This activity report is the continuation of the tasks and projects that the SAT is engaged in since our last report (you can find it by pressing this link). Although some time has passed without excessive media posts and actions, this doesn’t mean that the SAT has withdrawn from the scene. On the contrary, the team is perhaps more active than ever and getting ready for essential advocacy interventions in this troublesome period of time for Greece regarding migration issues.
In an era of illegal pushbacks, total disregard of human rights, forced evictions of migrant residents from central city camps, new closed prison camps, a perpetually inadequate asylum system and a body-count on the rise, it is evident that people from the migrant and refugee population living in Greece are afraid to claim their rights. Greece is pushing people out of its borders either back to the east or up to the north, compelling individuals and families to embark once more in yet another dangerous journey. The voice of migrants and refugees are effectively silenced in Greece but has not totally disappeared yet.
The need for inclusion and integration is greater than ever and the time to put the skills and intellect of migrants and refugees in good use is imperative. The SAT is representing all migrants and refugees that want to start/continue their life in Greece and will achieve it through the following EU projects.
Training Kit for Empowering Refugee-Led Community Organizations (RCOs) – (Erasmus+ project)
We are glad to announce the completion of this Erasmus+ project. The project’s main objective was to provide for existing or aspiring RCOs a toolkit that would address the challenges faced by refugees in integrating effectively in their host countries and, furthermore, provide a content addressing RCOs who wish to be active at a national level and European level. This toolkit was created out of the experience of five (5) organizations from different countries – Aditus (Malta), Greek Forum of Refugees (Greece), Cyprus Refugee Councl (Cyprus), Mosaico Azioni per i Rifugiati (Italy), Syrian Volunteers in the Netherlands (Holland)- that have stepped on their national reports, acknowledging the differences and similarities of each country, and created an all-around training kit containing techniques on advocacy, asylum systems, funding, etc.. The Training Kit is free to download for any interested individual or group and can be found by clicking on this link.
Isave (Erasmus+ project)
The Isave project created Youth Advocate Committees of migrants and refugees in four (4) different countries (Turkey, Greece, Germany and Ireland) that went through workshops regarding Human Rights with a specific focus on violations. The Youth Committees advised the partner organizations – IGAM (Turkey), GFR (Greece), Freiwilligen-Zentrum Augsburg (Germany), Scoop & The Gaiety School of Acting (Ireland)-in the creation of a series of advocacy videos of eight (8) different stories of refugees and asylum seekers (two from each country) that would create a map of human rights violations throughout the involved countries. Apart from the videos a website will be created that will analyze thoroughly human rights, map out NGOs and Institutions that could help newcomers with legal/accommodation/education and other issues and refer to violations of human rights. The website will be handed to the unified Youth Committee from all four countries after the completion of the project and remain sustainable thereafter with the support of the organizations as well. You can visit the Isave website for more information by pressing on this link.
Story Co-op (Erasmus+ project)
The project aims to develop a non-formal, youth led programme to empower young refugees and migrants as agents of change who can contribute their expertise to the inclusion process and promote their self-representation and diversity in the media. In line with the principles of the EU Council for the youth sector (2019-2027) and “Guidelines working with young refugees and migrant” (2019), the project will develop synergies between different sectors supporting the cooperative empowerment of rights activation, inclusion, and active participation of young refugees and migrants in newsrooms and social processes affecting their lives.
The objective behind our efforts is to provide refugees, asylum seekers, journalists, media professionals and social activists with valuable competences to face editorial challenges like fake news/alternative facts, infomercials vs. information, freedom of speech and hate speech and help them to develop diversity and pluralism in media.
The partner organizations are: GFR (Greece), Scoop & The Gaiety School of Acting (Ireland), IGAM (Turkey), ONE BRIDGE TO IDOMENI (Italy), Rawdanur Dernegi (Turkey).
StoryCo-Op aims to bring about fundamental change in a number of ways:
1. Knowledge and skills: On one hand, young refugees will acquire new skills to become confident communicators, and representatives of their communities while dealing with media organisations. The youth-led development of outputs will create an opportunity for them to grow personally and professionally, learning from other professionals—in turn leading to maturational growth.
2. Behaviour and attitudes: Media professionals will see and hear real experiences reported in the documentary theatre developed, and learn how cooperation between refugees and media can improve the quality of news concerning vulnerable minorities. Young migrants themselves have a better understanding than anyone else of the challenges they encounter First-hand knowledge of young migrants brings new perspectives with which to challenge dominant discourses and narratives about migrants in media, the public and political spheres.
3. Systems: At a European level, it will increase self-representation of young people with lived experiences as refugees in the media, especially at international and high levels of visibility. Bridging the gap between policy and reality, StoryCo-Op aims at reconnecting policymakers with the migrants who are affected by these policies.
