SIMPLE piloting in the United Kingdom

The SIMPLE project’s piloting in the UK organised by Inova Consultancy is now complete and we are excited to share the results! This project was a great success and we are pleased that we were able to allow so many different women to share their stories through such creative methods.

The IO3 piloting consisted of a Storytelling Workshop that explored mindfulness and art-based tools, to encourage a positive perspective, increased resilience and improved confidence.

We shared many resources but the best thing to come from the workshop was this collaborative poem from the participants titled ‘What Every Woman Should Carry’ which explores their migration journey and identity.

The first session was attended by 14 participants, and the second session had an attendance of 10, with a total of 16 different women taking part over the two days. We also had women attend from 11 different countries including Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Palestine and Malaysia which meant that the stories and cultures shared throughout the sessions were so diverse and amazing to listen to.

Read what our amazing participants had to say:

  • “Some excellent discussion on self narrative. I am currently writing some personal essays and I found some excellent information”
  • “I enjoyed it immensely and loved the poem. While sharing my photo I got inspired by the memories and feelings about it and wrote a brief poem that connects me with my roots and land”
  • “This workshop helped me to take a moment in my life to understand my environment, relax myself a little bit, and express my emotions through art. I learnt that I only need 2 minutes to find peace in my life.”

To access the SIMPLE project’s Handbook where you can learn more about the materials and tools covered in these sessions, please click here.

The IO4 piloting consisted of workshops around employability and social media that helped our participants learn to market themselves. We trained them on CV development, social media presence and personal branding. This workshop was very insightful because the women who attended strived to work in such a diverse range of industries including the creative sector, translation, research, law, among others. This allowed such enriching and thought provoking discussions throughout the sessions.

A total of 13 women attended the first workshop, 10 attended the second workshop and 11 were present in the last one. The piloting phase engaged a total of 18 different women from 8 different countries including Guinea, Mexico, Indian and China which helped the women understand how their different backgrounds allowed them to market themselves because of their unique stories!

To access the SIMPLE project’s Handbook where you can read about the learning pathways to socio-economic inclusion, please click here.

Our participants said:

  • “I was able to reconnect with my achievements through a well structured session.”
  • “I learned about how to adapt and improve my CV for the UK market”.

Inova’s pilots were a great success and the feedback from both workshops showed us that the SIMPLE project and its outcomes were greatly welcomed by female migrants in the UK.

SIMPLE multiplier event

The Multiplier event of Simple Project was organized in Malmö, Sweden by IKF Malmö – Internationella Kvinnoföreningen. In a highly inspiring event, we shared the method and the results of the Erasmus+ SIMPLE project.The main objective of the project was to develop a visual narrative method, to narrate personal stories by using artistic expressions. Images have been taken from “The Arrival” book by Shaun Tan. A parallel between Migration and Multiculturalism, combined with tools of managing the emotional challenges using the “Window of Tolerance”, developed by Daniel J. Siegel, a university professor at UCLA, who stays at the based of the Mindsight concept (The new Science of Personal Transformation). We would also like to give special thanks to Föreningscenter Nobel 21 Malmö for hosting IKF Malmö and our event.

Non verbal narrative technique

We used the summer time for the preparation of additional materials which give users more information about how the “non-verbal narrative technique” works in practice. Our method is supporting emotional wellbeing of women with migratory background, helpful in elaboration and expression of past distressing events. 

In the three real life stories of refugee women, you will assist a narration of a journey facilitated by the images from a visual narrative “the Arrival”.

The SIMPLE project is focusing on the alternative tools supporting regulation of emotions, developing self-awareness and with this, greater levels of adaptability, flexibility and independence. “Name it to tame it”, quoting Dr. Siegel, we need to focus mindfully on how we feel, identify and name emotions for a sense of understanding and validation. 

