Since the outbreak of the war in Syria in 2011, we are experiencing the biggest refugee crisis in Europe in recent times. However, at the same time that we are sensitised about what is happening in that country, we are unaware of other conflicts and situations of persecution (Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Yemen, etc.).
In this difficult political and social context, the work of reception by civil society organisations is very important. CIP has been searching for an expert outside of our borders, that can offer us an open, and holistic view of the refugee situation in order to take immediate action on this important issue.
CIP has been represented by three staff members to participate in the project activities. The participants work directly in the care or training of refugees or are responsible for the strategic development of the organisation.
The objectives of the project were:
1. Understand the phenomenon of refugees in its breadth and diversity.
2. Carry out an exchange of good practices in relation to the assistance to refugees.
3. Build a joint work space between organisations.
The main activity was a 10-day course was taught by Permacultura Cantabria in Spain. In the course, the participants have obtained new knowledge in the field of refugee, acquire new skills to improve their work with refugees and exchange experiences with other organisations. It is also expected that the course will be a space for the internationalisation of the consortium and the creation of new work networks. The methodology of the course was very dynamic and participatory. The debate and group work was encouraged, as well as the interaction between the participants and the different experts.
To maximise the results of the project, various secondary activities have been included, the most important being:
* Preparatory and evaluative meetings. To prepare the participants who have attended the course, evaluate their learning and agree on its application in each sending entity. They are relevant for the consortium to work in a coordinated manner, to solidify relationships between organisations and to propose joint projects in the future.
*Internal Workshop. This was the main method of the courses transmission within the entities that make up the consortium. Each group of participants delivered a workshop for the staff of their organisation.
* Online dissemination (through the websites and social networks of the participating entities, as well as EPALE and the Erasmus + Project Results Platform). The results of the project were shared with as many people and organisations as possible, so that the acquired learning can be used by anyone interested in refugee and by the refugee community itself.
Regarding expected results and impacts, the following points stand out:
-Participants knowledge expanded and their work skills improved. Their professional career have acquire an international dimension and they have obtained an accredited qualification for their curriculum.
– The organisations of the consortium have created a solid network of collaboration between organisations at national and international level, they have improved the services they offer to refugees, and they have trained in the preparation of training courses.
– The line of continuous work between organisations helped to map future joint projects and as support for the international projection of the course provider (Permacultura Cantabria).
-The refugees with whom we work had received better attention, they have been better informed and they have benefited from the work of social awareness.
The main long-term benefits would be:
– The permanent improvement of knowledge and skills to work with refugees.
– The expansion of the consortium to other organisations and countries to build a European network of entities that serve refugees.
– A social awareness networking project that covers all of Europe and requires compliance with the commitments made in each country regarding refuge.
– Joint work projects that are carried out systematically and permanently.
The transnational training course ‘Souls Without Frontiers’ was held in Cantabria (north of Spain) from 10th to 19th of December 2018 by ‘Permacultura Cantabria’ in cooperation with the coordinating organization ‘Citizens in Power’.