In order to encourage the participation of migrant and refugee volunteers, a motivation strategy has been developed by the partners of the MAV Project. The aim of this strategy is to mobilize the ever-increasing number of migrants and refugees, and with their help, we can provide better support to other migrants and refugees. To increase the motivation of volunteers, first of all, their needs and what motivates them should be recognized. This awareness forms the basis of developing motivational strategies. In motivational strategies to be developed on volunteerism, especially for immigrants and refugees; communication, empowerment, and material and moral rewards play a key role. Research by the project partners reveals that some migrants and refugees see volunteering as a turning point in finding a better job. In addition, volunteer work is seen as a useful method for people who isolate themselves from social life due to uncertain conditions, to develop social relations with their immigrant communities in their host countries. A motivation strategy must consider the complex situation faced by migrants and refugees. Generally, a solution cannot be found with the services provided by the state; Issues such as social exclusion, communication, cultural adaptation, access to information for employment opportunities can be resolved with the support of immigrant and refugee volunteers.
Through extensive research, MAV Project partners have identified key drivers of migrant and refugee volunteers:
-Social, humanitarian and religious values, which are the main motivations for many migrant and refugee volunteers; migrants and refugees are not treated fairly in their host countries.
Because they believe, they need a just and right society. They hope to improve the well-being of migrants and refugees by engaging in volunteer activities, and they want to receive gratitude and recognition in response to these efforts.
-Developing a positive image of their own society and country in response to increasing racism and discrimination in Western countries; Terrorist attacks in recent years have increased ethnic tensions and spread negative attitudes towards immigrants and refugees, which has led many immigrants and refugees to maintain their self-confidence and stay in their host countries.
In order to be well received, he directed his volunteering efforts.
-Personal experiences as a migrant or refugee; Personal experiences of migrant and refugee volunteers in their host countries during problematic initial periods, often resulting from limited access to local services, cultural practices and employment-related information; they can help new immigrants or refugees with poor language skills and volunteers can support them with advice.
- For the vast majority of migrants and refugees who are coping with the challenges of living in a new country without friends and relatives, building new relationships is a powerful motivator.
- Self-improvement; As immigrants and refugees will gain new skills through volunteer work, personal development can be considered as an encouraging element. Migrants and refugees should see these activities as an opportunity for development and a means to gain new knowledge.
- Increasing employment opportunities; Migrants and refugees who are unemployed in their host countries can see volunteer work as a job opportunity. In addition, volunteer work by migrants and refugees can help reduce the discrimination they face in the labor market.
The above-mentioned items point to the techniques to be followed in any motivational strategy to be implemented by trainers:
- Raising awareness of how volunteering can help and what the outcome will be; trainers should ask them to participate in these activities by explaining how they can be beneficial to immigrants and refugees with their volunteer work.
Volunteer trainers should encourage migrants and refugees with examples, communicating key motivations based on their past experience, and explain how it will help them feel better, build new relationships in their own community, or develop skills and abilities to find work.
- Establish and maintain good communication in order to maintain the motivation of immigrants and refugees to volunteer work; trainers should communicate with volunteers making sure they understand what is expected of them and at the same time remember to listen to the needs and expectations of migrants and refugees. In addition, trainers should always be accessible so that volunteers can communicate easily.
-Inspire them with success stories; Sample success stories from project partner countries can be found in the best practices section of this guide.
-To tell them what they can achieve and the difference they can make as a result of long-term intensive work; trainings progress of volunteers in their projects
they should hold meetings to summarize and evaluate, make them see the difference they have made, and appreciate them when appropriate.
- Helping volunteers develop skills that can assist them in their new job search in their host country by offering new experiences; trainers should train volunteers as much as possible based on their current knowledge and experience. They should also inform them about how the MAV Project can help their professional development.
- To ensure that the volunteers are socially recognized and connected by supporting them to contact other volunteers and host country authorities, both individually and as a community; Such activities are important in order to better integrate volunteers and newly arrived migrants and refugees into society. Instructors promote the work of volunteers and engage with them to make a wider impact.
They can use social media channels to strengthen their feelings.
This website has been accomplished during the project RISING - Mentoring to raise motivated migrants, Grant Agreement no. 2020-1-PL01-KA204-081815, implemented with financial support of the European Commission by the Erasmus + Programme.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, therefore the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.