Way Project - Need Analysis Report

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As foreseen by WAY, in each country a focus group should have carried out, but not all the partners were able to. So this report is the outcome of different methodologies, however the objective to understand their need and the state of art of the health promotion activities that they implement has been achieved. The focus group was used by the Italian, Spanish (with the streaming tool too), Portuguese, Greek partners, while Polish partner carried out a survey among teacher’s primary schools of the city in which it is.

The function of this report is to create a basis for the building of the methodological guidelines to train health, social, and educational professionals about whole-school approach with students with a migrant background.

The schools and the organizations involved in the focus groups are:

in Poland, Wrocław’s primary schools. Wroclaw is a city located in the south-western part of Poland, where lives about 650 thousand inhabitants.

In Italy Laeing Meucci, secondary school, especially the vocational one in Osimo, has a high rate of migrant students.

In Spain the participants were 8 people work in different Public Educational Centres in Valladolid, except for two: one of them who has worked for more than 20 years in them, especially in centres with vulnerable population, who has just retired and has become a volunteer in Red Incola and the other works in a Neighbourhood Association in the Childhood and Youth programme. although it is not an exclusive resource for migrants, the truth is that most of the people they serve are of migrant origin. In all the centres taking part in the debate, multiculturalism is a fact, and in most cases, a fact that is not well resolved, according to them. Many migrant populations from Morocco, Algeria, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and many Latinos are part of daily life in these centres. Two of the participants come from a vocational training centre, and they state that it is much more difficult in general for migrant children with difficult situations to reach vocational training, so the few migrants who reach vocational training are usually very resilient people with qualities and analytical skills that are not the norm.

In Greece the participants were teachers of the school partner 2nd Vocational School of Katerini.

In the Portuguese school partner (Agrupamento de Escolas de Silves) there are students from different ethnicities, religious beliefs and from social and economic background. The students from a migrant background are mainly from Morocco but there are also gypsy and foreign students from England, France, and Germany. These variety of nationalities lead inevitably to differences and the whole school community plays an important role in reducing them.

Bicocca University and ECEPAA (Veronica Velasco, Claudia Meroni and Vittorio Lannutti) have prepared the topics of the focus groups. In order to manage the focus groups the following indications have been provided to the five partners:

- it is important that the discussion inside the group begins by clarifying the meaning of Health according to WHO: ‘is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being’,  in other terms: ‘what is good or does not harm you, others and the common good’;

- the group must reflect together about the questions of the form and fill it in:

- the final report must be between 3 and 5 pages long

- at least one page of reflections should be dedicated to each section.

The main topics and the questions discussed in the focus groups are:

  1. Health policies priorities

1.1 Are there ethnic, religious or socioeconomic differences in health behaviours or conditions within your school community?

1.2 Are there differences in health needs between native students and students with a migrant background in your school? If yes: what are the main ones?

1.3 What are the priorities in your school regarding health promotion (relationships, food, physical activity, etc.)?

1.4 What are the organizational factors that can promote or hinder the promotion of the health of students and staff at school?

1.5 What particular attention should be paid to promoting the health of students from a migrant background?

  1. School policy

You have to fill in the assessment tool: https://www.schoolsforhealth.org/resources/materials-and-tools/how-be-health-promoting-school/rapid-assessment-tool/en

Now you should reply to following questions:

2.1 On which areas are you working on?

2.2 On which ones do you think you have to work on the most?

2.3 Which are the most relevant for students from a migrant background?

  1. External actors

Are you able to involve the parents in health promotion? If yes: how? If no: what are the main difficulties? In which way do you think to overcome these difficulties? Is involving families from a migrant background more difficult? If yes: why? How do you think to overcome this difficulties?

Are there stakeholders outside your school community who are currently supporting your school health promotion efforts? If so, who are they and what are their roles? How are you able to involve them?

Before to analyze the needs and to detect the main difference between the five Country partner we will see some specificities and clarifications reported by three partners.

In Poland the survey has been carried out during the Russian attack to Ukraine, that, between the dramatic consequences, one it was the arrive in Poland of many Ukrainians, so the answers were inevitably conditioned by this phenomenon. In fact, before the Ukrainian war, to the opposite to the countries of Western and Southern Europe, Poland was not a country with a high rate of immigrants. Mass arrivals of refugees from Africa or the Middle East was nothing very noticeable. However, because of geographical location and proximity, more and more people from Belarus and Ukraine have been coming to Poland, especially to work. Their presence, however, was not clearly and systematically noticeable. A radical change was brought about by Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

Regarding the 2nd EPAL (Greece), students with a refugee profile are about 20%, among a total of about 750 students. There can be no complete information of the required data on the daily health status of these students.

The reasons briefly are the following:

  • Many of the students stay in the country for a limited time and so there is not the required time for longer and in-depth investigation.
  • There are various NGOs that take on the role of general care in everyday matters, as well as in health issues.
  • The main role of the school (in particular and in general) is mainly to help in their adaptation to the country, but also in the teaching of the Greek language (as a host country).
  • There is no complete information of the school unit about the marital status (eg unaccompanied refugee).
  • Other reasons, which may escape the research at this time.

In the Greek school, despite the adversities and difficulties, with the support of the Health / Welfare sector but also of the Food Technology specialty of the Agriculture sector and through various activities it organizes, refugee-immigrant students are informed about health issues (eg. first aids, body hygiene, mediterranean diet, body exercise).

In Spain there are is not a unique health promotion policy for all the schools. There is a big difference between some schools and others, some have a very organized protocol and others have nothing, and there is a lot of difference. According to what in the focus group emerged it all seems to depend on the will and commitment of the management team. In fact, another important topic discussed is that until about 15 years ago the administration in Spain devoted more resources to these issues, there were "intermediate classrooms" that allowed migrant children to prepare themselves before going to the mainstream classroom, and they were essential for proper integration. In the recent years those intermediate classrooms disappeared because of successive cutbacks due to different crises and events, and a lack of interest in the subject, have gradually pushed these priorities aside. The participants to the Spanish focus group shared a feeling of anguish, of not being able to get there. They regretted these classrooms that were something serious and well established. They said that the current situation is regrettable. The goodwill of teachers is not enough, so they need policies that support. In some Spanish schools there is no transition classroom, the student enters the classroom, perhaps on the first day, and staff try to ensure that the compensatory teachers dedicate more time at the beginning to attend to these first needs, as well as helping them to get to know the school and feel a little bit accompanied. There are initial interviews, but when they don't know the language, sometimes teachers ask a help to other family members that they bring with them, who act as translators. Teachers believe that the public administration should take care of these translations, but these figures do not exist. Sometimes teachers turn to NGOs, but the vast majority of them don't have these services either, so in the end it usually depends on the resources - in terms of the network - that the student's own family has, whether or not they have other family members or friends to support them in the translation in the first few weeks. With Covid, the regional government did not know how to react to this crisis situation. Migrant students or vulnerable people were not able to connect to the internet, there were some possibilities for data cards, but in most centers the way this was dealt with was, shall we say, deficient, due to the lack of a homogeneous response from the different administrations. There were times when the data cards themselves had to be distributed by force within a few hours, and they were distributed to the students who answered the call first, which unfortunately did not usually coincide with those in greatest need. And the number of data cards was much lower than the number of students, which meant that those who were left behind were those who were most in need.  Regarding the current Covid protocol, there is the theoretical protocol which is unfeasible to put into practice, and then the good will of the people trying to put patches for everyone. It may seem easy to attribute this to the pandemic, but the truth is that the cuts go back further. Spanish teachers pointed out that lately their school is welcoming a lot of students who don't understand anything. It is a very difficult situation.

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