ECO-IN and the integration of refugees
The Eco-In Project was welcomed with great interest by the Social Action Commission of the ASSOCIACIÓ DE MICROPOBLES DE CATALUNYA, an entity that brings together 180 small towns with less than 500 inhabitants in Catalonia. In all of Catalonia there are 400 micro towns. The contact between our project and the entity was facilitated by the ex-president of the entity and current head of Mobility and communications, M. Carme Freixa.
The ECO-IN project was presented by Robert Roche, coordinator of the project in Catalonia and Spain. Representatives of the entity’s management participated in the meeting: Mario Urrea – Mayor of Torrebesses (Segrià) and president of Micropobles; Xavi Camps, Vice President Nord-oriental (Alt i Baix Empordà i Gironès) and Mayor of Palau de Sta. Eulàlia; Montse Isern, Councillor of the Aguilar de Segarra town hall and responsible for the area of education of MicroPobles; as well as other collaborators of the Social Action Commission and of the Faculty of Education of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
ECO IN was presented as an innovative model of social inclusion, a topic that was positively received when considering the possible synergies of the European project with the current integration project of REFUGIATS (refugees) currently in application in some micro towns.
In this line, it was valued that the concept of the ECO-IN Prosocial Trust Centres can provide the territory with an interesting structure and methodology to strengthen the integration of these refugees and offer micro-towns spaces for international dissemination to promote their project as an innovative experience in Catalonia.
ECO-IN can offer interesting synergies to Micro-pobles by improving their integration strategies for refugees in the territory, and by promoting social inclusion through training in prosociality. This training could benefit social operators that are active in the REFUGIATS Project, for example Family Mentors, refugees and also interested politicians from city councils, and young students with a vocation to work on public awareness.