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SMI, i.e. support for migrants not only in large cities

Migrants not only live in large cities, and their contribution to the development of the region is not just work. That is why  it is very pleased that Pomerania has developed a tool that is supposed to make people from other countries feel at home here – not only in big cities. It is the Minimum in Integration Standard (SMI) – a document setting out tasks for individual institutions and organizations in the Pomeranian region. 

Albert Miściorak

The main goal of SMI is to create such a system of activities that allows migrants to feel fully residents in Pomerania, and this requires above all that they are treated equally with other residents of the region.

“We want residents’ departments, schools and health centers, offices and labor offices to be equally accessible to immigrants and Polish citizens,” said Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, President of Gdańsk. “It is not permissible for me that our units send immigrants to special departments or NGOs dealing with immigrant matters. We are working on ensuring that new residents of Gdańsk and our metropolis can realize their plans and aspirations, feel safe with us, and local governments and local institutions have solutions ready for implementation at their disposal. “

SMI will be implemented within four steps. First, migration teams will be created to monitor the situation regarding the settlement of migrants in the metropolis. As part of the first step, will be organized language courses for adults and schools will prepare for the admission of children with migrant experience.

Then will be improved the offices where come people from other countries and who often poorly speak Polish. So that they do not encounter language barriers (e.g. when establishing a PESEL number or registration of a car) or sent from office to office. The information is to be translated into other languages, including Ukrainian and Russian, and officials trained in proper migrant customer service.

The information channel between the employee and the employer is also to be improved – bypassing employment agencies that charge high fees (often reaching 30% of the employee’s salary). To this end, among others, LiveMore Agencji Rozwoju Pomorza, which facilitates finding a job directly, also in industries such as construction and seasonal work.

Further steps will include support in crisis situations (e.g. domestic violence) or prevention of conflicts related to the presence of immigrants in the local community.

A very important aspect of SMI is to go outside the big cities. Migrants – because of even cheaper housing – also settle in smaller towns, which are less prepared to accept migrant communities than large cities.

More about the project can be found in the guide, which can be downloaded here 

Sources: www.gdansk.pl  
              www.polityka.pl          

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