Training course "CIRI - Cooperation on Improvement of Refugee Integration" was implemented from 4th until 12th of May 2019 in Ioannina, Greece. The international training course was hosted by Youth Center of Epirus and it was funded by Erasmus+ program of the European Commission. 38 social workers, youth workers, teachers, educators and volunteers participated in the training course in order to exchange professional experiences, improve their competences and explore possibilities for more qualitative integration of refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and internally displaced people in their local communities.
As the inflow of refugees in the European countries has decreased in 2017 and 2018 in comparison with the previous years, the need for urgent support work for refugees has decreased but needs for integration and social work for refugees has increased. Even though the inflow of new refugees in Europe is decreased, the inflow still continues and the need for integration of them in Europe and social work for them will be necessary over next years. Most local and regional organizations face difficulties to learn about specifics of work with refugees because there are not many humanitarian organizations willing to or having time to educate youth workers of other organizations. YCE is one of organizations where some youth workers were lucky to participate in private trainings from national and international humanitarian organizations for youth work with refugees and since 2016 provides activities for children at refugee camps/centers in epirus region.
*To increase the quality and ethical approaches of integration and social work for refugees and especially for young refugees (children and youth);
*To improve the cooperation and regular experience exchange between different organizations of various countries that work with refugees' children and youth;
*To promote the use of Erasmus+ program as a tool to raise the quality in social work and integration of refugees, especially children and young refugees;
*To increase the inclusion of a highly marginalized social group- refugees in the EU society (with accent on integration of children and youth, therefore often their older families' members would have easier integration as well)
Apart from focusing on refugee integration, we also discussed about migration in general and about migrants, asylum seekers and internally displaced people.
during the training course, participants learned about the situation of migrants in the EU in general and about local realities in the represented countries, later on they had a chance to present to each other their good practices of working with refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and internally displaced people in their local communities and their organisations. Participants had interactive discussion with a representative from Europe Direct Information Center of Epirus and with representatives of international humanitarian organisation Intersos. After experience exchange, participation in various discussions and non-formal educational games, participants visited an asylum seeker accommodation center in Ioannina which is managed by Intersos organisation.
In the last days of the training course, participants created new partnerships and worked on generation of specific international projects that aim to improve the quality of refugee integration in the EU society.