Pope Francis encourages all communities in the world to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate and this is what Caritas has been doing through its communities, groups, services, volunteers and employees in the encounter with migrants and refugees for many years. Based on this experience, Caritas Europa has produced a new online toolkit, entitled: “Recipe book for integration”.
Compiled with the enriching support of colleagues across the Caritas network, the aim of this online toolkit is to contribute to creating a “culture of encounter” towards fostering integration and more cohesive societies. The toolkit targets local communities – Caritas teams, parish groups, volunteers and others – and it provides some basic steps that can be collectively undertaken to build synergies between local services, actors, stakeholders, citizens, migrants and refugees in order to address biases, stereotypes and everyday practices that distance migrants from local community members and hinder their social and economic inclusion. I would like to invite you to promote the online toolkit at diocesan and parish level in your country.
At the moment the toolkit is available in English, Croatian and Spanish. In order to make it more accessible, you may consider having it translated into your national language, in which case we would be happy to provide assistance to put the translated text into the same layouted format.
This “Recipe book for integration” is a call for action to create more spaces of encounter, to share our history, relationships, concerns and wishes. It is also a contribution to the current global Caritas campaign, “Share the Journey”.
The toolkit is divided into three parts for preparing and creating a culture of encounter by drawing on positive experiences already implemented at the grassroots level. It starts by presenting facts and figures about migrants in Europe and then moves on to practical explanations, drawing on intercultural communication and anti-bias concepts to present some useful tips for engaging in successful communication and intercultural dialogue. The third part illustrates some promising “recipes for encounter” collected from local Caritas organisations.
Like with an actual recipe book, additional recipes for integration can be added! Please share with us similar experiences for creating places for encounter, as we will be glad to add them to the online toolkit! You can do it by including the initiative into the Caritas Europa mapping system.