Migration entails change for newcomers and existing communities alike. We can harness this change to boost economic opportunities, enhance services and strengthen civic life. The result can be a more diverse society or city which is also more cohesive. It is ‘made whole’.
And that is what integration means. It’s about places moving from inequality and division, to new ways of working that give everyone a valued role in local life.
So integration means equal access for all residents – whether locally-born or migrants from another country – to all the spheres of activity which together enable that place to develop and flourish. From finding a home or job, to cultural life, healthcare or civic activism: in the integrated city or town, all will be open on equal terms to everyone. All have a stake in that locality, and it belongs to them all.
Do you know a project or venture in your city, area or neighbourhood which helps to ‘make it whole’ by opening up opportunities for refugees or other migrants on an equal basis with other residents? Maybe it even brings them together with residents in host communities, to change your locality for the better? So long as it involves people of refugee or other migrant background and helps this place to become more inclusive – in imaginative ways which others could learn from – then it could be in line for an Integration Award.