‘Time to be welcome’ encourages young volunteers and youth organisations in Europe to support the welcoming of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees and their integration process in both society and their new country through the use of non-formal education and youth work.
The main objectives of the project are:
- To give young Europeans the opportunity to take action to welcome young migrants who are newly arrived in Europe
- To provide young migrants with access to education & leisure activities, by developing their skills and competencies through non-formal activities to promote education and wellbeing
- To increase understanding and respect between communities, and overcome cultural and religious prejudges and disparities, in order to facilitate more integration in European societies
- To provide migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers with the knowledge and support that will help them to feel integrated in their host country, enabling them to pass this knowledge forward to other migrants arriving in Greece and France (specifically, Athens and Paris)
- To help asylum-seekers and migrants on a day-to-day basis with access to psychological and healthcare support
- To raise awareness in European society about the situation faced by asylum-seekers, and encourage local communities to be welcoming towards newcomers from different backgrounds and cultures
- To develop the capacity of youth organisations and support them to develop their youth work practices to ensure long term integration of migrants
- To empower volunteers to implement actions aimed at welcoming young refugees and newly arrived migrants into their hosting communities
- To facilitate the interaction between refugees and local communities, thus setting a strong foundation for their future cooperation and mutual understanding.
Volunteers are involved in refugee support activities on the ground in different sites (UAM shelters, family hubs, refugee camps, etc.). All camps are UNHCR approved facilities. Activities are based on non-formal education and take many forms, i.e. organization of awareness raising events, organisation of recreational activities for refugees and migrants, organization of language courses.
The different actions and phases of the project support and empower young volunteers from partner organizations to take action and actively contributing to welcome asylum-seekersand 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 and hosting structures and supporting the interaction between refugees and the local communities they live in.
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 and activities (by acquiring knowledge, expertise and practical tools & methodologies).
Within the different project phases, partners also develop a social campaign to raise awareness on the project topics and on the living conditions faced by refugees and the need to open local communities to welcome and integrate them. In this regard, volunteers will be also responsible for developing a photographic report of their experience: the pictures will eventually be part of a final exhibition that will contribute to disseminate the project results and to reach out within the international community.
In general, the project actively promote mutual understanding and respect among young people with different ethnic backgrounds with the aim of facilitating intercultural dialogue and learning, and of supporting the inclusion of the newcomers in local European communities. It also counter the daily challenges of refugee camp life (psychological and health hazards) through ensuring coordinated activities to this purpose and human resources on a daily basis.