TMF projects' Portfolio
Focus: Advocacy & inclusive community
TMF projects' portfolio
Focus: Access to Education
University of Antwerp and Linguapolis
Before accessing Universities, international students can join a preparatory programme to learn Dutch, where “prep-year students” are matched with “home students” to:
- practice their conversational skills in Dutch.
- create an intercultural understanding.
- familiarize prep-year students with campus life and engage local students to create new experiences and friendships.
- Teams of 7 students were built, based on their departments – so that students can join their language buddy for a lecture.
- Organizing 3 activities (city-tour, museum & orchestra visits) as well as larger events (Christmas party, game night).
- The closing event was organised by the participants, with a focus on intercultural exchange (e.g. music, dance, poetry, etc.)
SHAMS projectRead More →
Slovakia hosts the least number of refugees in the EU, however the Slovak society has extremely negative attitudes towards refugees and migrants. A recent survey organized by the Slovak Youth Council shows how young people from the 18-24 age group tend to vote for far-right nationalist parties in parliamentary elections.
The project aims to raise awareness among students
on the topic of forced migration.
• Role game “Escape to Peacestan” to reflect on the concept of migration.
• Stand-up show with a young migrant comedian.
• 2 movie screenings on the topic of migration in Slovakia followed by open discussions with a moderator.
• Exhibition in cooperation with Arts faculties and students
“Brussels’ Family Portrait”
When arriving to Europe, families often receive financial support. However, not much attention is given to the effect of migration on their family life, their expectations for the future and how to define their own space in the new country.
• To create safe spaces for families
• To reflect on the relationships with their place of living and the impact on family life.
• To contemplate on the sense of belonging altogether
• 6 workshops on the topics of of “Neighborhood” and “Family” where the participants took an active role through the use of different media (photos, sounds recording, writing workshops).
• Final exhibition to present the results of the workshops.
• A handbook presenting the evaluation and feedback.
• Presentation of the project in associations and schools.
Raise Women Awareness Network
Migrant women constitute the largest qualified yet unemployed group in Europe, as their skills and qualifications remain unrecognised. Furthermore, these women are often isolated and unaware of their social rights and opportunities, such as education, language courses, housing and many other integration programmes.
The RWAN initiative supports refugee and migrant women to access education and seek professional opportunities in order to become more active individuals in Belgian society. It also encourage to create a safe space for dialogue, cooperation and sharing ideas, experience and contacts.
The Covid-19 and current situation has proven an increasing need to use computers in many fields such as study and work. For students with refugee and migrant backgrounds, many studies have shown a prominent use of smartphones – as a strong emotional support (as it allows contacts with families). However, there is a strong lack of basic computer skills, which is even more relevant in COVID-19 times and has a direct impact on access to language courses, attendance of lectures, when applying for jobs or moving forward in any project related to the inclusion in the Belgian society.
First RWAN Project
- 4 workshops with speakers from different fields of expertise: legal firms and administrations, International students’ offices, NGOs offering mentoring opportunities for refugees or support to create start-ups.
- Develop partnerships with Universities and NGOs for future collaborations to ensure continuity of project.
- Creation of a website for sharing relevant information and experiences.
Second RWAN Project:
- Workshops to support women to develop basic computer skills to ease access to the job market and education
- keep building the RWAN project communication
National Union of Students in Denmark
• To inform students about the injustice young people with a temporary protection status are suffering
• To build bridges between organisations who are usually working independently on migration challenges
University Tour: conferences were organised in 6 different Danish Universities to present and discuss the situation and challenges faced by people with 7.3 status and those with refugee backgrounds in terms of accessing Higher Education.
National Union of Students in Denmark & Foreningen Studenterhuset
• [email protected]
Refugees and asylum seekers are facing several barriers when it comes to access Higher Education: lack of information, very complex and bureaucratic systems, tuition fees and municipal pressure to enter the job market as soon as possible. Asylum seekers are currently not allowed to access Higher Education.
