VRIN: Virtual Reality for Migrants Social and Cultural Orientation and Inclusion

Description: The VRIN project promotes the effective integration of TCNs [Third Country Nationals] in local communities by providing intervention tools for training, as a means of making the process of familiarity with the local context more interactive, interesting and attractive. The target groups undertake a participative learning path for the development of their skills, competences and acquire new ones, with the final aim of a mutual cooperation for integration in society and the labour market. Interestingly, the project also promotes a two-way-integration process through the development of a common online platform and an interactive guidebook that applies to both target groups of the project; TCNs and actor of TCNs. Consequently, the VRIN project reflects the growing necessity in this sector, approaching it from the perspective of identifying the needs of both TCNs’ and TCNs actors. This involves; the development of digital skills towards TCNs’ adaptation as well as reinforcing a more dynamic and contributive integration of TCNs in the local societies, by overcoming obstacles towards a smoother access to substantial services.
Country: Cyprus

Website: https://vrin-project.eu/

Category/Topic: Education, Other
Other: Adult Education; Integration
Target Audience: – TCNs – Actors of TCNs’ integration (trainers, facilitators, mentors ,public servants, educators, etc.) – Key professionals working in areas relevant to TCN – Stakeholders in the field of TCNs’ integration
Objectives: – To establish a two-way integration model through training to both actors involved in TCNs’ integration and TCNs themselves. – To help TCNs overcome obstacles towards a smoother access to services like health care, labour market, vocational training, social security benefits, housing, financial procedures, lifelong learning. – To enhance TCNs ability to access useful information which will help them improve their everyday life and communication. – To provide TCNs with the opportunity to develop targeted language skills addressing the every-day communication and designed to their practical needs – To boost service providers and integration assistants’ capacity to deal with TCNs needs and different cultural backgrounds, thus boosting their intercultural skills. – To prioritise the inclusion for diversity in all fields of education and training.
Context/Background: The project aims to streamline the integration of TCNs by providing them with digital skills necessary for the 4th Industrial Revolution [ongoing digital transformation, automation, and data-driven innovation]. It offers a curriculum aligned with the latest digital trends, including Virtual Reality (VR) and Gamified Environments. These technologies can enhance communication and create immersive experiences. The project also recognises the impact of digitalisation on the labour market and learning processes, emphasising personalised and fun learning experiences. The concept of digital migration shifts the focus from Western media’s portrayal of migrants to empowering migrants through digital media. The project aims to overcome the minority paradigm and explore the relationship between digital technology, borders, identities, and migrant experiences. The project offers online learning content that prioritises flexibility and adaptability for future contexts.
Key Features/Activities: Key activities completed during the life cycle of VRIN include: – Field research; to identify needs and gaps in TCNs’ integration and in integration assistants’ skills development gaps, resulting to a detailed mapping of obstacles to basic services for TCNs – Development of a VR scenario; provided to local commodities, authorities operators, stakeholders and training centres with a state-of-the-art methodology, aligned with the latest trends of digital evolution (VR and Gamified Environment) – Innovative Curriculum; to be transferred in any context, containing specific information of the countries involved in the VRIN project. – Online Platform development; supporting the two-way integration process through innovative and interactive trainings, with the goal to smoothen up TCNS’ access to basic services and enhance the development of integration skills. The platform includes scenarios in a gamified form. Interactive Guidebook; for actors in partner countries to go beyond on how to use the project’s outputs while adapting them to their context. -Dissemination activities; in raising awareness, promoting project’s impact, increasing visibility and outreach of the VRIN project at local, regional, national and EU levels, increasing impact and outreach to a wider audience in each country. -Sustainability activities/strategy; ensuring the continues utilisation of the methodologies and products of the VRIN project, adapting and transferring of these materials to different target groups and communities.
Outcomes/Results: PR1: Interactive Training Curriculum: Interactive Training Curriculum for providing the local communities, authorities, operators, stakeholders and training centers, among others, with a tool, aligned with the latest trends of digital evolution (VR and Gamified Environment). It develops innovative approaches to facilitate access to basic services that can be adapted to, local contexts; improved access to comprehensive health care services, social security benefits for TCNs’, as well as to services facilitating labour market integration, financial services, housing and helping to provide them with affordable accommodation based on their needs. PR2: Online Platform: to be used as a valuable tool for TCNs’ learning and integration. PR3: Interactive Guidebook: including the views and general contribution of integration assistants and stakeholders in order to bring local and international stakeholders closer as a means of multiplying the project’s impact and also spreading its benefits.
Impact: VRIN will have an immediate positive impact on its participants, participating organisations, as well as their wider communities during the implementation of the project lifecycle, and continuous and lasting effects for several stakeholder groups in the long term. TCNs will be able to Stakeholders will: improve their awareness and knowledge regarding social impact measurement, contribute to the elevation of their work and the project will equip them with the necessary knowledge to prove in concrete ways the impact that they are having through their everyday work. On a broader level, the projects can further impact on: – Capacity building; VRIN facilitates and supports the inclusion of TCNs within education practices in TCN’s integration through improved training and resources. – Transferability of Result; to help TCNs in different settings, contexts, geographical areas and EU countries develop their skills and build capacity based on the project results and outcomes. – Awareness raising; to highlight the vital importance of TCN’s integration as a key basic skill and the impact these skills can have on TCNs and relevant actors. – Innovation; the project provides innovative pedagogical methods on the topic of TCN’s integration. The Project Results can be used to derive best practice guidelines and strategies to support the inclusion of TCNs within adult education programmes at all levels (local/national, regional, and European). – Enabling Transformation & Change; VRIN can empower both educators and learners through the increased understanding, skills and knowledge of their literacy teachers in relation to supporting their emergent skills in the field of TCN’s integration. – Addressing Common Needs and Priorities: The project provides a platform with supporting resources whose purpose is to be used and applied in various settings and respond to the needs and priorities set for diverse groups. – Local, National and Transnational Impact of Results: VRIN will be communicated to national and local stakeholders and organisations working with TCNs. Nationally the focus will be placed equally at practitioner and policy maker level. Transnational project presentations and disseminations and through wide networks for a further European outreach.
Challenges Faced: The project challenge was to promote a two-way-integration process by developing a common online platform and an interactive guidebook that applies to both target groups; TCNs and actor of TCNs including relevant and applicable information to all partner countries.
Contact Information: Name: Paschalia Leventi Position: Project Manager Email address: paschalia.leventi@csicy.com Organisation: Center for Social Innovation [CSI]
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