Refugee-led community organisations (RCOs) play a crucial role within society and ample research has highlighted this. RCOs provide a bridge support to newly-arrived refugees, facilitating swifter integration by offering basic information on procedures and daily life, provide language and cultural orientation training, support refugees wishing to contribute to lost societies and, generally, assist in the normalisation process of making a host community become home.
They also promote engagement with the wider community and see their role as uniting and strengthening the community, promoting the culture, faith and the language of the community, building confidence and creating an active, healthy community. Many refugees are keen to establish different forms of organisations, with different missions, yet face a number of barriers which often impede the active realisation of strong and effective organisations.
If Europe is to move towards more inclusive, rights-respecting and dignified laws and policies, both internally and externally, refugees must be elevated to the status of equal advocating partners through organised (formal or informal) community organisations and the role of RCOs must be identified as one of the key interlocutors between refugees and host communities.
The main aim of this project is therefore to see a dramatic improvement in the quality of enjoyment of human rights by refugees and is based on the idea of supporting the active inclusion of marginalised, vulnerable or excluded communities. With this, the project seeks to strengthen refugee inclusion by supporting the empowerment of those refugees who want to play an active role in their communities and at the EU level. Through the project, community needs, strengths and trends will be identified, and we will seek to produce an educational package that will tackle these challenges and provide improved skills to overcome them.
Part of our project will be a training programme which will be geared at supporting the mobilisation of refugees into organised and effective communities that will be active in various spheres such as peer-to-peer support, provision of information or other community-based services, advocacy with national governmental stakeholders in order to bring the voice of excluded groups to the attention of policy-makers, engagement in public awareness-raising, talking directly from the heart of their represented communities.
This will be the Training Kit, our ultimate deliverable which will address the challenges faced by refugees in integrating effectively in their host countries.
A training kit for refugee-led organisations
The Training Kit will contain content addressing RCOs who wish to be active at a national level, together with training content addressing RCOs who wish to be active at a European level and will then be available to the public and thoroughly disseminated throughout the Partners’ networks.
Thanks to the project’s combination of community-based consultation, desk-research and synergising transnational expertise, it will be based on an in-depth understanding of the needs and strengths of RCOs and refugee communities, seeking to fill those skill and knowledge gaps that hinder RCOs from being effective partners in advocacy at national and European levels.