual future integration and employability of asylum seekers.
Access to reliable and relevant information
This is key to successful intergration. Asylum seekers experience difficulties in accessing reliable and relevant information. Problems in relation to the context, process and context of information provision are explored, as well as possible avenues for addressing these problems. Aspire has developed the following:
There are problems in responding to capacity-building needs of individual asylum seekers, especially within the context where there are formidable barriers to participation in a range of social and economic activities. These can be as follows:
- promote culturally sensitive counselling skills
- disseminate value-focused tools
- maintain IAG through RCO
- disseminate developing staff
- RCOs improve engagement with mainstream providers.
Developing a collective voice
Asylum seekers need to be able to develop a ‘collective voice’: this would greatly enhance the capacity of the host country's services to identity and respond to real needs.
- development and production of newsletters and videos by asylum seekers for their communities
- establishment of placement opportunities for women in non-RCO organisations
- established ‘green’ volunteering opportunities
- development and piloting of impact analysis tools within volunteering – relates to soft indicators and distance travelled
- piloting of skills audits within volunteering environments.
Enabling services to accurately identify and respond to the needs of asylum seeker clients
There is a need to direct the challenges for services in host countries to identify accurately, and respond effectively to, the needs of asylum seeker clients.
Particular challenges relate to:
- sharing information between services
- ensuring that relevant information is made available in the right place at the right time
- overcoming difficulties in ascertaining real needs within a variety of different cultural and linguistic contexts.
- the development of existing relationship with RCOs in their dealings with non-RCO bodies
- the establishment of an ESOL and Asylum Seekers Network
- facilitating a maximum of four community conversations with asylum seekers and key stakeholders.
- creating a network of arts-related organisations.