Atina learns about the integration of refugees/migrants in the Council of Europe summer school

The summer school “Young refugees as actors for social inclusion and intercultural dialogue” was organized with the support of the Council of Europe Youth Department, Global Platform for Syrian Students, Kiron Open Higher Education for Refugees, and Voice of Young Refugees in Europe. The course was held at the end of August 2017, at the University of Minho in Braga, Portugal, and brought together more than 60 young refugees from Europe, students in forced mobility, and activists who are providing direct support to refugees.

The aim of the summer school was to develop capacities of participants to become the initiators of change in their local communities, so that they become multicultural and receiving. Particular focus was on human rights, democratic participation, nondiscrimination, unaccompanied and undocumented children, as well as the gender aspect in integration. Citizens’ Association Atina carried out a workshop to share experiences in working with refugees/migrants who have survived gender-based violence and human trafficking. Participants of the summer school were particularly interested in the topic, and the discussion was continued after the workshop.

Participants have, within the program, also had a task to develop projects, which resulted in various youth initiatives: intercultural cafe outside of reception centers, where the local population and refugees/migrants could learn foreign languages and become introduced to different cultures, economic empowerment programs, professional exchanges among participants, etc.

This was a perfect opportunity for Atina to learn about the examples of good practice in integration that exist in Europe, and to develop ideas that can be applied in the local context. Especially if we take into account the fact that this is the next step that the Republic of Serbia should take in working with refugees and migrants.

More about the summer school can be found in the Council of Europe report: