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A unique approach to deliver mediation skills training to adult learners in creative, dynamic ways, allowing them to maximise inclusion through mediation.

Overview, how you will benefit

In Module 4, you will learn strategies and new approaches with the goal of effecting change.

The mission of an intercultural mediator is to bring positive change to the community and wider society, even when they act on a small scale.

To do this, a mediator needs to tackle some barriers, identify and prioritise problem-solving,  and create a plan.

Identifying and tackling barriers to access and participation in mediation for others in your community

Identifying and prioritizing problems to solve with mediation, including design thinking

Community mediator’s action plan

Theory of change – PLAN

Identifying and tackling barriers to access and participation in mediation for others in your community

Most Common Barriers and Challanges

That Refugees and Migrants Face


If the native language of the migrant is different from the language of the host country, the communication is difficult.

Sometimes even with the same language there are differences and difficulties.

This influences every aspect of life.


For some keeping the family together is a challenge, for some raising children in a new, unfamiliar culture poses an obstacle, for some, starting a new family is the next natural step that could be delayed by their new situation.


Getting the sense of belonging is very important for normal social life and happiness. Being accepted into community, acquiring friends, becoming an equal member of the society is not easy, especially if there is a combination of other barriers.


Housing, employment and settlement are all more difficult tasks for refugees and migrants. Can be influenced further by a mix of circumstances, for example:

  • Legal obstacles to work and to housing
  • Differences in qualification
  • Lack of connections and networking

Let’s focus on community

What do we mean?

Community development

refers to a set of activities aimed at:

  • Strengthening and enhancing community life
  • Improving local conditions
  • Enabling people to participate in public decision-making
  • Enabling more long-term control over their circumstances.

Community Life

Community life refers to voluntary activities carried out by people who:

  • share common interests
  • seek to improve shared situations
  • reflect shared concerns

These activities are frequently carried out locally, but they can occur as a result of shared interest, need, or identity, such as ethnicity, age, gender, faith, or any other factor that people consider important.


The feeling of belonging

Fulfilment of needs

By joyning the community, you get something in return for your participation


A sense of mattering

Shared emotional connection

Shared history or experiences

Barriers to access and participation in mediation for others in your community

  • Barriers to volunteering
  • Barriers arising from lack of transparency in policy-making processes and information sharing
  • Barriers from the lack of empathy
  • Barriers to education


1. Understanding the barriers to volunteering in order to overcome them

Volunteering is an important integral part of Migrant Community Mediation, and these are the most common barriers we sometimes need to overcome in this aspect:

  • In some countries migrants are not allowed to volunteer (insurance, authority vetting, etc.). In other countries,  references are needed in order to become a volunteer.  A migrant with a limited social network cannot always come up with the needed references
  • Lack of consideration, and sometimes, belief – by officials, voluntary organisations, and  agencies  that  promote  volunteering,  that  migrants could  be  potential volunteers

2. Understanding the barriers arising from lack of transparency in policy-making processes and information sharing

Source: Migrant-led advocacy across Europ, Mohammed Badran, 2019

The “Migrant-led advocacy across Europe, Mohammed Badran, 2019” research shows:

  • Unclear and unstructured approaches to information-sharing and cooperation between municipalities and national governments
  • The lack of trust advocates feel towards policymakers also stems from the perceived lack of transparency in policy-making processes
  • Even though communicating with local politicians is often easier than with national political representatives, decisions are often made at the national level

3. Understanding the barriers from the lack of empathy in orderto overcome them defines empathy as: the experience of understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings, and condition from their point of view, rather than from your own. You try to imagine yourself in their place in order to understand what they are feeling or experiencing.


Not all people nurture the gift of EMPATHY!

  • Unfortunately, not everyone has the trait of understanding people’s needs, especially needs of those who are new to the community, and thus their needs are new to this community
  • When the host community members cannot understand your pain or where your motives are coming from, they may not always be supportive and might even object your actions

4. Understanding the barriers to education in orderto overcome them

Some potential barriers to access and participation in education for others in your community can come from the lack of:

  • Knowledge of the existence of the training offer
  • Knowledge of the places where to find information about the training offer
  • Negative experiences in the educational trajectory
  • Impossibility of reconciling family and professional life

Overcome the barriers

  • Prepare a good summary about your problem that evokes empathy
  • Do the research to understand what the policy says about your problem
  • Find out if there is a volunteer centre that you need to partner with, and if you need to go down the FORMAL route

Case Study

The Role of L2 and Cultural Mediation in the Inclusion of Immigrant Students in Italian Schools“

Intercultural Education

The purpose of this study is to examine teachers’ perceptions and thoughts on the acquisition of the host language by recently arrived migrant students, and the role that professional services of a cultural mediator may play in said school context.

What did we learn from this case study?

  • Given the obstacles teachers face in the process of the integration of foreign students, the simplest form is often chosen, that is, to absorb social and cultural minorities into the dominant social and cultural system. The desired reality seems to indicate that a kind of assimilationism will be generated. As has been stated in comprehensive reviews, young foreigners would shed most of what belongs to them in order to resemble their Sicilian peers. This could include their ways of doing things, their habits, or even their native language which eventually could run the risk of being forgotten.”
  • As teachers understand that they do not have easy access to the support of a cultural mediator, an instrument which they consider to be indispensable for fostering communication between all parties, they try to fulfill this role independently for themselves with the final goal being assimilation.”

What did we learn from this case study?

When the system struggles to follow up with the changes, a good and meaningful voluntary action can make all the change in the world.

  • You, choosing to support your peers as an intercultural mediator, could help them not get lost in the new culture and not feel like they have to give up their own.

Intrigued? Get the further inspiration by seeing how this project called DAY ONE IN EUROPE, helps teachers, migrant parents and children feel included by CELEBRATING their own cultures and NATIVE LANGUAGES:

How does empathy promote resilience?

  • People who have empathy are able to communicate with and listen more to the people they share relationships with.
  • Stronger relationships allow people to successfully express their own needs and wants whilst remaining considerate of other people and having the ability to put aside their own concerns at times.
  • This means that people who are able to have empathy will also benefit from high self-esteem, reduced loneliness, and a strong sense of who they are, and in doing so become more resilient.
  • Someone who is resilient is able to overcome negative emotional and physical outcomes that may arise from situations of conflict or hardship.