The project has the aims to:
- facilitate access to HE and integration to young people with refugee backgrounds (incl. Asylum seekers).
- develop a political and advocacy strategy supporting access to Higher Education for refugees and asylum seekers.
- Research to understand the legal procedures for young refugees who wish to access Higher Education.
- Creation of a website.
- Recruitment of student volunteers to guide refugees through the application process.
- Application-cafés where students and prospective students can meet to prepare university applications twice a month, and pop-up application-cafés in Danish regions.
- Buddy programme to support refugee students to have an easier start into university student life. Several activities and workshops are organised for the buddies throughout the semester to share their experience and knowledge.
Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU)
Vlaamse Vereniging Van Studenten – Flemish Students Union
Access to higher education and the recognition process is very limited for refugees in the Flanders due to the language requirements and lack of information. Combined with this, the public opinion toward people with refugee/migrant background is mixed, which easily results in political leaders not taking action on such issues.
The project aims to:
• To map the barriers students with refugee backgrounds face when accessing Higher Education;
• To raise awareness about the complexity of recognition of competences and qualifications;
• To support local student-led projects collaborating with diverse students, student representatives, academics and policy officers to discuss and propose clear recommendations and measures on accessibility of Flemish Higher Education Systems.
• Financial support to 3 local projects in 3 different Belgian universities proposing activities to support refugees in accessing HE and developing language skills;
• Meetings to exchange experience and good practices from the 3 projects;
• Organisation of a seminar with (refugee) students, policy makers, NGOs and academics where students-refugees could present the barriers they face and discuss possible solutions and collaborations.
Provisions and Barriers to student refugee participation in Glasgow and Scotland project
Cast Your Voice
In recent years, the western societal discourses are increasingly dominated by the migration agenda, however, refugees themselves are excluded from partaking in these discussions. The successful and sustainable integration of newcomers needs to go hand in hand with public participation.
The project aims to co-develop pathways and tools with newcomers in order to better raise their voice in the public and political discourse
• Workshops where students with refugee backgrounds, living in Germany learned about how to be politically engaged, to develop their own concrete ideas and make a difference in the political public space (video, podcast, meetup café for newcomers and other society members to exchange on current political issues, etc).
• Train-the-trainer handbook designed for organisations or individuals interested in conducting similar workshops.
Restart and University of Limerick
ReStart is a University of Limerick student-led social enterprise integrating International Protection Applicants to the local community through a portfolio of initiatives, such as cooking and gardening.
Students Action for Refugees (STAR)
Asylum seekers and refugees throughout the UK do not have equal access to higher education. Considered as “international students’’ they have to pay international fees without loan support from the government or the right to work to fund their studies.
This project will support the organisation:
• To lobby higher education institutions and policy makers to create more scholarships for refugees and asylum seekers.
• To educate student leaders and staff in the HE sector on the topic of access to Education for refugees.
• Create guides and leaflets/ posters/films to encourageRead More →
students to join local STAR groups and start campaigning.
• Deliver training for 1,500 students on ”barriers to access HE” and the “Equal Access Campaign and campaigning tactics”
• Organise a conference for students, Student Unions, refugees, HE staff and partner projects about the Equal Access Campaign.
To promote social inclusion while raising awareness on environmental issues and taking practical actions for the protection of the environment.
• 2 camps each expanding for 3 days focused on environmental issues and connecting young locals and newcomers.More info →
• Monthly workshops on migration and environmental issues (ex. Mineral extraction in Congo, alimentation in the world from an environmental perspective) or cultural nights, such as a Ramadan dinner.
• Recruitment of 2 interns, from the host country and a newcomer
Students from Asociacion Proyecto Roma
There is a lack of educational initiatives for migrant teenagers in Spain and a rise of xenophobic discourses and racist encounters towards migrants.
The objectives of the projects are to present, discuss and support the right and access to education for unaccompanied minors residing in Ceuta.
• Online and face-to-face meetings between the volunteer students and minors to define the project’s priorities.
• 5-day meeting in Ceuta with 48 minors focusing on educational activities to empower the participants.
