“Da Me a Te project – cultural mediation for the BME carers’ support”, financed in the framework of the European Immigration Fund – Action 6, 2013, has been implemented between March and June 2015 in the Terre d’Argine Area (Northern Italy, within Modena Province), by the following partners: Terre d’Argine Municipalities Union, Anziani e non solo cooperative society with a large expertise in developing initiatives in favour of informal and professional carers and Caleidos, working in the sector of cultural and linguistic mediation.
The project idea comes from the combination of two local socio-cultural factors: on the one hand the high sensitiveness on the carers issues demonstrated by local institutions and private sector organisations; on the other hand the relevant figures related to the officially recognized cases of disability or invalidity among migrants citizens and the number of pupils with serious disability attending local schools and supported by local services.
Peculiarities of the BME carers.
Those elements have contributed to design “Da me a te” Project by studying the situation of BME carers who live in the area, through analysis and tools useful for the professionals working in the social, health and educational sectors with those users. These goals are based on the assumption that BME carers, beyond the common difficulties faced by carers (social isolation, health status deterioration, worsening of the economic situation, trade off between work, care and personal time…) experience further critical aspects concerned linguistic and cultural barriers typical of their status of migrants.
The project has carried out the following activities:
1. An action-research, within its framework, seminars, interviews, focus groups have been implemented on the issues related to the BME carers’role and needs and on the multicultural dimension of the care, involving 10 experts on the field, 14 cultural mediators working in the local services on the Modena Province and more than 20 workers of the social and educational services who operate in the same area and whose users are BME carers.
2. Several cultural mediation interventions addressed to BME carers coming from Eastern European Countires, Africa, Asia and Middle East, and aiming to support their access to the dedicated services. In particular the following activities have been developed:
a. Qualitative guided interviews addressed to BME carers;
b. Cultural – Linguistic Mediation (MLC) interventions addressed to BME carers identified by social and educational services;
c. Translations and adaptations in 8 languages and cotexts of the supporting services guide promoted by the Terre d’Argine Union.
The final project report containing operational tools and recommendations to enhance the BME carers access to the local services.
The main findings of the above mentioned actions have led to the elaboration of the project final document articulated in the following sections: the extracts of experts and BME carers interviews made on the area; the working groups results, summarized in recommendations to improve the services in favour of BME carers thanks to the use of MLC (cultural-linguistic mediation) and some operational tools such as the translation of “carer” word and definition in 8 languages.
The document highlights critical aspects and possible solutions to be undertaken. Among the critical aspects the following aspects were detected. On the one side those ones related to BME carers which are: linguistic barrier, disorientation towards a different welfare system, low incomes, possible stigma towards disability and lack of family and social networks. On the other sides those difficulties related to social and educational practitioners which are: an ineffective use of MLC and the lack of involvement of the main carer on the intervention planning (due to the linguistic barrier and the strict division of family roles within BME contexts).
In order to face those difficulties important recommendations and operational tools have been developed focusing on the achievement of the following goals:
o Improving the effectiveness of the cultural-linguistic mediation within the system of social, health and educational services;
o Fostering the overcoming of some stereotypes that practitioners may have towards these category of users;
o Strengthening the services network and making it more user-centred.
Documents developed within the “Da me a te” Project are available in the outcomes item of this website http://dameate.anzianienonsolo.it/?page_id=115