Women’s Meeting Club

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Good Practice Criteria

Inclusivity & Participation

Does the practice ensure that its services are accessible and responsive to diverse groups?

The Women’s Meeting Club meetings are open to all, regardless of origin, age, culture or religion. As a rule they are aimed at women, migrant women and Polish women from rural areas, and designed to respond to these women’s special needs and disadvantaged position. The meetings are based on friendship: everyone knows each other and each other’s needs well, and accessibility is ensured through encouragement of open discussion.

 

Good practice checklist

✓ Adopt a participatory, gender mainstreaming, age sensitive, inclusive approach and secure equal opportunities for beneficiaries.

✓ Make sure to provide precise and accessible information on how to access services in different languages, formats and through different communication channels

✓ Ensure that equality and diversity are an essential part of how services are delivered, taking into consideration different needs and capacities.

✓ Make reasonable adjustments to service delivery in order to take into account particular needs of the target group.

Does the practice involve the active participation of the receiving society?

The receiving society actively participates in organising meetings, securing meeting venues and – on the part of Polish women – attending meetings and interacting with refugee and migrant women. One of the main goals of the initiative is to change attitudes towards and counter negative narratives about refugees by sharing accurate information.

 

Good practice checklist

✓ Consider integration as a two-way process, and aim for change on the side of the receiving society.

✓ Foresee an active role for the receiving society in the design and implementation stages of the practice, and involve actions that encourage native communities and beneficiaries to work together.

Does the practice consult its beneficiaries and involve them in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the action?

Refugee and migrant women have the opportunity to influence all stages of activity within the Women’s Meeting Club: they are treated as equal ‘co-implementers’ and are constantly consulted for informal feedback on its progress. Refugee and migrant women who receive training and work in the club’s art and craft studio sign a contract and are paid for the items they make.

 

Good practice checklist

✓ Organise consultation activities with migrant beneficiaries in order to co-create actions where possible and secure their feedback on the design and evaluation of the action.

✓ Provide appropriate feedback mechanisms by which beneficiaries can safely express their opinions on service quality.

✓ Use flexible and interculturally-adapted formats and compensate participants for their contribution.

Relevance & Complementarity

Are the objectives of the practice relevant to the needs of the migrants?

Activities at the Women’s Meeting Club are run in response to requests made by participating migrant women. Similarly, meetings with Polish women are held at the request of women’s organisations and other institutions from the Lublin region and other parts of Poland. The needs of migrants are identified through informal conversations with migrant women, and services are adjusted accordingly.

 

Good practice checklist

✓ Identify and analyse the needs of the relevant migrants and prioritise methods which directly ask them about their needs.

✓ Identify and analyse gaps in integration support and design actions to fill these gaps.

– Aim for systemic improvement, satisfying the needs of the majority of target groups in the target area.

Is the practice relevant to the empowerment of migrants, the strengthening of their autonomy and the support of their long-term integration?

The initiative empowers migrant women, strengthens their autonomy, and promotes their long-term integration. It is built around the aims of ‘giving voice’ to migrant women and enabling them to work in a collective that provides them with professional experience and some financial support. Participation in meetings with Polish women strengthens migrant women’s language and social competences and accelerates their integration, while learning a craft provides work experience.

 

Good practice checklist

✓ Devise actions with the overarching goal of providing positive feedback and making migrants more confident, autonomous and independent.

✓ Contribute to migrants’ engagement with the community for the common good.

✓ Ensure that services contribute to the strengthening of the capacities of migrants/migrant communities.

✓ Include (or create the preconditions for) actions that facilitate long-term integration.

✓ Address discrimination and information gaps as obstacles to long-term integration.

Does the practice align with the priorities, strategic goals and policies of other relevant stakeholders, and contribute to the wider integration framework?

The initiative is in line with international human rights principles and the EU basic principles for the integration of immigrants.

 

Good practice checklist

✓ Ensure that all actions are in line with international and European human rights standards.

✓ Employ regional/local, national and EU/international level integration-related guidelines and tools.

– Make sure that the services offered contribute to the strengthening of the capacities of relevant institutions to support future development.

Sustainability

Does the practice attract structural funding and support from new sponsors and individuals, or have the potential to develop a business model to generate its own resources?

The activities of the Women’s Meeting Club are often implemented as part of various projects financed by different funds. If there are no projects running when a particular activity is suggested, private collections are organised to fund the activity. This works well: funding is not an obstacle to the continuation of activities. The club cooperates with several entities for the running of activities, such as other NGOs, universities or libraries, and this promotes its sustainability and develops its support networks.

 

Good practice checklist

✓ Develop partnerships and relations with relevant stakeholders at the early stage of the action to ensure that the practice has strong support and potential partners for after the primary funding terminates.

✓ Identify new EU and national funding opportunities for long-term integration (e.g., shifting from project-based initiatives that are limited in time or dependent on one (external) donor to a comprehensive, multi-year strategy based on secured funding or diverse funding opportunities).

✓ Diversify funding opportunities and identify options for self-financing through business activities or social entrepreneurship.

Partnership & Collaboration

Does the practice establish communication and coordination with other relevant actors to foster the integration of migrants? (e.g., migrants, civil society, public authorities, businesses)

From the beginning, the Association for the Earth has cooperated with the BONA FIDES Local Activity Association, supporting women living rurally and establishing Active Women’s Clubs, the Commune Library and the Cultural Centre in Laziska. It also collaborates with universities, NGOs and various partner institutions, including the Office for Foreigners, and more recently with Vintage Baby, a Norwegian social enterprise.

Good practice checklist

✓ Ensure the involvement and participation of key stakeholders in the development phase and create strategies to involve them in the action.

✓ Include multi-stakeholder consultation with professionals, institutions, and citizens, in order to promote the meaningful participation of refuges and migrants and support a joint sense of ownership of decisions and actions.

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