Training Kit for Empowering Refugee-Led Community Organisations


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.

Project Summary

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.

Project Publications (regularly updated)

These reports (.pdf) were researched and drafted by the project partners and reflect on the presence/impact of refugee-led community organisations within each represented Member State. The EU-level report discusses this same theme from the perspective of advocacy targeting primarily the EU institutions. They are the project’s first publication, providing the project with an analytical mapping of national/Eu-level realities.

They may be downloaded at the below links:

  1. EU-Level Report
  2. Cyprus Report
  3. Greece Report
  4. Italy Report
  5. Malta Report
  6. The Netherlands Report

Published in August 2021, this Comparative Report synthesises the conclusions and recommendations in the National Reports and the EU-Level Report, published earlier (see above).

The report may be downloaded here (.pdf).

This document gathers key publications discussing the theme of refugee-led organisations. Whilst the texts are presented as a list, short summaries are presented for this publications that we found to be most relevant to our project’s goals.

These are articles written by the project partners where they talk about the value and role of refugee-led organisations in their respective areas.

  1. EU-level Report on the status of refugee-led community organisations‘, published in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin on 22 January 2021. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.
  2. Initiatives for the self-representation of refugees in Cyprus: Which challenges do refugee-led organizations face?‘, by Kasia Evripidou. Article published on Facebook and on the website of the Cyprus Refugee Council, here.
  3. Article published by Italian partner Mosaico, also on its social media pages, available here.
  4. Refugee-led Community Organisations in Malta: Advocating about issues directly impacting refugees. In a way that really reflects refugees‘, by Carla Camilleri (Assistant Director, aditus foundation). The article is published on the aditus foundation News and Updates pages and social media pages.
  5. Talking to refugees, not about them. How far are we in the Netherlands?‘, by Mohammed Badran. This is published on the website of the Dutch Refugee Council and shared on the organisation’s social media pages.
  6. Refugee-led Community Organisations in Greece: Bringing Communities to the Decision Table‘ was written by George Stefanopoulos, Advocacy officer of the Greek Forum for Refugees & Coordinator of the Self Advocacy Team

Download our Training Kit from the below links, depending on your training goals. Are you aiming to support EU-level advocacy, or national-level?

Each link will download a .zip file containing a Trainers Manual (Introduction), a Trainers Manual (EU or National) and Training Content. The latter are a series of PowerPoint presentations that you may adapt to your context. You’ll also find templates for certificates and evaluations.

Get in touch with us If you would like further information or assistance on your own training programmes! Send us photos of your activities as well as any feedback that could improve the Training Kit!