A considerable part of information exchange and mutual counselling among migrants and those interested in migration on topics, such as living and working in Germany, takes place in self-organised social media forums and in the native language of the participants.
Acknowledging this development, Minor designed its approach of proactive information and counselling. This approach has already been implemented successfully in Minor’s projects MB 4.0 and Neu in Berlin plus, which showed that women use social media extensively to find answers and solutions to their questions and problems related to their integration. Additionally, women play a key role in the integration of their communities in Germany.
By providing proactive information, initial and referral counselling, the aim of Fem.OS is to promote the individual, social, and especially the professional integration of female migrants and thereby also improving their families’ integration. The project concentrates on the counselling of female migrants from third countries.
Fem.OS is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration for the period from 01.05.2020 to 30.06.2023.
The team of counsellors works in German and in the languages of the largest immigrant groups among third-country nationals: Arabic, English, French, Pashto, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish and Turkish.
By providing counselling for these migrant communities from third countries, Fem.OS fills a previous gap in proactive information and counselling on social media, whilst the project MB 4.0 counsels migrants from EU member states, also in ten languages. The funding by the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration thus provides a broad and easily accessible range of legally verified information and counselling for migrants.
The focal points of the counselling are to assist the women’s integration on the labour market as well as to support them with issues specific to women and families. The legal guidance provided by lawyers within the counselling team ensures the reliability and quality of the information provided.
A special feature of Fem.OS is its support by the Federal Employment Agency, especially by the staff of the Commissioner for Equal Opportunities on the Job Market. Two experts from the Federal Employment Agency are permanently involved in the project and strengthen the cooperation with job centres and employment agencies.
The results of the project are continuously documented and evaluated. Public relations with experts and targeted networking with key actors (such as the Federal Employment Agency, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, forum administrators in social media, migrant organisations, as well as other counselling centres and projects) contribute to the sustainability of this proactive information and counselling approach.