My name is Gustave. I am 34yrs old. I come from Cameroon and I live in Bologna, Italy since 2004. I work as an intercultural mediator for both public and private sector institutions with my base office founded in Associazione Interculturale UNIVERSO. After my master program at the university of Bologna on linguistic assistance for the judiciary in 2015, I decided to write project proposals on the difficulties that immigration affects host societies.
Meeting Golde through a volunteer program at UNIVERSO, her experience and educational background was the link to the EU framework to spread the awareness and existence of proposals to the difficulties that immigration affects host societies; European Structural Orientation Program for migrants (ESOP) was born.
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My name is Gustave. I am 34yrs old. I come from Cameroon and I live in Bologna, Italy since 2004. I work as an intercultural mediator for both public and private sector institutions with my base office founded in Associazione Interculturale UNIVERSO. After my master program at the university of Bologna on linguistic assistance for the judiciary in 2015, I decided to write project proposals on the difficulties that immigration affects host societies. Meeting Golde through a volunteer program at UNIVERSO, her experience and educational background was the link to the EU framework to spread the awareness and existence of proposals to the difficulties that immigration affects host societies; European Structural Orientation Program for migrants (ESOP) was born.
My name is Hannah, I am 23 years young and I am half-Italian and half-German. At ESOP I am mainly in charge of fundraising, individual language training, legal formation, professional qualification courses, the city tours organized by refugees themselves, and translation activities. Through my study and my previous experience I obtained valuable knowledge on especially the legal framework of the European Union concerning migrants and refugees. I know it is quite complex so I am very happy to use my gained knowledge and make it more accessible here at ESOP. I really enjoy working with people which is why the project of ESOP is exactly what I was looking for. Being able to structure the courses and implement your knowledge how I believe is best in the given situation and at the same time seeing my impact right away is something that motivates me to get up every day and try to make our world a bit better. Because I believe that you can already make a change by starting in front of your door step – so get active yourself!
I am Golde and co-founded ESOP together with Gustave in November 2016. Already during my studies- I studied social work and then did a French- German master program in European politics- I focussed on migration issues and how the topic is tackled by the European Union and its member states. I gained important practical experiences in project work thanks to the co- foundation of “Refugees Welcome” and have different professional experiences in the migration sector as a social worker. My time spent with the refugees of a political movement Berlin, mostly in possession of Italian documents that however wanted to build up a new life in Germany, sensitized me for the fact that current European answers, lead to the marginalization of a huge groups of refugees, by making impossible trans- European migration. This fact together with the finding that current integration strategies neglect the host society’s urgent need for preparation and focus instead solely on the newly arrived migrants, motivated me to co- found ESOP as a project that both suggests European solutions and a holistic approach to integration.
am Karla, 27 years old, from Germany and I am currently finishing a master’s degree in Mediation and Integration in the Mediterranean. Through my studies and personal experience, such as volunteering and internships, I got more and more interested into legal, social and political issues related to international migration. I helped to build up ESOP at Bologna from the very beginning, working mainly on the project implementation, public relations and fundraising. In team-work I am also doing civic education, legal formation, professional qualification and theatre. The connection between locals and refugees is indispensable for me in order to overcome prejudice and create a common living space together, build on mutual respect and solidarity. ESOP is for me an example of ‘good practice’, first, because refugees are active participants in building up an autonomous life of their choice thanks to the orientation and empowerment program. Second, because ESOP tries to make possible legal migration between EU Member States, whereas intra-European mobility of refugees is limited by EU regulations at present and therefore many asylum seekers and refugees are hindered to realize the life at the place they wish for.
My name is Mariella, I am 25 years old and my main responsibility at ESOP is the German course. Besides that, I am responsible for legal education as well as networking. Before joining the project I was already engaged in several refugee-related associations, mainly helping through the asylum process, giving language classes and assisting in everyday challenges. In my years-long experience I found the dependency and the limitations of freedoms and possibilities to be the most challenging part for the people who underwent the asylum procedure. That is why I was eager to participate in ESOP, a program which aims to empower people to live the life of their choice.
