Hope in the process of integration into society

Hope in the process of integration into society

While working as a researcher for the MIMY project, I felt a conflict brewing in me. I felt how much I wanted to support the participants, to express my sympathy. After all, for many, the reason for migration is not an interest in new adventures but rather hopelessness. But from the point of view of professional ethics, I was worried about how not to destroy the psychological boundaries of this person, how not to seem ungrateful for allowing me to touch some of the deepest wounds and fears of the person sitting in front of me, while following the main goals of the MIMY project and continue to have a dialogue.

As soon as I realized this, I shared my experiences with the mentors and the group of research-ers to which I belonged at the next online meeting. Thanks to our joint work on this problem, the an-swer seemed obvious to me – there could not be a better state for a researcher! After all, in the mo-ments when I was struggling with a strong desire to lend a helping hand – that's exactly what I did. First-ly, because the interviewed people saw (and so it is) that they can trust me. Secondly, with my under-standing and sympathy I was already expressing support for them, as well as sharing important infor-mation about the functioning and tasks of administrative units in Poland.

And, thirdly, and most importantly, analyzing the answers, getting into the problems, experi-ences, fears of the participants, I could contribute to the future development and view of the support systems for young immigrants, thanks to participation in the MIMY project. Therefore, the idea of the MIMY project, the fact that migrants are also experts and research-ers seems very successful to me. It gives an opportunity to look at the problem from different perspec-tives, as well as to participate in the attempts to reduce, as it seems to a newcomer, complex, unsolva-ble problems. Almost immediately after participating in the MIMY project, I felt how my attitude and worldview regarding migrants, not only from my native country, but also others, had changed. It is eas-ier for me to find a common language with people whose reasons for coming are very different from mine, and what is no less important, I have learned to conduct an interview so that the participant is as comfortable and safe as possible, and this is one of the main victories for me. After all, if a participant leaves meeting with me just a little happier and more confident in his/her future, then my participation in this project is worthwhile.

I really want to express my gratitude to the MIMY project for giving me the opportunity to take such a significant step and contribute to the development of the future of the migration theme. The very fact that migrants from different countries have been shown that they are heard, that they are important is already a huge step towards developing recommendations for the policy of programmes related to improving the situation of migrants. I myself came to Poland 7 years ago, and I understand perfectly what young people have to go through, with fears and suspicions, not always knowing what awaits them outside the walls of their native country. And that is why hope is a key component in this process, and the more people learn about our project, the more hope will appear in the young, active, promising minds of migrants.

This post was written on the 23.02.2022

Photo of Oksana Breitkreits
The authorOksana Breitkreits

This post is the result of reflections of the group of young peer researchers at the SWPS University. They joined SWPS research team to bring their unique experiences and perspectives as young persons and migrants. They suggested the themes worth exploring in interviews, participants who should be included in the study and shared their impressions from the field thus enriching our team’s work.