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A Letter From The Director

Dear SHARE colleagues and supporters,

As 2021 draws to a close, we are pleased to send you some last updates on our work and a look forward to our plans and priorities for 2022.

As for most of you, too much of 2021 was spent behind our screens. We thank all of you that have participated so actively in our online workshops and conferences over the past year, we very much look forward to hopefully seeing you in person at the SHARE events we are planning for 2022.

The past year has been profoundly disturbing for all of us working in migration, with the continued Afghanistan displacement crisis, humanitarian emergency at the EU’s border with Belarus,  drownings in the Channel between France and the UK, and increased reports of pushbacks at land and sea borders. All of us must seriously question if migration management, externalisation, protection in the region, border fortifications and a lack of opportunities for legal pathways and migration is what we want Europe to be.

At SHARE, what we see on the ground in local communities shows a very different picture than that at national and European level. Over the past months you have inspired us with your commitment and energy: sharing your adapted integration practices during COVID-19, supporting evacuations of Afghans, preparing for arrivals through resettlement and community sponsorships, engaging communities in social integration in rural territories and much more.

In 2022, the SHARE Network will continue to draw on your work and voices to show that welcome, solidarity, and protection are being offered to those in need and that a welcoming Europe is within reach. Your voices are an essential part of our aspirations, priorities, and future plans.  

Wishing you a restful and relaxing Christmas period and looking forward to seeing you in 2022. 


Petra Hueck 
Director, ICMC Europe


Read more


News on Inclusive Territories

On 13 December, we co-hosted an Expert Group Meeting with the IOM Regional Office. The meeting explored how to enhance the meaningful participation of migrants and refugees in orientation and social integration actions, as well as in governance, with a special focus on rural areas. Experts from across the EU discussed challenges faced, lessons learned, ideas for replicating good approaches, and policy recommendations.  We were delighted to have presentations from the Greek Forum of Refugees (Greece), the Académie pour la participation des personnes réfugiées (France) and the ParticipAzione programme (Italy), as well as interventions from Mosaico (Italy) and the VOICES Network (UK).
We launched the Rural Ambassadors for Inclusive Territories Programme in France in September. Our ambassadors are refugees and local elected representatives of small and medium communities who have first-hand experience on the process of inclusion and integration of newcomers. The aim is to encourage the recognition of newcomers as agents of rural revitalisation and part of the solution to the many challenges affecting rural areas. Get to know our ambassadors here.
On 5 October, our youngest ambassadors, Khmlin and Maher, spoke at the MPI event “Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion (SI4RI): Sowing Innovation in the Cracks of Crisis”. It was a first opportunity for them to share their insight on good practices for welcome and integration in rural communities, and advocate for more and better integration actions.
Under the SHARE SIRA project, we selected 10 pilot actions that will run during 10 months. The aim is to put local communities at the centre of innovative initiatives to support the social orientation and early integration needs of newcomers living in rural areas. They will touch upon a wide range of themes and approaches including: access to banking services, access to mental and reproductive health, access to the labour market, mentorship, entrepreneurship, language acquisition, and intercultural exchanges with the local community. To learn more about the pilot actions in each rural region: Mazovia, Lower Silesia, Corrèze, Isère, Vaucluse, Saône-et-Loire, Guadalajara, TeruelKarditsa
We organised 23 regional multi-stakeholder roundtables in the 10 SIRA project regions in the past year, bringing together 454 participants! Between October and December 2021, with the support of IOM Admin4All, we also provided trainings for local actors and members of the regional platforms on topics such as the participation of migrants and refugees and the development of intercultural skills. Participants were able to share and reflect on their own practices and to learn from each other. For more details on the activities in each territory: Mazovia, Lower Silesia, Corrèze, Isère, Vaucluse, Saône-et-Loire, Soria, Guadalajara, TeruelKarditsa.
New feature from our series “Mayors in the Spotlight”. We had the opportunity to speak with the mayor of Tardelcuende, a small rural municipality in the province of Soria (Spain), whose strategy of attracting migrant workers to his town has helped to counteract the trend of demographic decline and ageing of the population. With this series of stories, we celebrate and showcase the leadership of local Mayors in smaller and rural municipalities across Europe, contributing to a more welcoming Europe. Read the full interview here.