I am Lissa, 24 years old and part of the ESOP Team since it started earlier this year. I am in my final year of my Bachelors degree in Social and Cultural Education in Bologna and did my University internship at UNIVERSO which is where ESOP called my attention. Together with Aziza I am responsible for coordination of the weekly theatre workshop. Living in a foreign country and having travelled a lot I got interested in different cultures and also as a volunteer for ESOP my interests lay in the mutual cultural exchange proceeding “from the bottom up”. In my Masters Programme I am going to specialize in the field of Intercultural Pedagogy and Multiculturalism.
My name is Aziza, I am 27 years old and at the moment I teach German at the Goethe Zentrum in Bologna. At ESOP my main responsibility is the theatre workshop, that I organize and implement together with Lissa. Furthermore I'm in the organization of ESOP's cultural events, like amico culinario as well as I substitute the German teaching interns if needed. While teaching in integration courses in Germany I got to know many migrants with italian documents who tried to build up their lives in Germany. That is one of the facts that raised my special interest in ESOP. Despite intensive language courses many refugees don't have a lot of possibilities to practise the new language due to the lack of contact to local people. Theatre is a relevant methodology for self-development and language practise. In drama performance we respond spontaneously with language to our environment, new language structures are connected with movements and emotions and pronunciation and fluidity in speaking improves. Language is one of the most important factors for migrants to participate and to move independently in a new society.
My name is Alexander, I am studying International Relations in Germany and I am working for the development and the implementation of the European Structural Orientation Program for Migrants since the end of February 2017. During weekly computer courses, I empower our participants to use text editing programs, emails, cloud storages and more independently. The core of my work is the representation and promotion of the program both online and offline. Consequently, I developed our website and I am taking care of our Facebook page together with my colleagues. Besides that, I am establishing collaborations with other associations to unite the power for extending the program and to develop it constantly further. With the organization of intercultural events, I am aiming to unite our society. Living together on the same eye level requires the overcome of prejudices which only can happen by the mutual exchange. It is indeed great to work with our international, euphoric team to implement the European Structural Orientation Program for Migrants.
I am Laura, 24 years old, I am from Germany and graduated in Psychology. Since I am supporting language and cultural exchange projects and passing an international summer school in interculturality, emotions and linguistic discourse analysis, I focused on the cross cultural approach of psychology. Considering that we are all shaped by our own culture moving to a foreign country means being confronted with foreign social norms, behaviors and especially language barriers. Besides teaching German as a foreign language in ESOP I do supporting social integration activities, for example organizing city tours or intercultural cooking/food sharing events. For me working here in Bologna as a volunteer for the European Structural Program of Universo, and implementing its diverse program units, means supporting an alternative, progressive approach, which lives from a regardful and mutual exchange, in order to look through the given law structures and barriers, help clarifying cultural difficulties and develop language competencies, leaded by the main aim of empowering the participants.
I am Olga, I am from Ukraine, but I study Political Science in Austria. I am quite international and I traveled a lot. During my Erasmus stay in Sweden, so called “migration crisis” has started. We have seen a lot of people coming, and how local people helped, providing with language courses in language cafes and with social support. When I came back to Austria, I continued with the topic of migration, starting internship in the NGO, giving legal advice to asylum seekers. As we provided only legal, but not social assistance, participation in ESOP is something new for me because you go out from the zone of legal issues but find out also about personal issues of people, their feelings. In ESOP I have more administrative tasks. I am interested in the legal and professional education because the knowledge in these branches is very important for empowerment and acting autonomously. I take care about wepage and public materials to inform the public about the events, happening in ESOP program. I hope that the idea of legal migration will be possible in the nearest future for the people who real make an effort and integrate themselves into new society.
