The project "Mentorship in Italian Universities - Youth-to-youth support for the integration of students with different backgrounds" is implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in coordination with the Ministry of the Interior - Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration, in three Italian universities, in the cities of Milan, Rome and Palermo. The project intends to pilot a peer-to-peer mentoring program, through the direct involvement of students, and will cover a full academic year, for a total duration of 13 months.
Through an ad hoc training course, Italian university students will acquire the skills needed to assist foreign colleagues with migration background in the academic integration process, and in their social and cultural integration, thus strengthening the Protocol signed between the Italian Ministry of the Interior, the Conferenza dei Rettori delle Università Italiane (CRUI) and the Pontificia Università Lateranense, which provides, on an annual basis, the recognition of scholarships to students entitled to international protection status.
Through the active participation of students, the project will establish a peer-to-peer support system through the involvement of young people with diverse backgrounds and by valuing students’ community as a dynamic social space able to trigger positive processes for the creation of cohesive societies.
The project is therefore oriented at:
i) supporting the integration processes and the academic success of refugees students and students with migration backgrounds;
ii) promoting socio-cultural inclusion in a bi-directional dimension and the cohesion of young people in universities and cities;
iii) defining a student mentoring system, potentially replicable in different universities and schools in Italy.
The Mentorship project foresees a first phase of sensitization sessions with students over topics related to migration, and a second one consisting in a training workshop for students aimed at creating mentoring committees within each university. Finally, a contest is also foreseen in order to reinforce the experiences gained by participating in project activities.