I Get You combats racism and xenophobia

31 May 2017

PRESS RELEASE 31 May 2017, Brussels – JRS Europe, today, releases key data analysis of 315 community building initiatives mapped as part of I Get You. The European Mapping Report shows that grassroots projects working on integration with refugees have a big impact combatting racism and xenophobia in the nine countries taking part.

Across the 9 countries in Europe involved in I Get You, 315 community building initiatives (CBIs) were mapped. The CBIs that were mapped broken down by countries are: 62 in Italy, 55 in France, 50 in Germany, 37 in Belgium, 31 in Spain, 31 in Portugal, 20 in Malta, 15 in Romania and 14 in Croatia.

“Despite anti-migrant political discourse influenced by populist parties, our mapping campaign has shown that the local movement to welcome, support and learn together with refugees is stronger than ever – and we have only scratched the surface of the huge array of social events and activities that are out there,” says I Get You coordinator Carola Jimenez Asenjo.

‘Integration not isolation’ is the motto of one of the initiatives mapped, located in Plauen, eastern Germany. By bringing local youth and families together with migrants for gardening, football matches and even speed-dating, stereotypes were broken down and new understanding and relations were built.

The main findings have shown that most CBIs across Europe are small in scale and size but have impactful scopes in communities among the individuals that participate in them. Key results from our data analysis:

  • 25-300 participants on average per initiative
  • Participants are working age adults – forced migrants and local citizens
  • Very few initiatives focus on children or the elderly
  • 70 percent of the volunteers are host country nationals, while 20 percent are from other EU countries and 10 percent from third countries
  • A variety of activities and services for people are covered such as skills training, leisure activities and intercultural activities
  • On average initiatives operate on budgets of 25,000 Euros or less
  • 41 percent are financed via grassroots fundraising; 34 percent receive private funding and 25 percent receive public funding

National variations in funding include:

  • Public funding was 53 percent in Romania, 39 percent in Portugal and 36 percent in Croatia
  • Germany, France, Spain and Italy had over 50 percent grassroots funding

From April to November 2016, quantitative data was gathered on initiatives bringing locals and refugees together via an online questionnaire. A European overview of the data collected is present in the I Get You Europe Mapping Report. More in-depth country mapping reports are also available in the national languages of the partners via the I Get You website.

Partners are currently completing in-depth interviews with CBIs to collect qualitative data. Best practices will be analysed according to 10 criteria established by a committee of experts through the DELPHI methodology. These criteria are: Interaction & Encounter, Participation, Awareness Raising, Education, Support & Service Provision, Interculturalism, Dignity, Hospitality, Sustainability, Innovation.

This project is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union.

Background information:

For national reports, testimonies and more please visit the campaign website here: http://www.igetyou-jrs.org/

Almost 50 testimonies of refugees and locals involved from: Belgium, Croatia, France, Malta, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Spain

Videos from each country will be launched in June

Google map of all the initiatives here

Caritas Europa report, Welcome: Migrants make Europe Stronger

European Network Against Racism report: Racism and discrimination in the context of migration in Europe

The local movement to welcome, support and learn together with refugees is stronger than ever.