A pathway to integration for new migrants
Every day the ethnic communities in Tower Hamlets, especially Bangladeshi and Somali, see people arrive to the borough to start a new life. They may be relatives of an established family or economic migrants with no previous link to the area. They reach Tower Hamlets after long journeys and as a result of a painful decision: leaving their homeland, and often their relations, to try and look for better life opportunities in the UK.
Upon arrival these new migrants are extremely vulnerable: they do not know their rights, are not familiar with the local and national services and do not know the city. This, unfortunately, often results in them being exploited, working underpaid and outside the protection of the law, and being locked inside exclusive ethnic communities with few chances for integration.
MMWF is painfully aware of this problem and is trying to develop the “Welcome Gateway” project. At the moment we are offering one-to-one support and advice to the newcomers who visit our office, but we are looking for the resources to launch a bigger project that will seek out and help those who are new to the area and are vulnerable to social and economic struggles.
The Welcome Gateway project will assist new arrivals to get over social barriers and begin engaging positively with the wider community. We want to provide them with a well structured programme that will improve their language skills, enhance their employability, make them aware of their rights and duties in the UK, and introduce them to a range of public and charity-led services that may be useful to them.
We believe that this project will be an invaluable stepping stone for those who want to integrate in our community and now we are actively seeking community advice to improve our project idea and funds to implement it.