Educational Concepts for Professionals in Culturally and Religiously Sensitive Care of Volunteers Working with Migrants and Refugees

Context

Currently, European societies are faced with the issue of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.  The flight of many people from their home countries to Europe has different causes, but their reception and support challenging tasks that have to be faced.

Since so many volunteers have been involved in the accompanying and counselling migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, it is most important to improve their skills and competences for this particular engagement.

This project initiative is designed to find the ways to respond this challenging development.

Aims and Approach

The project aims to qualify professionals in adult education so that they can empower volunteers with the cultural and religious sensitivity to accompany of immigrants and refugees.

The project will promote a special kind of attention to people who have experienced migration, are seeking asylum or are recognised as refugees. Volunteers need to be enabled to become aware of the cultural, but above all of the religious imprinting newly arrived people bring and to perceive that as means to cope with their present situation in life. This is an innovative approach, because it is hardly ever recognised as important. The project will equip professionals to implement this approach in supporting volunteers.

People Involved in the Project

The target group is first professionals in adult education, who will develop educational concepts for volunteers of monitoring migrants and refugees: to become more aware of the situation of migrants and refugees; to explore the cultural and religious backgrounds of migrants and refugees and to exercise cultural and religious sensitive accompaniment.

Project Partner Organisations

  • Society for Intercultural Pastoral Care and Counselling – SIPCC, Germany
  • Europäisches Institut für interkulturelle und interreligiöse Forschung, Lichtenstein
  • interdiac – International Academy for Diaconia and Social Action, Central and Eastern Europe, Czech Republic
  • Centrum Misji i Evangelizacji Kosciola Ewangelicko- Augsburskiego, Poland
  • Islamische Seelsorge für muslimische PatientInnen in Österreich, Austria
  • Comenius University in Bratislava, Evangelical Lutheran Theological Faculty, Slovakia
  • Caritas Vlaanderen, Belgium
  • Diakonie Deutschland, Germany

Planned Actions  

The core of the partnership is personal exchange and sharing. To make that possible four transnational meetings will take place:

  • 14. 9. 2016: Kick off meeting. Gent (Belgium)
  • 9.12. -11. 12. 2016: Exploring the daily life of migrants and refugees. Bratislava (Slovakia)
  • 23.2. - 26. 2. 2017:  Competencies in intercultural and interreligious communication. (Czech Republic)
  • 15.5.-20.5. 2017: Training concepts for cultural and religious sensitive care. Düsseldorf (Germany)

A teaching and learning activity at the end of the partnership in May 2017 will be used for training participants and for the developing concepts in cultural and religious sensitive accompaniment. In addition, a series of written materials is planned.

Financial Support

The project “Educational Concepts for Professionals in Culturally and Religiously Sensitive Care of Volunteers Working with Migrants and Refugees” has been funded with the support of the European Commission, in the framework of programme Erasmus +, “Innovation and good practices” programme, “Strategic Partnership”.

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