Since 2015, the arrival of Syrian refugees in Canada has raised awareness the precarious situation, and the vulnerability in which refugees find themselves upon their arrival to their host country. In order to make a real difference in the course of these refugees’ lives, the project “Vivons nos quartiers” aims to contribute to a successful refugees’ integration in their host country, based on the quality of care and the solidarity of the communities where they live.
This project is conducted in partnership with Centraide of Greater Montreal and la Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes (TCRI). The main objective of this project is to contribute to the creation of inclusive and welcoming neighbourhoods for the refugees and immigrants. For this purpose, the specific objectives are:
1.To enhance the capacities of community actors, to make a better intervention in a context of diversity with a particular attention to refugee people and vulnerable immigrants.
2.To foster the development towards a more welcoming reception of the refugee population within host communities.
3. To ease the interaction amongst the different actors (refugees, stakeholders, citizens) in a context of diversity and mutual respect.
The project “Vivons nos quartiers” will be accomplished over a period of 5 years (2016-2021). It aims to identify the criteria and conditions that are conducive to strengthening an inclusive community, andto document the most promising facilitation practices. For this purpose, the project activities intend to help and support the communities (immigrants, stakeholders, citizens) to develop such initiatives. By targeting 3 neighbourhoods, Laval, (Peter McGill: TBC), Côte-des-Neiges, Bordeau-Cartierville, and by supporting the initiative “Vivons nos Quartiers” through the due diligences of their actors (round tables, information centres and settlement agencies, and etc.), we want to document and support the participants in the pursuit of solutions to the intercultural challenges they face, and also to coordinate the offer of specialized support and advice. The objective of this project is to identify the practices and supporting initiatives focusing on neighbourhoods to foster the establishment of welcoming communities and inclusive neighbourhoods, and to avoid the isolation of the most vulnerable immigrants. Based on the ethnographic participant observation method and through semi-structured interviews to the project’s key informants, we want to document the following activities:
- The training for the community and institutional stakeholders, including the evaluation of the last ones
- The public information sessions and events to increase citizens’ immigration awareness
- The establishment of communities of practice and supervision groups
- The GARD#QA meetings: action-reflection circles for the diversity of welcoming neighbourhoods
- The meetings of the Steering Committee and the Field Committees in the neighbourhoods
- On-site review of the project to understand its structure, identify the stakeholders and the supporting activities that will be documented.
- To develop reflexivity within the TCRI field team with respect to the initiative objectives and all the stages involved in the project.
- Recruit and hire a bilingual graduate student (Master or PhD), who is familiar with the Montréal network to make field observations and appropriate notes (15 hours/week).
- To design the tools and templates to coordinate the field work.
August 2017 – August 2018:
- Field data collection, field notes compilation, and interview summaries.
- Quarterly results: data coding, using Nvivo software, to assess the direction and evolution of the project in order to redesign the research activities in the search of possible solutions, if needed.
- Networking with the stakeholders from Montréal and Québec that are working on the development of welcoming communities that promote active social participation for refugees and immigrants.
- To evaluate the potential to reproduce the project “Vivons nos quartiers” in other cities at the provincial or federal level.
May – August 2018:
- To draw up a research report and to establish an evaluation and follow-up protocol of the current impacts and future objectives for 2018 – 2021 (years 3, 4 and 5) of the project “Vivons nos quartiers”.
- Findings presentations at scientific conferences.
- Drawing up a summary with the findings of the research and recommendations to the relevant public authorities.
- To produce scientific publications co-authored with research assistants and community partners.
Chedly Belkhodja, Concordia U. firstname.lastname@example.org
Florence Bourdeau, Stephan Reichhold, TCRI; Pierre-Constantin Charles, Centraide du Grand Montréal