COSPE onlus and Migrants Project: job shadowing and trainings

Within the Migrants Project, COSPE onlus have been organizing training and job shadowing to strengthen professor’s knowledge and competences from the three tunisian universities involved in this amazing capacity building project.

Curious about their work? Keep reading the interview!

How did you come up with the idea of Migrants Project?
“We spent a long afternoon talking with the scientific board within UNIPA about other masters that have been working well and at the end we came up with this idea of migration studies because this kind of offer was very different from other masters in MENA region, said Maria Donata Rinaldi, COSPE representative in the Scientific Board of the project.

What does it mean for you?
“We particularly care about this project because we believe a lot in the issue, in the importance of this type of trainings in a country like Tunisia and we believe in the exchange structure of the Erasmus project which should allow the contamination of experiences and we care that there are NGOs and that they are not just universities. We as NGOs can bring added value in facilitating fieldwork and anchoring academic activities to what NGOs carry out on field”, said Nora Colombotto Rosso, Project Manager for COSPE.

How is the partnership?
“For me it is the first experience of collaboration with universities and it is a different way of doing cooperation. I come from a civil society environment and it is the first time that I am working with academic partners. It is an opportunity that is very enriching and gives added value to my work. What I noticed is that there is different way of approaching the issue of migration between universities and civil society so Migrants Project puts these two realities in contact and that is very enriching”, explained Nora.

Which are the most important results of your action?
“We worked a lot on job shadowing by connecting professors and NGOs, a satisfying job that allowed us to collect positive feedback.
One of the university professors sent us an email to thank us for letting her know Terre d’asile. She had followed various types of activities and interviews with refugees and asylum seekers including sub-Saharanians who remain in Tunisia and thanks to the activity she has managed to see a different aspect of the migration that she did not know. It has been a small success, in a pandemic context full of difficulties, it was a good moment”, pointed out Nora.

Which objectives for the future?
Nora answered with these words: “We will also be able to allow students to acquire migration-related skills. We are going to create a link with civil society, with stakeholders and that will facilitate post-graduate internships and we will increase the involvement of civil society – NGOs in the activities of the master. The issue of migration is crucial, in Tunisia there is a lot of talk about emigration but little about immigration. In this context it is essential to address these issues at the university level and to prepare young people so that they can address the issue, from a geographical, cultural, political and statistical, multidisciplinary point of view, and one day they will enter the world of work and affect the public agenda. We believe that a small change can be made”.

What about difficulties and the challenges?
“There are elements that go far beyond the project such as the visa policy that Europe applies to non-european people and that weighs on these projects. Times are difficult, people can hardly move and between delays and negations, we are still working in this tough frame of north-south dynamics.

Then there are also different approaches to Migration Studies between European partners and the Tunisian partners. This issue, coupled with having to meet online due to COVID-19, was one of the great challenges of the project. Working remotely is not easy at all, fortunately we organize several meetings to have a continuous dialogue. The project is supposed to involve a lot of travels and exchanges and a lot has been done online without direct contact and for a partnership of 9 subjects, it has been heavy. COVID-19 has caused continuous delays and cancellation but we recover with an intense dialogue”, Maria Donata explained.


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