• Surveys to assess the minors’ needs and communicate it with the educational institutions to ensure they have access to education.
Students’ Alliance of Moldova
Due to their status, many young people with refugee backgrounds tend to feel isolated, misjudged and unaware of educational/ volunteering opportunities in Moldova.
• To encourage young people with different backgrounds in acquiring knowledge as a tool for integration.
• Bringing refugees, migrants and local youth together in a safe space;
• To build and expand participants’ networks.
• Four formal trainings, with 20 young people:
>> Public speaking
>> How to apply for an opportunity and complete application (CV, cover
letter and interview preparation)
>> How to give powerful presentations
>> Activities for coordinating and consolidating a team
• Informal activities were also organised, e.g. cultural quiz, country
presentation and NGO fair.
• Brochure with tips for youth who want to apply to universities, internshipsRead More →
or volunteering opportunities
UNIVERSITES ET REFUGIES (UniR)
Due to lack of reliable information and insufficient support from academic institutions, it is very difficult for young migrants and refugees to access the Higher Education system, while their skills and qualifications remain unrecognized. In addition, once at Uni, it is often hard to understand the strict higher education methodologies. In Covid-19 times, it is even more difficult as students are more isolated and had less contact with Professors.
UniR promotes education as a tool towards sustainable socioeconomic integration, and proposes programmes which offer adequate space to exchange ideas and knowledge and to ultimately reach academic and professional success.
- Personalized academic support and orientation to review students’ academic experiences, to explore possible university programs, to submit applications, and to complete administrative procedures. As a result, 180 applications were successfully submitted.
- Cultural activities (museums, festivals, etc.) once a month helped the students to learn about different subjects, to get to know one another and to feel more comfortable exploring the city.
- Professional orientation workshops were organised to discover a diversity of professional and academic opportunities and sectors. Participants are meeting experts and other people with refugee backgrounds who have created businesses and successful careers.
During the Covid-19 pandemic:
- Online workshops to support students with French University Methodology – to support students autonomy and remote learning technique
- Advocacy activities regarding gender inequalities and equitable access to education
Union des Etudiants Exilés (UEE)
There is a lack of information about the right to education due to insufficient instructions from both local and national authorities. As a result, young people often abandon or postpone their studies. There is a need for a unified body to represent all exiled students and offer guidance to access Higher Education.
The organisation support access to education for exiled students by:
• Providing information about educational opportunities and student support services offered in France.
• Providing one-to-one support to the exiled students throughout the registration process.
In addition, the COVID-19 situation has a huge impact on exiled students, not only studies but their overall wellbeing.For the most part, the university was a refuge where students could exchange, learn and train by putting aside the problems related to their migration journeys. With the lockdowns (leading to isolation, lack of social life and financial resources, closing of students services), these students were left on their own and many of the issues related to previous trauma came up.
Through workshops, the UEE aims to support exiled students to overcome this difficult period of time but also past traumas.
- Website and Facebook page offering guidance to access Higher Education in France, details of international students’ offices, and a blog where refugee students can publish articles – available in Arabic and French.
- Workshops (open to 25 participants per workshop) to support exiled young people in claiming their right to education by presenting academic and financial opportunities and guiding them through the procedure to access Higher Education
- 5-days camp with a group of students (with and without refugee backgrounds) to discuss social inclusion, challenges related to education, share culture and experience
- Weekly Mental health support workshop to exiled students to discuss the issues of mental health and overall wellbeing through theatre therapy and peer-to-peer discussions. The work is facilitated by a professional psychologist and 2 students with refugee backgrounds studying Psychology in Paris.
Online Encyclopedia of Migration
To provide objective information, supported by academic institutions, offering explanations of the situation of migration in some Middle Eastern countries (Syria, Iraq and Iran) to the general public, as well as, journalists and high school students in Central Europe.
• Website which includes a glossary of migration terms, migration flows and background information on countries of origin. Available in Czech and English.More info →
• 3 pilot workshops to present the online platform to high schools. More than 100 students and 10 teachers participated!