You can see the video registration on the SIMPLE YouTube channel:

SIMPLE upcoming results

We are very excited about our project results! 🙂 In July we are concluding the piloting phase of the methodology. The SIMPLE model was tested and evaluated in all 6 countries by the main stakeholders: women with migratory background and professionals involved in the reception process. We are going to put in practice the theoretical model and collect the feedback from more than 100 users! The SIMPLE partners met on zoom at the end of June to monitor the implementation of the test phase. Soon more info about the final results. 

How art based tools can enhance and develop your wellbeing and create a more positive mindset!

Art based tools create a space for social connection and allow opportunities for an individual to heal from past experiences, help to manage your mental health and support your self discovery and recovery throughout your journeys in life. Art therapy is a psychological technique that includes creative expressions such as drawing, painting, writing, playing music, dancing, making sculpture, collage, amongst others. This form of therapy can be used to reduce anxiety and stress, and improve your self esteem and self-awareness. Creative expression can also help people at a community based level and help those who feel isolated and lack social connections by providing them with a platform to express themselves and meet new people. This form of creative and non-veral communication is particularly important for migrant women who may face challenges when moving to a new country around connecting with others. They may find it hard to communicate verbally, and creative expression can aid them to express themselves and share their stories. As Gkionakis & Papadopoulos (2017) suggest, group work is especially important when using art based tools because it can provide a supportive network for vulnerable groups, such as refugee women. It allows interactions to ‘get out of set roles and locate the temporary situation within the context of a longer time scale to reduce high risk of helplessness’. Non verbal communication allows a more creative and expressive method and can help people to ‘act as a whole’ and helps to ‘distance ones’ self and facilitate expression’ (Hakki, 2018)3 . As mentioned above, art based tools come in a variety of platforms, and several different methods are used throughout the SIMPLE project. An example of an arts based activity used  in the SIMPLE training entailed a mindfulness exercise. Learn more in our IO3 Handbook with tools. 

Article developed by Inova, UK partner

Simple Piloting in Spain

The pilot programme was implemented last 23/04/2021 ONLINE via Zoom. The target were 44 trainers in Continuing Professional Development and students interested in the SIMPLE  methodology and results.

We involved Spanish external stakeholders and local actors to make the event more interesting and attract more stakeholders, in this frame our participants came from:

CEMIRY, Center for Migrations and Intercultural relations:

Almeria acoge:

Fundacion CEPAIM:

We engaged this event jointly with the EMME (Enterprises meet Migrants for employment, project so as to promote synergies and maximise impact.

Link to news in Spanish (ITC Blog):

Operational SIMPLE Partner Meeting, 29 March 2021

The meeting was carried out in a very practical way. It’s main objective was to present and test the final version of the IO4 “Learning Pathways to socio-economic inclusion” and the organisation of the piloting phase in each partner country. Partners have had the opportunity to work in groups and discuss/peer review all developed materials. Proposed topics of the workshops include: employability skills, self-assessment of skills and abilities, social media awareness, presentation of skills, creation of personal portfolio. An internal evaluation has been done after the meeting, the feedback from partners about the meeting and training is very good. It indicates that respondents’ welcome the experience of the partners in the field and in EU funded projects, the potential to share experiences and ideas (even online).

Top 10 ranking for migrant integration includes five EU countries

5 European countries have been placed in the top ten of a ranking for the integration of migrants, in 2020. Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Ireland, and Portugal were all found to be some of the world’s best countries when it comes to helping refugees assimilate into society.Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas clearly supports a more integrated EU, telling: “It is integration and inclusion that can help us fight xenophobia, exclusion, radicalization and us-vs-them narratives. We need to build mutual respect and foster a migrant’s sense of belonging”.

Full article here

SIMPLE Coordination Meeting, 1.03.2021

The Coordination meeting was divided in two parts: managerial one  concentrated on the monitoring of developed activities and operational one focusing on the piloting phase of project’s deliverables. The SIMPLE outcomes (Narrative technique and Learning Pathways) will be piloted in 6 countries: Sweden, Italy, UK, Netherlands, Germany and Spain. During this meeting the “Piloting Guidelines and Reporting” has been presented to all partners.