SIREE: Social Integration of Refugees through Education and Self-Employment.
Over 1.2m refugees arrived in Europe in 2016, 147,815 within the 2 Seas region alone creating pressures and challenges on the host communities. A population surge creating a high costly demand on public purse €10,000p refugee/year to meet the needs of the new arrivals and integrate them into the local economy. The regions struggle with the challenges of refugee family inclusion into education and economic independence exposing a population of lost economic potential. The regional school systems fail to effectively integrate refugee children characterized by missed school years, facing an alien education system and ill-informed teachers. Fragile refugee children find it difficult to integrate into the system, absenteeism is high, parental involvement with school is low. Partner research shows an appetite for refugee enterprise but exposes a gap due to the limitations of partner specialist knowledge and experience to deliver.
The project aims to improve the social and economic integration of refugees in the partner regions and wider 2 Sea area by co-creating and introducing new demonstrations to increase the engagement of refugees in the education process and to improve the economic independence of refugees through self-employment. It will tackle the key societal challenge of social exclusion by increasing the access to education and self-employment through the methodology of co-creation. In education 40 new learning communities will be co-created resulting in: 10% increase in parents’ involvement in the education of children, 20% increase in pre-school children attending school, 10% increase in adult education. 450 teachers better equipped to support refugees as a result of the new training course developed. Co-creation will be used to generate 50 new refugee businesses, generate 40 new jobs (with the potential of 516) and 4 new refugee business networks to support long term enterprise development.
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Communications Officer for SIREE