PITCH – ‘a model for gender-sensitive integration strategies based on Personalised, partIcipaTory, loCal, and multistakeHolder approaches’

Description: PITCH is a three-year project, launched on January 1, 2022. PITCH stands for ‘a model for gender-sensitive integration strategies based on Personalised, partIcipaTory, loCal, and multistakeHolder approaches.’ PITCH aims to establish a common European ground to support the design and implementation of local integration strategies directed at migrant women. This project directly engages 210 migrant women from Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Spain, Cyprus, Lithuania and Sweden, and the staff of 5 municipalities, 7 local research/civil organisations and a wide network of Baltic Sea Region cities. Throughout its implementation, PITCH involves migrant women, social operators, policy-makers, private, and civil and public entities working in the field of integration, as well as the wider public.
Country: Cyprus

Website: https://pitch-eu.eu/

Category/Topic: Education, Community Development, Entrepreneurship and Business, Human Rights and Advocacy
Target Audience: A total of 210 women across Europe participate in a total of 191 hours of activities in each partner country, comprised of: 1) 10 gatherings of migrant women (‘cozy corners’) to get to know each other and develop their own personal and educational profiles with the support of linguistic and cultural mediators (30 hours) 2) Classes on a) Digital Skills, b) Greek Language c) Employability, d) Entrepreneurship, e) Rights & Duties, f) Active Citizenship, g) Career Guidance in addition to 10 three-hour Social Cafes and two local tours (3h/each). Each participant must attend at least 50 hours, based on the classes and activities that best suit their profile, availability, needs and aspirations. A world café at the end of the training programme (March 2024) where they will discuss about their experience with PITCH, the personal gains they made, and the challenges they faced during the activities they participated in as part of their Personalised Roadmap to Integration.
Objectives: PITCH aims to establish a common European ground to support the design and implementation of local integration strategies addressed to migrant women, based on a personalised, participatory, and multi-stakeholder approach. The project will do so by co-designing a model, that will be adjusted into 7 local strategies, and implemented with migrant women in Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Spain, Cyprus, Lithuania and Sweden. This will lead to: 1) Enhanced socioeconomic integration of migrant women and increased interaction between them and the host society 2) A newly-developed model for integration strategies adaptable to the specificities of different local contexts. 3) Sustainable collaboration and increased readiness of organisation, institutions and relevant stakeholders to tackle integration issues in the future
Context/Background: In the long term, the adoption of the PITCH model is expected to contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic integration of migrant women in the involved countries. This will be achieved: By offering personalised roadmaps to integration combining upskilling, awareness-raising and social activities tailored to each woman’s specific needs, and addressing different aspects of the integration process, women’s autonomy, awareness of existing services, and access to the labour market will be facilitated. Through social activities, where migrant women will be offered a safe space to interact with the local community, thus strengthening their sense of belonging to the host society, and bringing a cascade effect on other migrant women, who are not directly involved in the project. Through the multi-stakeholder project’s partnership that includes civil/research organisations and municipalities, through which PITCH will ease the sustainability of the local strategies and the mainstreaming of the model among relevant policy makers, and local stakeholders involved in integration processes. Through the transnational peer-learning and exchange of practices between organisations and municipalities that will allow the exchange of new ideas on how to tackle integration issues, inspiring future strategies in the involved countries and beyond.
Key Features/Activities: PHASE 1 The partner organisations in PITCH conducted a national analysis to identify local needs, map stakeholders and examine existing integration strategies; co-design the PITCH model for integration strategies during international working groups; adjust the model into 7 local integration strategies for migrant women, with the support of local advisory committees; and develop a series of activities that are currently being organised at a local, national, and EU level. In this phase, the PITCH model was created, based on which 7 local integration strategies were developed. To view the PITCH Model and the local integration strategies developed, visit the project’s website found below. PHASE 2 The development of the local integration strategies for Lithuania, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Greece and Sweden, and the PITCH Model developed are currently being put into practice in Phase 2. During this phase, the partner countries are testing the local integration strategies by delivering an activity programme tailored to the personal needs and interests of migrant women with the aim to equip them with tools to enhance their autonomy and participation in the host society. The activities include: 10 gatherings of migrant women (‘cozy corners’) between April – July, 2023 30 migrant women in each partner country who work with staff from the local organisation working on PITCH to build their Personalised Roadmap to Integration based on their needs and interests. Classes on a) improving skills, b) increasing knowledge about local context, and c) social activities e.g. neighbourhood walks and social cafes for migrant women in order to complete in practice their personalised roadmap by attending education/social and upskilling activities of their interest and needs. A world café where migrant women will discuss about their experience with PITCH, and the personal gains they made, and challenges they faced during the activities they participated in as part of their Personalised Roadmap to Integration. PHASE 3 In Phase 3 of PITCH, the partnership will initiate a months-long process to promote the lessons learned, the experiences gained and the local strategies developed to social practitioners, policy-makers, local private, public and civil entities and the wider public. As part of this final phase, PITCH will provide: A White Paper outlining the PITCH Model, including the main challenges of the project, propose new perspectives for designing integration strategies and tools on how to translate it into various local contexts. Capacity-building activities for social workers and operators in all countries to support them in designing tailored, sustainable and needs-oriented integration initiatives. A total of 8 workshops of 4 hours each will be delivered under this activity between July – October 2024. A panel discussion on local integration strategies attended by migrant women, local authorities, policy-makers, non-governmental and private organisations and the public. The panel discussion will be held between October – November 2024. A webinar attended by multi-level integration stakeholders, in each partner country, who will be introduced to the results of PITCH and how they can utilise them to improve and tailor migrant women’s integration strategies. The webinar will be held between October – November 2024. A ‘Meet the Neighbourhood’ event in each partner country, with migrant women at its core, sharing their experience from their participation in PITCH, followed by an intercultural celebration and a networking opportunity, marking the closing of the project. A Final International Conference that will be held in Brussels, Belgium, in November – December 2024, promoting at a European level the PITCH Model, the White Paper and the overall impact of the project.
Outcomes/Results: A) PITCH Model for Local Integration Strategies – D2.5 B) SWOT Compendium Analysis on Existing Local Integration Strategies for Migrant Women C) Neighbourhood Maps All current and future results are available on the PITCH website.
Impact: The implementation of the local integration strategies across Europe is still ongoing at the moment. Based on the experience of implementing the strategy so far in collaboration between the Center for Social Innovation (CSI) and the Municipality of Ipsonas, the feedback is very positive and empowering for the participating foreign-born women. The activities of the strategy has positively improved their daily lives, and this is largely attributed to the fact that childcare is provided during all the classes and activities in order to encourage the participation of the learners. The women appear eager to learn, and have expressed interest to participate in many of the classes provided, by far surpassing the minimum requirement of 50 hours. The activities also act as a trigger point to learn more about the municipality, attend local festivities organised, and offer them a space to socialise, network and learn.
Contact Information: pitch@csicy.com or kyriaki.chatzipanagiotou@csicy.com or info@ipsonas.org