OPERATION INTEGRATION: The Making of New Citizens

6 February 2012
The Forum

This is our story of integration, of how to belong; a story of what has been achieved here in London with a little bit of money, and a lot of inventiveness and passion.  Over the past 18 years we at the Forum have worked with thousands of people from over 90 different countries—refugees, fleeing recent conflicts and repression to economic migrants and British people alike, many of them  longstanding community leaders, all adapting to austerity measures.

This report presents experiences of migrants and refugees and tells the story of their integration in London. It charts challenges and success of the Forum and other grassroots organisations that deliver integration support. It provides policy context and it gives users’ perspectives on the impact on migrants and the rest of the country.

This multimedia report includes the full report (PDF), integration profiles of 8 migrants, over 20 video interviews on integration tipping points, and blog posts exploring international and local perspectives on integration.

What Makes You Tip?

8 Profiles of Migrants and their Integration Tipping Points

In this series, migrants in London were asked their integration experiences in order to discover their integration tipping points – the incidents or moments when they finally felt that they belonged in the UK. Their stories are summarised here in testimony-style profiles to show examples of how diverse the integration experience is for individual migrants.

The participants were asked their arrival stories by focusing on what kind of challenges they encountered, then their tipping points of integration, and finally, whether they feel the belong now.

What was your Tipping Point?

Share your story of when you first felt comfortable in London

7 Comments. Leave new

Thank you for uploading the videos.
I like Dario’s interview. He honestly expresses his experiences about living with British people to let everybody know how difficult it is to get on with cold British people. In spite of how hard you may try, this is mainly due to the fact that the most British people do not want to integrate with foreigners, although there are getting many benefits from immigrants. It is understandable to see how a person coming from a warm and friendly country such as Italy would suffer living around British people with their cold and unfriendly attitudes.


Thank you Shadi for leaving your comment. Sometimes sharing your experiences can represent a good way to make people aware of how difficult it is to feel accepted in a different place. In my first months in London I faced incredible problems to find a decent house and this made me feel sad and frustrated. However, my bad experience with those people wasn’t due to the fact they are British but that they were completely disrespectful. Believe me: I have many British friends, and some of them are people who are working hard to give meaning to the word ‘integration’. People who strongly consider migrants as a resource instead of a problem. I come from Italy and I love my country but this doesn’t mean that other people do not have something different to offer, including the British. “I buoni e i cattivi ci sono dappertutto” we used to say in Italy and this means that you can find both bad and good person everywhere.


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