I want to be a volunteer
STAYS OF SOCIO-SOCIAL SUPPORT AND FOR EMOTIONAL RECOVERY OF REFUGEES IN GREECE
More than 50,000 refugees and asylum seekers are still trapped in Greece and live in precarious conditions. In September 2017, the two-year relocation program, launched by the European Union, ended. According to UNHCR, only a few refugees can leave Greece and travel to a third country, as is the will of most of them. The new framework is defined by the uncertainty for some and the effective impossibility of continuing the journey for other refugees, which raises the need for new actions.
A long-time living in irregular camps or places has negatively affected refugees in social and psychological terms. Even today, most do not have access to a coverage of needs in appropriate conditions. And despite the efforts of the Greek and international authorities, NGO and volunteer projects, refugees do not have full access to basic social and health services, as well as education and inclusion programs.
Faced with this situation, there is a clear need for innovative projects aimed at facilitating the return to the active lives of refugees. Planned projects with their active participation, depending on their real needs and seeking their full empowerment.
You are in the UNINTEGRA Project
Within the framework of the UNINTEGRA European project, the ACSAR Foundation, in coordination with the University of Athens, and in accordance with the principles of UNHCR and international cooperation and solidarity, organizes stays of socio-educational support and emotional recovery aimed at refugees in Greece, in partnership with NGOs and Greek local entities
The stays are made by teams formed up of participants from different disciplines and training experiences, with their main objective being to directly support the refugees in their daily lives.
The activities promote emotional recovery of refugees and provide care to favor their empowerment and independent living.
They take place in rural or urban environments, supporting refugees located both in private apartments, hotels and in refugee centers or camps.
The teams are made up of students in practices, professionals and volunteers.
Priority is given to people with experience in the following areas:
- Social education
- Social Work
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical and mental health
- Nursery, primary and secondary schools
- Artistic and musical expression
- Education at leisure
- Community work with children, youth and adults
- Computer engineering
- Training, relational and support activities for integration
- Computer classes
- English courses
- Labor empowerment (Carrying out CVs, motivation letters, preparation for job interviews …).
- Support for entrepreneurship and self-employment
- Group activities abroad (visits to museums, excursions, outings to parks, beach …)
- Film and movie theater sessions
- Kindergarten and storytelling
- Work with artistic disciplines (crafts, theater, music …)
- Support for people with disabilities
- Physical and sports activities (yoga, crossfit, hockey …)
- Organization of celebrations and promotion of meeting spaces
- Recovery and improvement of spaces and infrastructures
The working language is Catalan and English. They take place in urban or rural settings, supporting refugees located in apartments, refugee centers or camps managed by local NGOs or the public administrations associated with the ACSAR Foundation.
The work on the ground of the teams of participants of ACSAR, besides the activities of support, empowerment and activation, includes sessions of coordination and management.
Methodology of intervention
Currently, the ACSAR Foundation continues the work on the ground started in the summer of 2016 in Athens under the framework of the Xeflis Project, expanding activities with the European project, UNINTEGRA, in which several universities and local NGOs participate. Activities are carried out with entities such as the Greens Migrants Forum, PRAKSIS, Solidarity Now, and the collaboration of local councils and entities, under the auspices of UNHCR.
Many NGOs, international organizations and administrations conduct their support projects through humanitarian aid, to ensure their survival. They do marine rescue, collect food or emergency healthcare, or provide basic accommodation and guidance of a legal or social nature. We start from here: our project focuses on providing refugees with a new horizon of the future built by themselves. And it offers solidarity in three axes: support, empowerment and activation.
For accompaniment, we refer to being close to the refugees, by active listening, offering them a space of trust and security that allows them to elaborate on the traumatic experiences that they have lived through due to the war, weak traffic to Europe and the losses they have experienced. Many children have lost their parents, many families are broken, there are cases of women who have been mistreated and abused during their trip to Europe, and all of them have suffered a long period of personal abandonment that causes many basics of physical and mental health to be lost.
We use methodologies of leisure education, especially with children, single mothers with dependent children, women victims of violence, people with disabilities, young people and the large families who are the most vulnerable. Among the refugees these groups are our priority. We achieve very good results by doing activities of all kinds that seek to create a community among refugees, favor their inclusion in their new reception area and improve their knowledge of the new environment.
This is possible with simple activities that include outings, parks, beach trips, educational games, crafts, music and art in general, as well as cultural and festive activities. We work with emotions by utilizing yoga, relaxation, and group activities, and we foster values such as coexistence, respect for others and diversity, encouraging a positive attitude that allows a full reopening of life.
Accompany is to be there, with full conscience and active listening.
The empowerment take form in a hub of educational activities and orientations so that the refugees can begin to feel like themselves again. We help them by rebuilding their curriculum, identifying skills, strengths and interests, creating language learning, computer and other technology tools, and foster personal entrepreneurship. It is a matter of guiding everyone in the new phase. We do lessons in English or French, computer and internet use, guitar and other musical instruments, visual arts such as photography, video, and cinema. We also help you to carry out procedures or transfers to help people position and guide themselves
Activation facilitates the inclusion of refugees to their new environment, especially in the labor market, promoting their education or recycling. This includes helping you get a CV (which is a vital review process), pass an interview, open an email, learn how to find a job. It also allows you to consider a personal entrepreneurial project, that is to say, a business or your own professional activity. Activating is also creating links and relationships with the new host society participating in cultural or social activities
The activities are carried out in teams, which can be formed by people with different abilities and competences, ages and experience. To participate in the project, you must attend a face-to-face training course in Barcelona, organized by the ACSAR Foundation, including practical activities and team building.
The activities are coordinated on the spot for professionals who work at the offices of the ACSAR Foundation in Greece and Barcelona. The Foundation manages the coordination and supervision, as well as the organization of activities and the support to the group in its development.
To participate in the development stages of the project, you must first send a letter of motivation to the ACSAR Foundation and the attached participation file. Once a selection is made, the candidates participate in a training course and the teams are formed, which are sent to the destinations that our counterparts consider to be a priority action. It is necessary to sign a commitment of participation that is accompanied by an ethical code of action.
To participate in the stays you must be of legal age. It is not necessary to certify a specific academic training but to provide skills or knowledge that may be useful for the team’s project. The working language of the groups during the stays is Catalan and in the relation with the refugees expertise in English, the French, Arabic or Farsi are most helpful. The stays are one month. The project also provides opportunities for participation of students in internships to stay for longer periods of time.
The participants must finance their trip to the place of activity and participate in the cost of their accommodation and food.
If you are willing to participate in the project, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org by sending us a letter of motivation and personal resume.