I am Marie Paule, I am 24 years old and I am from Ivory Coast but I have been living in Italy since 2003. I am in my final year of my Bachelor’s degree in Foreign languages and literatures in Bologna, so I have decided to conclude my university career with an internship in Associazione Universo. My main responsibility are to take care of the Italian classes of the association and of ESOP, to do some translation work and to support social integration activities such as City Tours. My motivation to work as an intern for Universo is mainly based on my experience as a migrant in Italy and on the desire to help those people who come in Europe to create new foundations for their future. So it is really important the fact that we, as a team, are able to provide an orientation program to migrants in Bologna but also activities that permit a cultural exchange and a direct contact with the local community, searching to break down the linguistic and social barriers.
My name is Hannah, I’m 25 years young and was born in Vienna, Austria. I am a social and cultural anthropologist, but recently focus on Peace and Conflict Resolution in my Master program at Uppsala University in Sweden. Together with Karla, I was one of the first “German” interns arriving to Bologna and strongly involved in the project implementation of ESOP. Beside my various organisational tasks, I was active in the Civic Education, the Legal Formation and the Professional Qualification classes. Additionally, I implemented the Whontha-Nara city tours. Migrants from different countries show Bologna how they experience the city and which places they visit frequently. The aim is to promote cultural exchange between different groups of society. Working at ESOP was very inspiring for me and I especially appreciated the empowerment approach of the project.
Ciao a tutti! I am Tinka, 26 years old and for the few month I lived in Sweden. There, I studied a master in International Migration and Ethnic Relations. As I came across many topics that are connected with migration only on a theoretical level, I am curious to put my hands on practice now. Very important for me is the approach of ESOP that integration is seen as a dialogic process where there are always two sides involved. At home (in the North of Germany) I already worked in different projects of civic education for children or language exchanges with immigrants who just arrived in Germany. In ESOP, I am now responsible for the City Tours, legal formation and creative tasks (theater, dance workshops etc.).
Ciao! My name is Jana, I am 22 years old and study Sociology and political sciences in Göttingen, Germany. I started my internship in ESOP in September and I will mostly be working on establishing a cooperation between ESOP/Universo and students - italian students as well as ERASMUS students - of the University of Bologna. We want to give students the opportunity to take part in our activities to enrich the project and as well their own stay and studies in Bologna.
My name is Ann-Katrin and I am 25 years old. Currently I am enrolled in the Master’s program of International Migration and Intercultural Relations. In ESOP I work for the general implementation of the project. In particular I am responsible for the program units Professional Qualification and Civic Education. Furthermore, I support the fundraising activities of ESOP. Before I started working in ESOP, I already worked with migrants in different contexts; both voluntarily and in the course of internships. Through those experiences I learned that people are not just dependent on administrational and governmental decisions but also that they don't have equal opportunities compared to those who have lived in Europe for years. This is due to a lack of sufficient structural orientation and information. This is one of the reasons why I appreciate the ESOP approach which empowers people and gives them opportunities to take decisions in a self-determined way. Provided with valuable information through ESOP, migrants then may be able to evade restrictive migration policies.
Ciao, my name is Ariane and I am 27 years old. I live in Germany and study Social and Political Sciences.I started in the project ESOP of Universo in August 2017. Since then I have assisted in some parts of the ESOP units and promoted the project to new interested participants. Another responsibility of mine is interviewing new participants and extending the network from Italy to Germany so that legal migration can be realized. My motivation to support the project derives from the self-empowering concept of the programme - since everyone should be free to move independently.
My name is Elena, I am 23 years old and and I just finished my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Vienna in Psychology. During the course of my way too short time being at ESOP I took part in the activities concerning the project implementation but my main responsibility is to establish a seminar on intercultural and interpersonal communication. Besides the empowering aspect and the structural orientation that ESOP focuses on, I appreciate that it creates a space for people with diverse cultural backgrounds to learn from each other, to widen their horizons and to explore themselves. So my idea is to reinforce all these aspects based on communication and an awareness for oneself.