Training on intercultural competencies and communication and health mediation

“Cultural mediation bridges the world of one individual to the world of another individual”. A summary of the second Includ-EU training in Slovenia.


The second capacity-building trainings of the Includ-EU project in Slovenia addressed overcoming barriers in migrants’ access to healthcare with a focus on intercultural competencies, intercultural communication and cultural mediation. IOM Slovenia organized the online training on 10 December 2021, on the International Human Rights Day. The training was implemented by an international expert, Ms. Marika Podda Connor, MSc, while the linguistic and cultural mediator of the Adult Education Centre Jesenice, Ms. Resnija Ređepi, shared her experience with health mediation.

The first part of training was dedicated to intercultural competencies. Participants learned about the concept of cultural awareness, migration factors and culture-related healthcare clashes. Ms. Marika Podda Connor presented the culture shock and its signs and the importance of recognizing and overcoming stereotypes. Ms. Resnija Ređepi, a cultural and linguistic mediator from the Adult Education Centre Jesenice, shared her experience with health mediation, as well as the challenges she encounters, emphasizing the importance of building trust.

The last part was dedicated to intercultural communication. Ms. Marika Podda Connor emphasized: “Cultural mediation is a communication style where the world of one individual is bridged to the world of another individual.” A cultural mediator is a translator, interpreter, community link and cultural broker, but in health mediation, it is extremely important that a cultural mediator is also a qualified team member. Ms. Marika Podda Connor is a Senior Practice Nurse who holds a Master’s degree in Transcultural Health. Marika has developed a training programme for Cultural Mediators in Healthcare and supports a number of migrants who hold this post within the Primary HealthCare in Malta.

In the concluding part, the participants agreed on the importance of strengthening cultural mediation in Slovenia and providing opportunities for strengthening intercultural competencies and intercultural communication – a process that has a significant impact on supporting the inclusion of migrants in the local communities.

Graphic harvest of the training was done by Špela Gorjan from Nariši mi zgodbo.

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