Around 130 third-country nationals have successfully completed the second and final stage of the ‘I Belong Programme’, an integration programme to support them in integrating and thus strengthening their sense of belonging to the Maltese society.
The ‘I Belong’ Programme is an integral part of the Migrant Integration Strategy & Action Plan (Vision 2020), consisting of equipping migrants intending to apply for permanent residence status in Malta with extensive knowledge of its official languages and cultural awareness.
This knowledge was passed on to them via a curriculum which was designed by the Department of Inclusion and Access to Learning of the Faculty of Education, University of Malta. This integration course was requested and sponsored by the Intercultural and Anti-Racism Unit at the Human Rights Directorate, spearheaded by Mr Alexander Tortell.
These courses, coordinated by Dr Rachel Baldacchino focus on the daily use and communicative aspects of Maltese, and this is complemented by cultural orientation, 120 hours of lectures covering the social, cultural, economic and historical aspects of Malta and constitution, law and democratic values.
Present at an award ceremony where each of these individuals were conferred with a certificate, Parliamentary Secretary for Equality and Reforms Hon. Rosianne Cutajar, who also distributed the certificates, said the efforts of these course attendants were seen and appreciated, and their work is truly commendable, especially when one keeps in mind they’ve sustained their efforts in the midst of a global pandemic.
“You were brought together through your will to succeed and thus this programme is a show of how we welcome diversity in all forms as long as it’s respectful of the success of others”, she went on, upon confirming that the Ministry will be further investing in this programme.
“We are proud to have played a part in the journey of each of these individuals, who, thanks to this programme, will be able to give a bigger contribution to a society which they are also an integral part of. Our society is enriched because of this element of diversity, and today’s celebration is an invaluable opportunity to keep evolving this multicultural reality of ours”, said Prof. Carmen Sammut, the University of Malta’s Pro-Rector for Student & Staff Affairs Outreach.
More information on the ‘I Belong Programme’ is available online.