As you might have read in previous editions of EFILife, EFIL is taking part in the project “Time to be Welcome”, coordinated by the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM).
“Time to be welcome” encourages young volunteers and Youth Organisations in Europe to support the welcoming of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, and their integration process in the new community through the use of non-formal education and youth work.
The project is co-funded by the European Commission through the Erasmus + Programme action called Support for policy reform and Social Inclusion.
EFIL participated in the project most of all by sending experienced AFS volunteers from its member organisations to support refugees on the ground in two countries: France (1 volunteer) and Greece (a total of 5 volunteers).
The most recent stage of the project was implemented by a group of about 20 volunteers – including representatives of AFS France, AFS Poland and AFS Turkey – from early June till early August. Together they have put into place two summer day camps, one in Thessaloniki, one in Kavala, where they offered educational and leisure activities for mixed groups of refugee and local Greek children. The activities included workshops on such topics as human rights, intercultural learning, peace education, sustainability, health, as well as sports, arts and crafts, language, music and more.
Next to the energy and competence of AFS volunteers, EFIL is also contributing to the project with intercultural learning and mobility practices, used both with the refugees and with the participating volunteers themselves.
The “Time to be Welcome” partners will meet once more in October in Brussels for the final evaluation and conclusion of the project. The intention and hope of the project partners is that the learning from the past year will not only benefit the refugees in France and Greece, but also can be brought back to the volunteers’ organisations as inspiration of locally-run projects.