• Creation of a detailed lesson plan for high school teachers to cover the topic of migration in their classes in an interactive method.
National Union of Icelandic Students
There is a general lack of information and guidance for asylum seekers and refugees who want to access
Higher education in Iceland.
Based on the Danish project “Students Refugees”, this project aims at:
• Adapting the information from the Danish website to the Icelandic context (requirements and application process).
• Supporting refugees who would like to access Higher Education.
• Creation of a website: to display relevant information and make sure the website is fully accessible for refugees.Read More →
• To recruit Icelandic student volunteers and train them with the support of the Danish team.
• Application-cafés where local students assist prospective refugee students in preparing their university applications.
Unione degli Studenti
Italy is one of the main arrival points in Europe for migrants. In parallel, the public discourse is dominated by anti-migrant feelings and fake news. Through this project, UDU aimed to support alternative narratives on the topic of migration and develop an advocacy strategy for the National students’ Union.
• Revolution Camp: A summer camp where 300 students partake in several workshops. In 2018, the focus was on inclusion and society, with special sessions on international protection, advocacy strategies to counter hate speech and create alternative narratives.
• Advocacy handbook in Italian for student activists with an action plan to ease the inclusion and access of people with migrant/refugee backgrounds to Higher Education.
• “Know your rights” leaflet in English to be distributed to young people living in migration centers to briefly present key concepts related to their right to education and opportunities to access HE.
Georgian Student’s Organizations Association
The aim of the project is to help internally displaced people to be easily integrated in society, to discuss their rights and existing opportunities for young people and to encourage them to take an active role in the co-creation of policies related to the educational system
Workshops organised in different regions in Georgia using non-formal education technics, to discuss with internally displaced students how they can become active members of the society (in terms of education, international opportunities and how to start their own projects).
The precarious living conditions of unaccompanied minors is underreported, where there is a lack of opportunities for young people to engage with the host Greek community. The project aims to create a safe space where a group of local students and
unaccompanied minors can cocreate, engage with creative activities and develop on different scales.
The project follows the model of the “Common Third” by creating a commonly shared situation that symbolizes the relationship established among the participants.
• Creation of a community garden where the group cultivated fruits, vegetables and herbs.
• Workshops: agriculture, youth work and working with young children & social entrepreneurship.
• Organisation of field trips with nursery school students
Interessengemeinschaft der afghanischen Studierenden (IGAS)
It is very difficult for the Afghan community to receive help or advice from their family members, as most of them have been living since a short period of time in Austria and the majority of the parents do not have a high education.
The project aims at supporting Afghan students to find relevant studies and to navigate in the Austria education system.
Mentorship programme where young Afghan students will have a mentor they can contact if they need advice, need help with school/university curriculum or their career planning.
Second Chance School, Volos
While the Government is supporting access to education for refugee children, young people (15 and above) are often excluded. As a result, these students have very little access to educational and cultural opportunities.
The projects aimed:
• To develop intercultural communication and enhance social
networking between local university students and refugee/migrant students.
• To offer rich cultural and educational opportunities to all the participants in the project through an organized series of non-formal activities.
• Building a group with local and newcomer students to ensure a positive group dynamic.
• Implementation of 7 different Routes in cities and surrounding mountain trails where the participants interacted with the history, culture, mythology, religion, nature and local residents. The newcomer students get familiarized with the place they are residing in, while presenting about their own countries and cultures.
• Booklet, project film and final event presenting the project’s outcomes.
Polish Hospitality Foundation
In Poland, school students can spend up to 6 hours after school to do homework – which is a recordhigh for children in the EU. While some refugee children receive assistance at school, there is a lack of institutional support proposed outside of school to facilitate the process of equal learning in comparison with their Polish peers.
Through this project, the aim is to support refugee children in doing homework and improving their Polish with volunteer tutors.
• To train local (students) mentors to provide educational, psychological and legal support.Read More →
• To pair up local mentors with school pupils to help them with their homework and Polish language