Whole-COMM video | Inside the Journey of Migrant Integration in Lüchow

This video provides an intimate glimpse into the integration journey of  Elisar, a young Syrian woman who was distributed to the rural town of Lüchow, Germany. Her story highlights the profound impact of community support on the integration process.

The video emphasizes the critical role played by the local youth center, which offered Elisar and her siblings essential resources and a sense of belonging. Her relationship with Uta, a long-term resident and head of a local pro-migrant group who became a vital part of her life, exemplifies the power of personal connections in aiding integration.

Research by Whole-COMM has identified a key barrier to migrant integration in small towns and rural areas: the misconception that migrants should bear the sole responsibility for their integration.  Elisar’s experience underscores the importance of fostering opportunities for mutual understanding and interaction, demonstrating that integration is truly a more complicated and layered process.

Elisar’s story highlights a different perspective on secondary migration. Although she left Lüchow to pursue higher studies in Hamburg, she still feels connected to the small town and regularly comes to visit her family and friends. Moving from small towns to bigger cities does not necessarily imply that migrants will never come back or forget about the place they arrived first. If positive encounters and social relations exist, small towns can be places where migrants, like locals who move on, enjoy going back to.

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