[South Eastern Europe] MINT Project: Mentoring for Integration of Children Affected by Migration

27 Feb 2019

Migrant children and youth are especially vulnerable to social exclusion. Through the MINT Project, Terre des hommes and its partners aim to empower refugee and migrant children, as well as European youth, to engage in new integration activities. By using an innovative mentoring programme, we will contribute to building more inclusive societies in Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia.

3 key expected results:

  • 120 children will be supported in integration by trained, local peer mentors.
  • 1000 children will gain cultural knowledge and skills to engage in social relations
  • 240 children and youth will be empowered through awareness and advocacy

Around 30% of the migrant population that reached Europe in the last years were children, many of whom were separated or unaccompanied. Migrant children and youth face considerable challenges in terms of education, social inclusion, and subsequently, employment in their host countries. As part of this EU-funded project, we will be working in Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia to support and facilitate the integration of children, to enhance social relations, and to empower both local youth and third-country national (TCN) children. 

A mentoring programme – engaging in educational and social activities

Together with its partners, Terre des hommes will design an innovative and replicable peer-to-peer mentoring programme based on good practices and tested models. The mentoring programme will include training local youth volunteers and pairing them with newly arrived migrant and refugee children. Peer mentors and mentees will participate in individual and group meetings focused on education and language support, as well as recreational activities.

In each country, the volunteers will facilitate the integration of migrant and refugee children in the local host communities by introducing them to other children in the community, and organizing common outdoor sports and socio-cultural activities. Such activities will involve: visiting history museums, watching popular national movies, or engaging in competitive sports, such as football matches. This will help TCN children make new friends and become more familiar with the host community’s history and habits. At least 120 children will be enrolled in formal or informal education, and can benefit from the mentoring programme and its diverse activities.

Acquiring linguistic and socio-cultural knowledge

Adapted print and online content will be available to assist migrant children’s integration and learning journey. The child-friendly online resources are aimed to help newly arrived children understand the national culture and social specificities of the four project countries. Furthermore, children will have the opportunity to learn the local language of their host country through offline and online courses in a language the children will understand, such as Arabic or Farsi. Overall, more than one thousand children will acquire basic knowledge and skills to engage in social relations.

Countering stereotypes about migrants and refugees

As part of the mentoring programme, groups of local youth and TCN children will identify the key issues of the integration experience and introduce these to public discussions through online videos, theatre pieces, debates with their peers in schools, and through other local events. These child-led awareness raising and advocacy initiatives will be addressed to local community members, as well as local and national policy makers. By countering stereotypes and spreading a positive image of migrant and refugee communities, these children will benefit from a more welcoming atmosphere within host societies.

Partners: Terre des hommes Hungary is the lead applicant with 4 project co-applicants: Organization for Aid to Refugees (Czech Republic), Ocalenie Foundation (Poland), Terre des hommes Romania, Slovene Philanthropy (Slovenia). 

Donors: European Union (European Commission)

Project duration: January 2019 – January 2021

Total budget: € 521,468

For further information, please contact: Alma Alsayed, Project Coordinator, alma.alsayed@tdh.ch.

This project is funded by: