Although DEMO courses represent a unique collection of new knowledge characterized by interdisciplinary diversion and methodological emphasis on learning through the personal experiences of migrants, in their final review we reached the conclusion that we need to address additional general issues.
The first issue we thought important to address in teaching about migrants' lives is the family perspective on migration. Processes and changes that individual migrants go through take place within a context of the family (or the absence of the family). Family members influence the adjustment of each other and of the whole family. The impact of migration may be expressed in changes in family roles, in parents-children relationship, intergenerational relationships and more. These issues are addressed in the first position paper.
The second position paper deals with training for cultural sensitivity in the helping professions. It has been recognized worldwide and progressively in Israel too, that cultural identity needs to be taken into account in the provision of services to various populations. Therefore, training practitioners in the helping professions to be attuned to the different cultural needs of their clients is important. The second paper discusses issues related to such training.
The third position paper proposes to expand teaching about migrants lives in the spirit of DEMO to all health professions and specifically to mental health. The paper discusses the association between migration and health as well as mental health, and immigrants' encounter with the health system. It suggests specific topics and subjects to be included in the training of students in health professions.
The fourth position paper deals with racism towards immigrants from Ethiopia in Israel. Mostly because of the color of their skin, these immigrants suffer are the main victims of racism in the country. The paper seeks to increase the awareness of practitioners to various expressions of racism and to assist them in struggling against such phenomena. Although the paper focuses on immigrants from Ethiopia and on social workers, it is relevant to other minority groups and practitioners in other professions.