In the project, we took into account intra-EU
migrants, treating this type of emigration as an
equally significant process in the context of
integration. Wandering to a richer center, the aim
of which is to improve one’s life from, for example,
less prosperous and still burdened with deficits
communities in the neighboring EU countries, is
still quite common.
Integration takes place in different ways.
We have made the host society the target of our
studies. Individuals or small groups that often
determine the characteristics of the narrative
about migrants (for the purposes of this article, I
shall adopt the term migrants for each of the
above-mentioned types of groups migrating to
and within the EU).
The same actors, people characterized by a certain,
special sensitivity and courage – if we raise the
context of becoming familiar with strangeness,
they became the object of our project interest.
The aim of our project efforts was to identify
the best practices in the field of admitting
migrants to the European Union.
We dened these migrations quite broadly, and
concerned both refugees who found themselves
within the EU as a result of persecution or armed
consicts, as well as those who came here to
escape poverty, in search of opportunities for
We searched for individuals and formal or
informal groups that do not operate within
subsidized-support structures. We were
interested in the people who decided to
help migrants, their motivations, inspirations, character and way of acting.
We also wanted to know how these larger institutions operate, discover if and how they can
support our little players, us, because most of the
project participants are recruited from such active
volunteer environments, acting here and now,
directly, providing simple help – fnancial, organizational and administrative for the individual in
need. In each of the visited countries, we tried, as
far as possible, to get acquainted with the local
migration policy, with the main actors of nongovernmental organizations as well as decisionmakers from local authorities or the EU. It was
instructive to compare different approaches,
different human sensitivity, differently emphasized priorities.
This knowledge, very informative, gave us a more
complete picture of the support for migrants in
the EU, we realized the extraordinary complexity
of the process of migrant integration.
Returning to the heroes of our project inquiries,
we tried to recognize the motivations of the leaders and volunteers as well as how they stay in the
act of helping for a long time, what pushes them
to act, what language should be used and it is
worth using in the organization to keep the
enthusiasm for further actions. We discovered
that help, voluntary work and selfnessness are
qualities that should be protected, as unfortunately they are often impermanent.
We still do not know the answer to the question of
how to sustain the weakening will to help, how to
stimulate the burnt out with help. This phenomenon shocked us and raised a number of questions.
We also observed a certain pattern.
Well, small non-governmental organizations
with a limited budget are able to implement
projects in a punctual manner, engaging
volunteers for just a few days. Such a mass
move works very well, which we could observe
during the activities of the Aid Start Belgium.
Volunteers were willing to devote their time to
carrying out specific activities in a short time.
On the other hand, it becomes a problem to
keep the ranks of people active, who would
support the organization on a permanent
basis. Many of these ngoes only operate on
one or more projects a year, while remaining
dormant the rest of the time.
Is it possible to develop such initiatives, are
there ways to support social good, activity,
good intentions that, as we have clearly seen,
reside in the communities, in the people we
How to use this energy, make it durable.
These are the questions we come up with
when summarizing this project.
We are aware of the problems, we believe that
there are solutions that guarantee the durability of the organization and reduce burnout of
volunteers. Today we would call for systemic
support for the sta and decision-makers. Possibility of acquiring leadership competences,
participation in activities that strengthen
morale and help in management.