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27/11/2012 - Spain - On the shoulders of Giants: 15 stories of young immigrants

(ANS – Madrid) –  The presentation of "On the shoulders of giants", a book written by Pablo Gómez Tavira, Director General for Immigration of the Community of Madrid, and Fernando Vidal Fernández, Director of the University Institute of the Family of UPCO took place yesterday morning, November 26th, at the Pontifical University of Comillas (UPCO). The book, which recounts stories of 15 young immigrants at risk of social exclusion, is a collaboration between the Pinardi Federation of Social Platforms, run by Salesians in Madrid, and the UPCO.

The presentation took place within the framework of the "Innovation in intervention with immigrant families in situations of return" Seminar chaired by Ana Garcia Mine, Deputy Head of students, with Mercedes Fernández, from the University Institute for Migration Studies, UPCO, and Mr. Gómez Tavira. The speakers stressed the importance of continuing to invest in research in cooperation with social organizations, and not to cease offering answers on immigration which, considering the number now coming back, is a phenomenon now affecting about a third of the youth population of the Community of Madrid.

The book collects data from a study led by Fernando Vidal and Juan Iglesias, supported by the technical team of the Pinardi Federation of Social Platforms, regarding the scholastic progress of immigrant children attending Salesian social platforms.

There are a total of 15 life-stories that examine the new educational and family background faced by the children of immigrants and whom we need to consider if we are to adapt curricula and achieve good results in migration processes.

The study, which originates from reflection on social capital which immigrants bring to society, draws a parallel between the values in the stories of the 15 young people and those found in the stories of various Nobel Prize Laureates whose own immigration was crowned by success. It is a symmetry that aims to raise the importance of  developing programmes for integration and social harmony of young immigrants in situations of risk, constituting a potential strength in the development of the society.

With the publication of this study the Pinardi Federation of Social Platforms has set in motion a programme of studies and publications aiming to share understandings achieved thanks to more than 25 years of experience gained through social work with groups, and in particular with young people with fewer opportunities.

Published 27/11/2012

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