Barely a day goes by without harrowing tales of migrants in distress, whether that’s those attempting perilous sea crossings of the Mediterranean or Timor sea, or those attempting to smuggle their way through the Channel Tunnel or across the US/Mexico border.
In Europe there has been a significant discussion between EU member states about how and where such migrants should be located. With the threat of ISIS based radicalism at a constant high, the issue of integration has been foremost in people’s mind.
So the recent winner of the European Crowdfunding Network’s Crowd Camp should be very much of interest. The project, called SPEAK, provides a crowdsourced language and cultural exchange between migrants and locals.
The aim is to break down some of the barriers to integration whilst promoting multilingualism and the democratization of language education.
Making migration work
Learning the native language of a migrants new home is a key obstacle to overcome when it comes to successful integration. SPEAK recruits help from the native population of each country in the hope that doing so will help build bonds between migrants and natives as well as teaching them valuable skills.
The project is in its infancy, but the initial results are positive. For instance, migrants who had participated in SPEAK reported feeling 15 percent more integrated into their new home, whilst language issues had fallen by 30 percent.
SPEAK originated in the Portuguese city of Leiria, and at the time of writing they had spread out to a further four cities in Portugal. The aim now is to expand throughout the country, and eventually to offer their services throughout Europe.
To help them in their quest they are currently running a crowdfunding campaign, so if you think the project is worthwhile, I urge you to stop by and lend your support.