Integrating refugees through community-led co-designed activities

AuthorDirectorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (European Commission)
© Curing the Limbo, 2019
A Greek language class at the Seraf‌io of Athens, where the premises of Curing the Limbo are located
Problem addressed
Refugees are oen caught in a vicious circle of inactivity
and end up in a type of ‘limbo’ in their host countries, from
which it is dif‌f‌icult to escape. This is especially visible in the
city of Athens, which is home to an estimated 15 000 to
20 000 refugees. Aer a decade of f‌inancial crisis, the city
is still suf‌fering from high unemployment rates, making it
even more dif‌f‌icult for refugees to enter the labour market.
Innovative solution
The Curing the Limbo project aims to actively support
refugees to move out of inactivity. The project, running from
April 2018 to March 2021, is based on a dynamic model of
action to support the full integration of refugees into local life,
with the active participation of the local community.
The project is innovative in its holistic approach that actively
involves local residents. The project runs a range of activities
for refugees, targeted at enabling them to become socially
active. Benef‌iciaries attend courses on Greek, English and ICT,
connect with active citizen groups and participate voluntarily
in city activities, giving back to the community. They take part
in a training programme that includes psycho-social support
and basic social and so skills. Job counselling services are
provided to increase their chance of entering the Greek labour
market and becoming economically self-suf‌f‌icient.
City activities that refugees can take part in are identif‌ied
by project partners and co-designed with local community
groups. This bridges the gap between locals and new
residents, allowing the community to be part of the solution.
Through its housing facilitation unit, the programme also
addresses the obstacles refuges face when accessing
af‌fordable housing. It acts as an intermediary between
prospective renters and property owners, of‌fering both parties
a range of support services and f‌inancial assurances.
The project is implemented through an innovative partnership
between the city of Athens, as the leading partner, the
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the Catholic
Relief Services, the International Rescue Committee and the
Athens Development and Destination Management Agency.
Each agency provides specif‌ic services and, through this
integrated approach, refugees are supported in dif‌ferent
areas of their lives.
Integrating refugees through
community-led co-designed activities
Curing the Limbo

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