Multilingualism and family: workshops with migrant and refugee women
Wouldn’t it be great if migrant and refugee women could become protagonists of the communities they live in, while acting as multipliers within their families and social circles?
In the framework of the WEMIN project, ALDA and other WEMIN partners have worked on the development of innovative digital learning material with this aim in mind, and the ALDA team has designed a presentation on “Multilingualism and family” which will be made available on WEMIN’s website for its interested public alongside all other material created.
ALDA then adapted this digital resource and delivered two workshops on Tuesday, September 24th and Thursday, September 26th in Strasbourg. The workshops were held on the premises of the local organisation Plurielles, and attended by migrant and refugee women. It was a safe environment suitable for discussion, which encouraged proactive participation on the part of the women despite their difficulties with the French language.
The exchange that ensued was very enriching and allowed participants to share and understand how each family organizes around the notion of multilingualism. The women realized that speaking several languages is an asset, not a weakness. They agreed that learning the language of their host country is essential for successful integration and for their autonomy: for a doctor's appointment, for parent-teacher appointments without the need for a translator, etc. However, this session awoke their awareness of the importance of keeping their native language alive as well, and of multiculturalism as a richness; and they concluded that they should continue to speak their own language at home, too, in order to keep this connection with their children.
The participants were also extremely interested in attending a creative workshop about upcycling organized by ALDA as part of the WEMIN project, thanks to which migrant and refugee women can meet women from the local community in a fun and creative environment.
WEMIN is a two-year project aimed at the integration and empowerment of migrant and refugee women funded by the European Union's AMIF (Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund) program. The consortium is composed by 9 partners, and ALDA is the coordinator of the communication and dissemination activities. In the framework of WEMIN, ALDA has implemented as well other local activities for migrant and refugee women such as empowerment and mentoring sessions or language and culture courses.