The Wonder Foundation invited young people from the UK, Spain and Slovenia to use their creativity, ingenuity, and expertise to develop and submit policy ideas to facilitate migrant integration. This was part of our Erasmus+ funded programme, 'Knowing Me, Knowing You', which has encouraged young people to think about how to make migrants feel more welcome in Europe. They came up with three policy ideas which have been adapted to the situation in each country.
We are excited to show and share the result with you: three excellent proposals that present innovative suggestions, while taking serious considerations of cost-effectiveness, accessibility, and feasibility.
Please take a look at each one and if you support the idea, we invite you to share it with your local councillors, MP or MEP and distribute widely! Our work with young people has repeatedly demonstrated the importance of getting involved, and the ability of everyone to make a difference.
Local-level policy: Children's Centres
The local-level policy proposal sought to improve Sure Start Children’s Centres; an initiative designed in 1998 to tackle social deprivation by providing services specific to the needs of the local community. This policy shows why it would be an investment to revitalise these centres and utilise the existing infrastructure to provide universal English language learning classes. Learning the local language is absolutely essential for community cohesion and migrants’ social and economic mobility. The classes would be supported through the help of volunteers and by creating partnerships between educational organisations and the third sector.
National-level Policy: Citizenship Service
The national-level policy proposal expands on the current National Citizen Service (NCS). NCS is a programme for youth aimed at improving community engagement through an intensive summer programme. Currently, the NCS targets young people aged 15-17, but this policy proposal believes that widening the age cohort to 16 to 29-year olds will enhance social integration between the British white majority, ethnic minorities and migrant groups. Alongside this change, the policy would introduce activities and workshops that facilitate learning around migration and integration.
Europe-level Policy: Erasmus Exchanges
The European policy proposal aims to improve the accessibility of the Erasmus Programme to reach as many young people as possible. The Erasmus Programme provides students with the opportunity to study or take on traineeships in another European country, thus allowing them to build cross-cultural relationships and learning. Funding provided to Erasmus students is often insufficient for economically disadvantaged students, and it is estimated that over one million students are kept from enrolling on the programme because of the expense. This proposal recommends providing grant top-ups to socio-economically disadvantaged students to ensure a more diverse pool of participants.
Please contact the Wonder Foundation for more information. We would love to hear from you.