From mid-June to mid-October 2022, the Municipality of Ioannina launched its local communication campaign to promote their pilot project “+Ergasia,” which was developed within the EPIC project.
The aim of this campaign was to inform citizens about the pilot and EPIC in general. The pilot project offers tax preparation and employability counselling services to migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Ioannina.
The campaign raised awareness on the administrative challenges that local migrant communities face when entering the local labour market. It was specifically targeted at the local population, newcomers, and other stakeholders, with the goal of informing them about the new public service that provides a solution to this issue.
The campaign used various communication channels, such as press releases on the municipality’s official website, posters in media and public places, TV spots, flyers, banners, SMS, and emails targeting the key audience.
The campaign was successful in increasing the number of beneficiaries from 26 before the communication campaign to 62 during the campaign period. Additionally, the number of attendees at the building where the pilot project was located showed an increasing trend throughout the campaign period. Local CSOs, NGOs, and other collaborating actors involved with migration and integration issues in Ioannina had positive reactions to the campaign. The promotion of services to local migrant communities helped create positive narratives around social inclusion and integration, particularly in the local labour market.
To close the campaign, a physical public conference, entitled “Current issues of social integration of migrants and refuges” was held on 23 September 2022 at the cultural Multicenter “Δημ. Χατζής”.The conference aimed to raise awareness among the local community about current migration/refugee integration issues and inform them about social integration programs implemented by the Municipality of Ioannina, public and private camps, and social organisations operating in the region.
Moses Elisaf, the Mayor of Ioannina and Antonella Valmorbida, the Secretary General of ALDA (EPIC coordinator), welcomed attendees emphasising on the importance of developing synergies between European municipalities and social organisations to address the migration issue and the integration of newcomers at the local level.
The conference had several presentations by various organisations working towards migrant and refugee integration in Ioannina. Deputy Mayor of Social Protection and Immigration Policy of the Municipality of Ioannina, Christina Kotsanti, presented the progress of four European co-financed projects of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) implemented by the municipality. Nicoleta Petalidou, an the EPIC partner Symbiosis, presented the project of the School of Political Studies in Greece. Petros Mastakas, the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for Greece, discussed the challenges and solutions for the social integration of refugees. Finally, the representative of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Ioannis Efthymiou, presented the actions of the HELIOS integration program. Furthermore, the conference received representatives of social organizations active in the region, who gave speeches on current issues of social integration. The conference concluded with the presentation of the objectives of the +Ergasia Pilot Project.
The conference video is available below:
Other relevant links from the Municipality media:
- Link to the video entitled “Good practices in migrants and asylum seekers integration” The Municipality of Ioannina : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKta53XA7XY
- Link to the “+Ergasia” page created in the site of the MoI for the promotion and information concerning the Pilot Project : https://www.ioannina.gr/epic/?lang=en
- Press release of the EPIC conference: “Current issues of social integration of migrants and refugees” : https://www.ioannina.gr/conference_press_release/