4. Ways of Thinking: It will contribute to the change in the way young refugees perceive themselves within the European and communities’ context. Media professionals will hear from their peers how “Lack of knowledge fuels the bitter curse of discrimination”. It will bring perspective to media professionals as seen above and ultimately, change ways of thinking of the wider public on refugees and migrants and benefit their inclusion.
2incING (AMIF 2020 Project)
The 2incING project aims to promote and support refugee and migrant participation in the design and implementation of integration and related policies at local, regional, national and European level. The project is a partnership of 4 CSOs
The project is a partnership of 4 NGOs – UDRUGE CENTAR ZA MIROVNE STUDIJE (Croatia), GFR (Greece), Aditus (Malta), Stichting Syrische Vrijwilligers Nederland (Netherlands) – 1 alliance (EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON REFUGEES AND EXILES AISBL, Belgium) and 1 university (STICHTING VU Netherlands), which gives a holistic multidisciplinary approach to the topic.
The project is divided into 5 work packages focused on educational activities that are followed up with concrete tasks which will produce concrete policy tools for advocating refugee and migrants inclusion in policy making processes. The approach of the project is based on the creation of knowledge based on experience.
The project will produce 4 desk research on active refugee and migrant advocates (for each national context), 1 interactive map of refugee and migrant advocates, 12 national educational workshops for refugees and migrants (120 participants), 1 international online lecture on innovative tools (G100 conference) to create dialogue among refugees/migrants and decision makers (60 participants), 4 national G100 conferences (200 participants), 4 national Advocacy Academy workshops for decision/policy makers (60 participants), 1 train the trainers workshop (40 participants), 4 Steering Committees of refugee and migrant advocates (40 participants), 4 national Shadow Reports on the impact of the integration policy, 8 national policy meetings between refugees/migrants and decision/policy makers (160 participants) and 1 international conference (60 participants). The project campaign will produce 20 national videos/teasers, 4 final videos and 8 infographics on the policy making process.
The project will have at least 750 direct beneficiaries; and at least 500 000 indirect beneficiaries via campaign (social networks reach). Expected impact is to include refugees and migrants into policy making processes on a national and EU level (having them in boards, work groups).
DEPART (AMIF 2020 Project)
The DEPART project (Developing Effective Policies for migrants and refugees through SAT-based policy making processes) is one of the projects that aims to the interaction between Self-Advocacy Teams and policy-makers. The NGOs partner with their equivalent Municipalities through their Self-Advocacy Teams. The partners are 4 NGOs with the respective Municipalities – Greece (GFR & the Municipality of Piraeus), Italy (Leonardo progetti sociali & the Municipality of Avezzano), Bulgaria (Council of Refugee Women Bulgaria and the Municiplity of Oborishte), Spain (Ascologi and the Municipality of Girona)- the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona Center for Migration and the IT experts ARES 2.0.
The project aims to contribute to the concrete inclusion of migrants and refugees in Member States through the establishment of a structured and formalised way to consult migrants on policies that directly concern them called Self-Advocacy teams (SATs). SATs are a flexible, rooted and participated solution to give Third-Country Nationals (TCNs) empowerment and representativeness functional to their holistic integration in EU societies.
The project intends to create a path involving major stakeholders of inclusive policy-making processes in Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Spain (migrants refugees, policy-makers and practitioners), to develop and test at EU level a methodology successfully piloted among TCNs in Greece. The methodology is built around the concepts of integrated, evidence-based and participatory approaches leading to:
(1) Assess the policy making processes with reference to TCNs inclusiveness in hosting society, especially to understand the obstacles to mobilization, representation and participation of TCNs
(2) Empower TCNs on their rights and the potentialities of proactive approaches to local policy making as a step towards inclusion
(3) Raise awareness and increase capability of policy makers and institutional officers about inclusive policy making processes,
(4) Implement pilot co-design policy meetings between the actors in play to test the cooperative and concrete process that will be disseminated.
At this point we are almost half-way through in completing the project, the groundwork and research on national levels have been concluded. The next step is to form a specialized SAT that would engage in workshops in order to be ready to join the Migrant and Refugee Integration Council (MRIC) of Piraeus and finally interact with policy makers.
The Greek Forum of Refugees’ Self-Advocacy Team in cooperation with the Ivory Coast Community of Greece and with the support of the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants has engaged in a series of online raising awareness -open discussions- regarding undeclared labour and how it affects undocumented migrants. Guest speakers from NGO’s (lawyers, advocacy officers) and public administration official (Municipality of Athens, Ministry of Labour) shared their essential knowledge on the subject and engaged in a fruitful discussion with community leaders. For more information on these events follow this link. Our next topic will be on Regularization, and it is scheduled for mid-November 2022. Again, it will be a live discussion with guests from all relevant entities and a report on the event will be published soon after.