The project involves about 50 volunteers from several countries, for periods that vary between 2-12 months, in Greece and France. They help support migrants with their integration into new lives in Europe.
Volunteers are involved in activities on the ground in different sites (refugee centers, UAM shelters, family hubs, refugee camps, etc.), as well as in local communities in Athens and Paris with a high intake of newly arrived migrants. Activities are based on non-formal education and take many forms, i.e. workshops, sports activities, recreational activities, language courses, as well as awareness-raising events and implementation of the scout method to connect with local communities.
There is also an exciting social campaign to raise awareness of the project, the conditions faced by refugees and the need for local communities to welcome and integrate them. Volunteers are responsible for developing a photographic report of their experience: the pictures will eventually be part of a final exhibition that will showcase the result of the project to the international community.
The different actions and phases of the project have so far supported and empowered young volunteers from partner organizations to take action and actively contribute to welcome asylum-seekers and newly arrived migrants in refugee camps or other hosting structures and within local communities.
During their volunteering period, participants directly work with young asylum-seekers and migrants, providing non-formal education activities in camps, hosting structures, and supporting the interaction between refugees and the local communities they live in. They facilitate the interaction between refugees and the local communities’ members in order to set a strong foundation for their future cooperation and mutual understanding. They also raise awareness in European society of the situation faced by migrants and asylum-seekers in Europe and the need to open their communities to welcome them.
Young newly arrived migrants are therefore prepared and supported for a smooth integration in the European society, from a grassroots and bottom-up perspective, while youth organizations improve their capacities and their youth work practices in order to ensure a long-term integration of migrants into their membership (by acquiring knowledge, expertise and practical tools).
The project not only creates space, dialogue and understanding through joint activities with refugees and young Europeans inside the hosting communities. It also aims to scale up existing tools and good practices for cultural understanding to a large European Youth audience, thus ensuring a leverage effect for the development of a more tolerant Europe.
The volunteers and the staff involved in the project collect tools and good practices and make them available for other organizations and youth workers to share on their websites and social media, in order to reach a wider audience. They will also share with the National youth councils and other youth organizations through dissemination events and awareness-raising activities, promoting the project’s tools and activities.