News on Community Sponsorship

The Refugee Sponsorship Mobilisation Platform met for the first time on 30 September 2021. It gathered over 70 participants from sponsor group representatives, refugees, civil society organisations, regional and local authorities, and practitioners. Key takeaways from the event on using a multi-stakeholder, inclusive, bottom-up approach to advocate for and expand refugee sponsorship here.
Sponsors and refugees must be actively engaged in community sponsorship design, implementation, and monitoring. This was a key highlight of our monitoring workshop hosted on 16 June with Caritas International. Speakers from Canada, Belgium, France, and Italy shared best practices. Read all the key takeaways from the workshop here.
Our new research project was presented at the Refugee Hub's Research Colloquium on Refugee Sponsorship on 19 November 2021. Together with external evaluators, we are assessing in six European countries how sponsorship programmes work with volunteers, local authorities, refugees, support organisations and the wider community. The aim is to identify challenges and solutions and inform the actors involved so that they can improve the implementation of the programmes. Impact of sponsorship on communities is also being explored.
Six new stories to be discovered as part of our sponsorship story series. They feature the voices of Khadeja and Yohannes, two refugees who arrived to Europe through safe pathways and are now respectively a refugee ambassador in the UK and an international student in Italy. Other stories present the experiences of a rural community and a philanthropy organisation that have successfully mobilised the community in sponsorship. We also focus on the issue of community-based approaches to monitoring and evaluation and take stock of the key findings of our roundtable on refugee sponsorship and student pathways, held in June 2021.
We continue to engage at the EU and national level with key players. We presented our work on QSN at the EASO Working Group meetings on sponsorship. We also contributed to the exchange of good practices during the Civil Society Championship series organised by Amnesty Ireland and GRSI, as well as to the SAFE’s workshops on sponsorship. Advocacy remains at the heart of our work, including through our engagement with the European Resettlement Working Group. We also provided expertise on policy developments in the field of sponsorship collaborating with think tanks such as the EPC and CEPS.

News on SprINg

SHARE and SprINg partner organisations have launched last week the Join Us campaign.
SprINg brings together people, knowledge and practices in the area of refugee integration. It will develop a toolbox to help integration actors in Europe to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of their work.

Are you interested in joining the most well-connected global network of researchers and practitioners working on migrants integration & inclusion in the EU? 
Join Us


Refugee Advisor Programme for Community Sponsorship
We are organising a workshop on 25 January targeted towards refugees admitted via sponsorship, diaspora organisations, migrant and refugee-led organisations and organisations that have experience with meaningful participation. It will provide an opportunity for attendees to co-design and give feedback on key features of the  proposed  programme. If you are a refugee or migrant with lived experiences in local integration/community sponsorships you can express interest here.
Regional factsheets will be will published in early 2022. Stay tuned!
Platform stakeholders and implementing partners of the SIRA project have mapped actors and ongoing integration initiatives for newcomers in the 10 regions of the project; assessed existing integration strategies and policies; and identified challenges and gaps.
From 10 to 11 March 2022, SHARE QSN will co-organise a Universities as Sponsors Conference in Bologna, with Caritas Italia. The Conference will focus on advocacy and exchange of practices on higher education community sponsorship programmes and the creation of a European programme for refugee students.

Last but not least, keep an eye out for the launch of our new website early next year!


Copyright © 2021, SHARE Network All rights reserved.

Established in March 2012 and led by ICMC Europe, the SHARE Network provides a platform for mutual exchange and learning amongst local and regional actors to foster inclusion and integration of refugees and migrants.
The SHARE Quality Sponsorship Network (QSN) supports pilot and ad-hoc sponsorship initiatives develop into sustainable, community-driven programmes. 
The SHARE SIRA Project builds innovative and effective approaches to engaging local communities in actions to improve the orientation and integration of newcomers in rural territories across Europe. It is implemented in France, Greece, Poland and Spain and is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

Our mailing address is:
ICMC Europe
Rue de Washington 40
1050 Brussels

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International Catholic Migration Commission · Rue Washington 40 · Ixelles 1050 · Belgium