Both locals and refugees need opportunities to learn about eachother – integration is a two-way process.
Refugees practice their Greek while experiencing local coffee-drinking culture!
Locals "twinned" with refugee families to help them navigate their new community.
Refugees live in isolated camps far from local life. As newcomers in Europe, they need community the most. In all of our feedback sessions with the community one message was on repeat: we need to get outside of the camp, we need to meet local people and start talking to them!
We responded in different ways:
– In 2017 and 2018 we were funded by the UNHCR and INTERSOS to run our Twinning Project, which selected participants from the refugee and local community and “twinned” them for a program of activities and excursions designed to foster long-lasting friendships between the two groups.
– Since 2019 we have been running language cafes in locations around Ioannina. The sessions are run by local students who help refugees and asylum seekers develop their communication skills in a relaxed, friendly environment.
– We organise sports days such as football matches with the refugee community and invite our networks to join.
Integration is the long-term aim of our work, facilitated by our programs and encouraged through creative community-building opportunities!